AFL PRESS RELEASE
Philadelphia, Pa. (August 1, 2019) – The Arena Football League today announced the 2019 First and Second All-Arena teams. All six of the League’s teams are represented on either the first or second teams, a nod to the strength of talent spread throughout the League. Of the 37 players named, 10 find their way to a 2019 All-Arena Team for the first time in their career.
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The Albany Empire (10-2) led the way with 11 of its players selected to All-Arena teams, with 9 first-team selections. The Baltimore Brigade (7-5) saw eight total selections, with four players selected to both the first and second teams. The Philadelphia Soul (7-5) finished with six total selections, three to each team. Both the Washington Valor (7-5) and the Atlantic City Blackjacks (4-8) finished with four total selections to the second team. The Columbus Destroyers (1-11) finished with three All-Arena selections, two to the first team and one to the second team.
The League’s top-ranked offense Albany Empire had six offensive first-team selections. Empire QB Tommy Grady earned his third First-Team All-Arena selection after leading the League in passing yards (3097), passing touchdowns (68) and QB rating (125.5). Grady is joined on the first team by teammate receivers, Quentin Sims and Malachi Jones. This duo was nearly unstoppable this season; Jones led the League in receptions (96) and receiving yards (1440), while Sims led the League in receiving touchdowns (29). Philadelphia Soul teammates, WR Darius Prince and OL Neal Tivis round out the First-Team All-Arena offensive selections.
The First-Team All-Arena defense is headlined by a pair of interceptions leaders: James Romain of the Philadelphia Soul and Joe Powell of the Baltimore Brigade. Romain led the League with eight interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns. Powell collected the second-most interceptions (7) while also leading the League in both forced fumbles (5) and fumble recoveries (2).
Various members of the Baltimore Brigade’s top ranked defense are also featured on the First-Team All-Arena. Defensive linemen Darryl Cato-Bishop and Justin Lawrence, along with LB Dexter Jackson anchored a front four that led the League in sacks this year with 18.
Notable selections of the Second-Team All-Arena include Washington Valor QB Arvell Nelson, who led the League in total yards (3206) and total touchdowns (73); Albany EmpireDB Tevin Homer, who led the League in total tackles (85.5, 77 solo); and Baltimore Brigade receiver Joe Hills, who holds the record for the longest-consecutive regular season games with a touchdown reception at 103.
The Columbus Destroyers and the Atlantic City Blackjacks, both expansion teams in 2019, are well-represented on this year’s All-Arena teams. The Destroyers had two first-team selections: DB Varmah Sonie and ST Fabian Guerra. Sonie led the Destroyers with 47.5 total tackles. Guerra led the League with 736 kickoff return yards, and ranked tied for most kickoff return touchdowns (3). Additionally, Destroyers DT Terrance Taylor is recognized as a second-team selection. Taylor led the Destroyers with 2 total sacks, which ranks tied for fourth-most in the League.
The Blackjacks had four selections to the second team as WR Antwane Grant, WR LaMark Brown and DE Monte Lewis all make their first appearances to an All-Arena team. Grant ranked second in the League in receiving yards (959) and yards per game (87.2). Brown ranked tied in the League for fourth-most rushing touchdowns (7) and rushing touchdowns per game (0.6). Blackjacks kicker Mark Lewis rounds out the Second team, who had 3616 kickoff yards this season.
Ballots were distributed amongst coaches, PR staff members, broadcast members and appointed media members. Individuals who work for teams were not allowed to vote for players on their respective teams. All other awards will be announced through August 10 leading up to ArenaBowl 32.