ST. GEORGE – It’s been about three months since the last college football game, and about two months since the Super Bowl. Many football fans believe they have to wait until the end of August, when the first college football games are played, before they will be treated to more of what they love. These fans obviously aren’t familiar with the Dixie Rebels semi-pro football team. Little do they know, the Rebels can give them what they want starting this Saturday, April 7, in Walt Brooks Stadium, at Dixie High School at 7 p.m.
The Rebels are a very talented semi-professional football team consisting of players with a wide variety of football backgrounds including Dixie State College of Utah, Southern Utah University, Brigham Young University, and many more. The Rebels are a AAA member of the Rocky Mountain Football League. The RMFL is a semi-professional football league that is split into a lower division, AA, and an upper division, AAA. The team started out several years ago as the St. George Blitz. After winning their first RMFL championship as the St. George Blitz in 2010, the team was dissolved. Three of the players from the Blitz, Doug Cook “Sarge,” Wayne Alofipo and Andy Stokes, got together and started the Dixie Rebels. Almost every single former Blitz player joined the Dixie Rebels last year in their first season under the new ownership.
Last year the Dixie Rebels, under coach Bruce Hardy, went undefeated through league play and won the RMFL championship game against the Wasatch REVolution 41-18 to give Southern Utah a second straight RMFL championship. After such an outstanding season the Minor League Football Alliance ranked them No. 7 in the country and invited them to play in the Sunset Bowl, sponsored by the Minor League Football Ventures, against the No. 5 ranked River City Gators from Sacramento, Calif. The Rebels came up just short in a very exciting game in which they proved to be a legitimately talented football team.
This year they will be led by Coach Greg Croshaw, head football coach at Mesa Community College and former head coach at DSC.
The Rebels are offering a very fun place for Southern Utah families to go during the spring and summer. Admission is $5, but service members with a military ID and kids 12 and under are free.
The players on the Rebels football team are not paid. They have full-time jobs and just really want to play football. But, their inability to put all of their time and focus on the game has not translated into lackluster performances. The team is actually very well put together. One shining example of this is Dallas Irvin, who played with the team last year but has not been with the team over the last few months and is uncertain for this upcoming season. This uncertainty is because he has been trying out for several NFL teams, and is hoping to make one of the rosters.
Last season the Rebels showed their heart in a nontraditional fashion. Wide Receiver Cameron Murdock is also a teacher at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School. Last May one of the students, Abby Doman, collapsed during gym class. Murdock performed CPR until paramedics came to rush her to the hospital. Shortly before the last game of the season, a critical game between the only two undefeated teams in the league and a game which was certain to bring in a decent amount of money for the team, the Rebels learned that Doman
was in need of a heart transplant and that her family was going to need some financial help. The Rebels asked all their fans to wear red and they dedicated the game to Abby Doman. They also donated every dollar they brought in from that game including tickets, concessions, apparel, and any donation they could get, to the Doman family. In total over $4,000 was raised to help Abby and her family and certainly even more help was given to the family because of the awareness that the team provided to the community.
Regardless of what you’re looking for – be it a football fix, some inexpensive family entertainment, or a group of men that are willing to sacrifice for others – you’ll find it with the Rebels.
To contact the team, or if your business is interested in being a sponsor please call Sarge at 435-817-7130.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.