Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maurice Thorne: the Local Guy

If you were to come across Maurice (Rece) Thorne as you walked the streets of Richmond, you would have no idea he was a professional athlete.  He comes off as just another local guy who works, enjoys his family and loves football.  But once you get to know him, you realize just how passionate he is about playing for his hometown team, the Richmond Raiders.

Raised in Hopewell, VA, Rece began playing football at the age of seven in a local junior league where he started at HB and won a title under Coach Peanut.  As he continued through his adolescence, Rece played at several positions, but found his true calling at DB.  The highlight of his high school career came in December of 2003 when Hopewell High School beat Massaponax in the state championship. The roster was loaded with football talent, including Jerrett Brown (Richmond Raiders), PJ Berry (New Orleans VooDoo), and DeShaun Parker.  The victory was even more meaningful that year as it was Rece's final year at Hopewell and they had beaten local rival Meadowbrook to make it to the the championship game. 

After high school graduation, Rece attended North Carolina Wesleyan.  While the main focus was academics, he did join the football team, where he went on to play in five games.  Rece decided to leave North Carolina after his freshman year and moved back to the Richmond area to pursue a career in finance.  Even though he had put football behind him, it called him back in the form of local semi-pro teams.

Rece joined the RAFL VA Cowboys (http://www.rafl.net/) and the VA Hornets (http://www.vahornets.com/) and continued to grow as a defensive player.  It was at one of these team functions that he first heard about the Richmond Raiders in the fall of 2009.  Immediately Rece knew it was time to go pro.

He attended the open try-outs and made the 2010 roster for the Richmond Raiders, playing along side Jerome Mann and Deleon Raynor in the backfield, and Jerrett Brown at LB.  The Raiders would end up with a 6-8 record in the AIFA East and missed the playoffs.  After the 2010 season, the Raider roster faced massive turn over as the core of the 2010 Richmond Revolution came aboard and a majority of the first year Raider players signed with Fayetteville.  Rece stayed put.

The 2011 Raider team was stacked with talent but was plagued with injuries.  Rece didn't see much playing time during the first half of the season, but when Stephen Cason and JR Rosegreen went out, he came in and became a play maker.  He would finish the 2011 season leading the Raider defense in total interceptions.  The Raiders finished the 2011 season with a record of 6-6.

When asked what it meant to him to be a part of the Richmond Raiders, Rece responded "I'm the under the radar guy.  I'm the local guy.  When you go to Kroger you might see me there.  I'm not going anywhere unless I get called up.  I will never forget where I came from."

If Rece can come back in 2012 and repeat his 2011 performance, there is no question that the he will leave the under the radar title far behind.

Follow me on twitter @rubenfoster

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The End of the Richmond Revolution?


Just released today. Details the financial problems plaguing Steve Burton and SportsQuest.  The Richmond Revolution are no more.  Article claims they will only be out one year, but the team will probably never return.  I wouldn't trust Steve Burton as far as I could throw him.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Breaking News

***None of the following has been confirmed by Raider management***
An anonymous source outside of Richmond has confirmed the Raiders will indeed leave the SIFL and move to a new league for the 2012 season.  This league will not be the UIFL or the IFL as I had previously stated, but a new league made up of some old SIFL teams.  If his information is correct the league would look like this:

Southeastern Conference:

1. Alabama
2. Albany
3. Columbus
4. Knoxville
5. Louisiana
6. Richmond

The Western Conference would be comprised of six teams all in Texas and would be known as the "Lone Star" conference. 
What this means:

In 2011 the Raiders lost twice to Albany and once to Columbus.  Alabama was terrible and was an easy home win.  Louisiana (formerly owned by Thom Hager) represented the Eastern conference in the SIFL championship game, and are strong competitors each year.
This would put Richmond into a very tough conference, but would be financially less costly than the IFL or UIFL.  The Raiders have played two seasons in two leagues, and at the end of each season each league failed.  The failure was not caused by the Fraizer family, but by cheap league owners that favored their own personal needs over the league (John Morris, Thom Hager).  This third league will give Elizabeth and Mike Fraizer some league control.  I expect an official announcement by August 28th.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rumor Mill

The rumor mill is picking up as we get further away from the end of the regular season for the Richmond Raiders.

Based on my information, a ton of Raider news will be breaking in the next four weeks.  To date, the only returning coach is James Fuller.  The position coaches have not been offered contracts yet.  Whether they return in 2012 remains to be seen, but right now the only coach on staff is returning head coach James Fuller.  2011 defensive coach Brian Edmonds did confirm he has not been offered a contract for the 2012 season yet.  October tryouts for next season should also be announced very soon as well.

Of course the news everyone is waiting for will be the league affiliation.   It seems the SIFL is falling apart quickly as the Alabama Hammers and Richmond Raiders have both removed all SIFL links, logos and mentions from their official websites.  This is likely a way for the teams to move away from league president Thom Hager and start fresh somewhere else.  Possible leagues are the IFL, UIFL or a newly created league.  John Morris's new AIFA seems like a bad idea for the franchise.  Expect an official league announcement sometime shortly after Labor Day.

The Richmond Revolution seem to be falling apart.  Two weeks ago the Revolution began releasing essential team employees from it's payroll (this has been confirmed).   It also appears that the URL for the Richmond Revolution has expired http://www.richmondrevolution.com/
When asked if there would be a 2012 season, a member of the Revolution staff responded 'As far as we know' via the official Facebook page. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Meeting of the Unofficial Richmond Raider Fan Club

Tonight the Unofficial Richmond Raider Fan Club (URRFC) gathered for its inaugural meeting at Big Al's Sports Bar & Grill for food, drinks and Redskins football.  Everyone had a great time. Thank you to all that attended including, my beautiful wife Catie Foster, Law Lewis, Robbie Clark, Jackson Clark, Lady Raider Kelly, Big Al, Gary Criswell, Spencer Sturgeon, Joanne Sturgeon and Michelle Sturgeon.

Richmond Raider Social at Big Al's Sports Bar & Grill

This evening Big Al's Sports Bar & Grill will be hosting a social for Raider fans, players and staff beginning at 6:30pm.  C Derek Stout and newly retired DL Law Lewis have both confirmed attendance.  Gary Criswell (manger of the restaurant) will have the AFL championship game on a couple of screens along with the Redskins vs Steelers preseason game.  Big Al's is located at

3641 Cox Rd #F
Richmond, VA 23233

Pictures will follow.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wes McElroy Agrees to Attend a Richmond Raider Game

Tonight was 'Football Frenzy' night at the Flying Squirrels game at the Diamond. As guest fan judge for the Lady Raider auditions I was able to attend for free and judge a short dance routine prior to the National Anthem.

Luckily for me just before entering the stadium to take my seat as guest judge, who should arrive but one Wes McElroy. Immediately I darted over to the Sports AM 910 tent and cornered him. After waiting a few minutes for Wes to end his conversation with Gary Criswell, I introduced myself. He was very friendly and I did apologize to him for being a jerk on this blog. He understood and said it was part of his job (also something was said about the 1st amendment). After the small talk subsided I got straight to the point. I flat out asked Wes if he had ever attended a Raider game. Surprisingly he never has. That is when I made Wes an offer he could not refuse. He would attend the Raider home opener in March of 2012 at no cost to him and as my guest. He accepted.

In March of 2012 one Wesley Adam McElroy will discover how incredible sitting on the dasher wall at a Raider game really is.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wes McElroy Update and Lady Raider Auditions

As you can see from my previous blog post, I shared my opinions on WRNL's afternoon host Wes McElroy a couple of weeks back.  It was a blog I had considered posting for some time but was hesitant due to its negative tone.  After much deliberation I went ahead published it, and once it was posted it was washed from my mind.

Anyhow, yesterday afternoon out of nowhere I received the following tweet:

@rubenfoster dude I just saw your blog and Top 10 [6] ...that is awesome!!!!

Two things came to mind upon reading his tweet to me:
1. Its good to see Wes has a sense of humor and didn't lash out at me in anger.
2. I can now remove #5 since he tweeted at me.

Thank you for getting back to me Wes.

The Lady Raiders Dance Team is holding auditions for the 2011-2012 squad. Final auditions and judging will take place at the 2011 Carytown Watermelon Festival Sunday afternoon beginning at 12:30pm. I was forunate enough to be selected to judge the auditions as the 'Fan Judge'. Very soon the 24 newest memebers of the Lady Raiders will be selected. Good luck to all of the participants.