There is one main target for the Spokane Shock, which is packed with incentives for three of the oldest and most decorated figures on the Indoor Football League team.
One; Win an IFL title and secure the organization’s fourth championship.
Two; Help quarterback Charles McCullum, receiver Troy Evans Jr. and defensive back Mike Green break records in their respective positions.
Runner-up Shock (3-1), who will host the Northern Arizona Wranglers (0-4) on Saturday, can tick any of these boxes at their current rate.
After sending reigning IFL champion and annual power Sioux Falls Storm 50-32 onto the streets last week, the Shock is bringing a three-game winning streak back to Spokane Arena, making fans possible for the first time since the organization was reborn.
Shock’s roster is a mixed mix of ex-Power 5 college athletes who are still adapting to the game and veterans who have set off from smaller schools to make a name for themselves in their niche brand of professional football close.
McCullum, Evans and Green are the latter and are consistently present in an 18-year-old league with high player turnover.
“We want to go out there and do our best, and for the community too,” said Evans. “In small towns there is something to look at and inspiration for the children.”
35-year-old McCullum, the reigning IFL offensive player of the week, is 457 yards from the all-time hit mark (11,942).
McCullum began as a freshman to Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) Florida A&M before moving to Stillman College, where he started for three years and was among the best passers-by in the history of the NCAA Division I school.
As a junior at the small school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, McCullum passed 2,103 yards, 18 touchdowns, and stormed for 330 yards.
“He can still walk and is still in really good athletic physical shape,” said Billy Back, Spokane Shock coach.
He and Back previously had Nashville Venom, Wichita Falls, Nighthawks, and Carolina Cobras. teamed up
“Nobody wants to be an indoor or arena player in college, but if you want to be there and focus, you can have a great career,” Back said of McCullum. “He did it right.”
Evans played in the Mid-American Conference at Marshall University and gained some interest in the Canadian Football League before hitting the indoor route, which is now just 368 yards from the all-time all-purpose yard record Break IFL (6,976).
Evan, 31, is in his seventh IFL season and has also played with Back, McCullum and Green in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The 5-foot-9 runabout will have a career in grooming and coaching at the end of his career, but he still believes he is in his prime and his numbers reflect that claim.
“I’ve always had a thing for outdoor play, just scratching and clawing (for a career),” said Evans. “I love the indoor game. It’s fast paced and (the veterans) have a camaraderie).
Green, who turns 30 in July, has played five-a-side football for six years, including three years at IFL.
The Shock co-leader with Cedric Poole (33 tackles) has 23 interceptions in his IFL career, the league’s ninth-best career of all time.
“I could have more this year, but I dropped them,” joked Green, a former NCAA Division II standout at Lenoir-Ryhne in Hickory, North Carolina.
Back said Green plans to retire from indoor football after this season and is counting on his defensive lead.
Defending the shock scores 29.5 per game, the best in the league.
“A lot of people come into the arena thinking they can do what they did (in college football) but it’s so different,” said Green. “Having these veterans is great.”
The Frisco Fighters (4-0) are the best-placed team in the league and defeated the Shock 36-33 in the last few seconds in May, a season opening competition in the Spokane Arena without fans.
Green has improved tremendously since then.
“Our attention to detail is better,” said Green. “We felt comfortable early on because we knew we had vets and what we had done in previous years. We had to buckle up and concentrate on the moment. “