Editor’s note: When the Tri-Cities Fever opens its Indoor Football League season at home against the Wyoming Cavalry on Feb. 28, it will mark the franchise’s 10th campaign. Over the next 10 days, the Herald will look at the top 10 moments and top 10 players in franchise history. Today is No. 10:
No. 10 moment
No one knew what to expect, but they showed up, curious.
Here was this new indoor football team, the Tri-Cities Fever, taking on the Corpus Christi Hammerheads in the very first indoor football league game in 2005 in the National Indoor Football League.
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So on March 26, 2005, the Hammerheads kicker booted the football down the field to an awaiting Fever return man named Jarvis Dunn. The ball scooted along the arena floor. Dunn got his hands on the ball, then dropped it. He picked it up, moved up the middle of the field, then veered up the right sidelines.
Fifty-two yards later, Dunn had scored a touchdown on the franchise’s very first play, a kickoff return.
People were hooked.
It didn’t hurt that Tri-Cities won the opener 47-46, and a fan base was born.
No. 10 player
Wide receiver Thyron Lewis
Lewis, who played college ball at Howard University, played a few games with the Fever in 2008 with his cousin, defensive back Ray Little, when the franchise was in the af2.
He spent 2009 with another af2 franchise before coming back for the Fever’s first season in the Indoor Football League in 2010.
During that 2010 season, Lewis was the go to receiver for Tri-Cities, catching 50 passes for 675 yards and 25 touchdowns, as the Fever went 8-8 and made the playoffs.
He was a second-team All-IFL selection.
Lewis went on to the Arena Football League, where he has sent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Gladiators. In those three seasons, Lewis caught 193 passes for 2,606 yards and 47 touchdowns.
He was head coach Adam Shackleford’s first star as Fever coach.