By Jim Rueda
Free Press Staff Writer
Coxworth contacted the newspaper again last week and said the Mankato Brawlers semi-pro team is getting closer to reality. He held an open tryout a few months ago and found what he believes are some quality players to add to the roster.
“Things are coming along,” Coxworth said. “We found two guys from Mankato who are interested in playing and both of them played at MSU. One is defensive back Jesse Graves and another is quarterback Ray Teachout.”
“I’m 41 now and it takes me a good half hour to warm up to try and throw the ball like that,” Coxworth said. “He opened my eyes and I did some checking on him. I think this team could be a rebirth for him in Mankato.”
“The Southern Plains is a fine league but our talent level is a lot higher,” Coxworth said. “There are some guy out there who want to play but they’re a little leery because they’re not familiar with our league. Once they see the product we put on the field and the way the games are run, I think they’ll be believers.”
Mitchell has most recently been playing with the Sioux City Bandits which is an arena football team in Iowa. Josh Ditzman, a wide receiver out of Farmington by way of Rochester Community College, is also interested in playing.
Other games on the schedule include a matchup with the Rochester Giants on June 8 in Mapleton as part of Town & Country Days. Anther on June 15 against the Minnesota Silverbacks in Janesville s part of the Hay Days celebration and another in Blue Earth against La Crosse’s River City Roughriders in Blue Earth as part of Giant Days. In all, Coxworth is hoping to put together an 11-game schedule
Coxworth has been involved with semi-pro teams as a player and/or general manager for almost 20 years. He formed teams that in Iowa that are still going strong and he’s been eyeing Mankato for quite some time.
Coxworth plans to start a major sponsorship drive this month. He already has a team logo developed and has designed some T-shirts, as well.
“We’re getting to the part now where it starts to get exciting,” he said. “The players don’t get paid, they’re just in it to have run and to live out a dream.