Courtesy: Washington Valor Media Relations
Balance of veterans and new faces make up Washington’s roster
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Valor Head Coach Benji McDowell announced today that the team has finalized its roster heading into Week 1 of the regular season.
“We think we have a great group heading into this season,” McDowell said. “We have a lot of contributors returning from last year and a good mix of new faces. So many of these guys had an outstanding couple weeks of training camp. We’ve put ourselves in a position to win games and now it’s time to go out and start doing it.”
Washington’s roster is highlighted by several key contributors returning from last year’s championship run, including quarterback Arvell Nelson, defensive lineman James Atoe and offensive lineman Anthony Parker. Nelson, who was named ArenaBowl XXXI Most Valuable Player, begins his second season with the Valor and his eighth in the AFL. Atoe has appeared in 17 games over the last two seasons, seeing action on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Parker was named First Team All-Arena for his performance in 2017 and started all nine games he appeared in during the 2018 season.
The Valor added veterans to the roster, highlighted by defensive back Marrio Norman and defensive lineman Leon Mackey. Norman joins Washington after spending last year with the Albany Empire, recording 67.5 total tackles and three interceptions on his way to the second First Team All-Arena nod of his career. Mackey begins his third season in the AFL, having spent 2014 and 2016 with the Arizona Rattlers. He recorded two sacks in an ArenaBowl win against San Jose in 2014.
Four members of the Valor’s roster will see their first AFL action this season: wideout Dezmon Epps, defensive lineman Malik Forresterdefensive back Jadar Johnson and offensive lineman Kasimili Uitalia.