Tampa Bay Thunder Host Inaugural Practice

by Joshua Katz

On October 5th, 2021, the Tampa Bay Thunder held their inaugural practice to kick off their first season as a member of the Football Federation Alliance (FFA).

Taking place at the University of South Florida’s Fowler Fields from 8:00pm to 10:30pm, the Thunder’s entire roster laced up their cleats for the first time this season.

Led by Head Coach Rey Riveros, Offensive Coordinator Robert Whitaker, Defensive Coordinator Reggie Brown, as well as all position coaches, the Thunder participated in many different drills their first night practicing under the lights. First, the players took part in one-on-one drills, then moved onto individual position drills, then moved onto separate Offensive and Defensive formations and concepts. The end of practice featured seven-on-seven drills with the Offense practicing their newly learned schemes and formations. The Thunder Defense did the same.

When asked about his opinion on the current status of the team, here’s what Tampa Bay Thunder President, Jake Moore, had to say, “I think the whole offseason always has that anticipation of building the team, recruiting guys, and now it’s finally the fun part. We get to see our actual players going to work [on the field] and try to build something special…I think we’re a team that can come out and compete right away.”

Though the season for the Thunder does not begin until February 2022, it is always crucial to make sure that a team’s coaches and front office staff create a standard for the team to follow by.

Here is what Head Coach Rey Riveros had to say following his team’s first ever practice, “We’re getting guys literally off the streets. We have guys who have played a lot of football, guys who have played a little football, guys who played Arena [Football], guys who played Semi-Pro [Football]. We’re getting a lot of guys who come from a lot of different places and have played a lot of different football, so we’re just trying to mesh them into our standard and make sure that we are all on the same page.”

The Tampa Bay Thunder have quite the amount of work to do in order to make sure all of the players on the team will be in game shape by the time the first game rolls around. Luckily, for the coaching staff, its currently only the beginning of October.

For right now, time is money for the Thunder. They need to use it to the best of their ability.

Tampa Bay will continue hosting their practices every Tuesday night from now until the start of the season. For the time being, it is still unclear as to where their home games will be played at.

Make sure to check back in next week for more information and news on the Tampa Bay Thunder, Tampa’s newest and upcoming team. #SlamTheHammer (Photo by: Gio Alvarez)