INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Tucson team will be called Thunder Kats

Front office receives makeover, but March start date still on tap
2010-07-15T00:00:00Z 2010-07-15T05:52:45Z Tucson team will be called Thunder KatsRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 15, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Tucson's Indoor Football League franchise reintroduced itself Wednesday with a new front office, logo, colors and a name.

The Tucson Thunder Kats will wear electric blue and silver uniforms when they open play in March at Tucson Convention Center.

Demond Williams, the team's president and acting general manager, said he "wanted to get something that was vicious and made sense to Arizona." The team's nickname is spelled with a "K," in part to distinguish itself from the Arizona Wildcats.

"I'm sure the U of A is fine with it," Williams said.

The Thunder Kats name was a runaway winner on the team's website, Williams said, even though it did not place in the Star's official name-the-team contest. The Star's winner was Desert Storm, which garnered 33 percent of the online votes; the Tucson Gunslingers (23 percent) finished second.

Williams and majority owner Mario Wiggins reshuffled the front office - and took over naming rights - following a dispute with co-owners late last month.

Co-owner Dart Clark and wife Teri Clark, the franchise's sales manager, resigned. Wiggins remained as the majority owner, and Williams, a former Pima College and Michigan State player, assumed general manager duties.

The team has yet to hire a head coach, even though player tryouts are scheduled for Saturday. The cost for prospective players is $75 if they register on the team's website, www.tucsonifl.com, and $100 on the day of the workout.

Former Sunnyside High School and UA running back David Adams will continue to work with the team as an adviser. His role will likely increase as the franchise moves forward, Williams said.

Adams' 11-year-old stepson, Christian Starks, came up with the Thunder Kats, name. Starks and Adams watch the 1980s "ThunderCats" cartoon series on DVD all the time; Christian suggested the Tucson team adopt the heroes' names.

"The name just stuck," Adams said. "You don't want the Tucson Roadrunners or the Tucson DaisyCats. … You want somebody that can strike a little bit of fear in you.

"You remember the ThunderCats - they were very aggressive, hero-type people. They'd say, 'we come to save the day, and we always win.'"

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