2012-05-02 / News

Semi-pro Titans football team to play at SportsQuest

By Fred Jeter

Something new is coming to Chesterfield County’s sports menu.

The Virginia Titans, an adult full-contact outfit that plays in the “semi-pro” Mason- Dixon Football League, will play home games this season at SportsQuest.

The team was formerly known as the Ravens.

Pre-season practices are already under way at Elkhardt Middle School, at 6300 Hull Street Road.

Scrimmages have been set for June 16 and 30.

The season opener will be on July 14 versus the New Jersey Broncos at SportsQuest.

Chester-resident Bob Yurachek, a former Ravens’ quarterback (’92-’00) and assistant coach, will coach the Titans.

Yurachek succeeds Hal Lockhart who retired after 23 seasons on the sidelines.

“Coach Lock kind of took the name (Ravens) with him into retirement,” said Yurachek.

“We have basically the same team, though – same strong core group; lots of guys coming back year after year.”

The Titans will use the New York Giants colors – blue, red, gray and white.

Returnees include quarterback Jonathan Hughes, a former L.C. Bird High player. The Ravens were 7-4 a year ago, losing to Northern Neck in first round of the playoffs.

Yurachek said that player tryouts for the Titans are “on-going.”

“Players are more than welcome to call; we’ll take a look at you,” he said, offering his phone number (833-7014) to prospects.

The Titans won Mason-Dixon titles in 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2007. The team was American Football Association national semipro runner-up in ’97 and champion of the Eastern Football Alliance (umbrella group of East-Coast leagues) in ’04.

In past, the franchise has played home games at Amelia High, Meadowbrook High, Lee-Davis High and Cameron Field in Petersburg.

The Ravens/Titans were formed in 1987 – the infamous NFL “strike season.”

Seven Ravens signed with NFL teams as “replacement players,” including five with eventual Super Bowl champ Washington.

Most players are in their 20 and 30s, but there are exceptions. Lineman McCartha Pleasants and receiver Tim Leavelle are past 50.

The Titans will plug a void left since the Arena League Richmond Revolution, sponsored by SportsQuest, folded after last season. The Revolution played at Ashe Center in 2010 and at SportsQuest last spring.

The term “semi-pro” is deceiving. Players do not get paid; in fact, they pay to play.

There are $50 dues; plus, players must pay for their jerseys and helmets. Travel is mostly by car pool.

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