Athletes lace up for ‘Topeka Tropics’ arena football tryouts

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 10:20 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Athletes laced up their cleats to show off their skills, hoping to land a spot on Topeka’s arena football team, the Topeka Tropics.

The head coach says they were only looking to fill six spots, but about 60 athletes took the field at Stormont Vail Events Center, vying for a spot on the Topeka Tropics roster.

The Topeka Tropics arena football team will soon tackle the competition inside Stormont Vail Events Center.

“It kind of gets everything moving. the fans are starting to get more excited,” JR Bond, Owner of Topeka Tropics said. “We actually have the turf down in the arena, we have football players on the field.”

With this being Topeka’s only professional sports team, the coaches are looking for the right talent.

“We’re looking for guys who are wanting to come back here and use this as a springboard to get them to the NFL, or the CFL, or somewhere higher in life,” Tyus Jackson, Topeka Tropics head coach said. “We’re looking for guys who want to keep living the dream and who want to come to have fun.”

“It is a big moment for Topeka. Everything has been highly supportive across the community,” Bond added.

“My biggest thing is just finding guys that are brought into what we’re trying to do and how far we’re trying to go,” signed Topeka Tropics athlete Jared Milo emphasized.

JR Bond says the team has 15 players already signed on, “they’re mostly veterans or highly recruited in division one college players.”

An open tryout Friday to fill out the roster drew athletes from near and far.

“Some has came as far as from the west coast, from the northwest, all the way from right in the backyard from Topeka,” Jackson said. “There are some people that are seeking dreams and their just finding their chance, trying to get that nitch, trying to find their way in, to keep going and compete in something they love to do.”

Milo says there are plenty of opportunities for athletes in arena football, “a lot of people look down on arena just cause the pace of the game and the indoor, but really it’s an opportunity, its opportunity for film, its opportunity for growth and like I said its really a good environment.”

One the Tropics hope to stay around for the long run.

“We’re here for the long haul. we’re making an investment into the community and this team will for a while so,” Bond emphasized. “I know a lot of Topekans say you know they won’t be in a couple of years, you can take it to the bank will be here for a long long time.”

Topeka Tropics’ first game is away on March 12th.

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