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Pettis named to 2008 All-Iron-Man Team
Will Pettis - photo by Photo by Patty Leon/Coastal Courier
For the fifth consecutive year, former Bradwell Institute standout and Hinesville native Will Pettis was named to the Arena Football League's All-Iron-Man Team two weeks ago.
One of the few players in the league who still plays on both the offense and defense, Pettis is favored to become the league's Iron-Man Player of the Year, an award he also won last season.
Despite suffering two concussions and back spasms this season, Pettis managed 1,960 total yards of which 1,035 were as a receiver. He has 25 touchdown receptions, five rushing scores, returned one interception for a touchdown and completed two passes for a touchdown.
"It feels good to get the respect from my peers especially for playing both ways," Pettis said during a phone interview from his hometown in Dallas. "It makes me feel great that I'm able to go up against guys, both on offense and defense, that are specialty players. And me being an all-over player and holding my own, it just feels great that my skills allow me to do that."
Pettis said he is fortunate despite his recent injuries because he was still able to play and finish the season.
"I missed three total games and two half games this season," he said. "But I feel fine and I never really had any symptoms or headaches so I was blessed. I never got sick, had any headaches, bruising or swelling so I feel truly blessed."
His good fortune stopped at his health, however, as the Dallas Desperados were once again eliminated in the first round of playoffs despite a strong regular season where they went 12-4 before being eliminated by the New York Dragons last Friday.
"It seems like in the regular season when it didn't mean much and we got into hard times we got right through them," Pettis said. "But in the playoffs it looks like we just got a little too tight and too wound up and that was not good. I think our biggest thing is we have to come together. I think that we really, in the thick of things, played as one. But I think we kind of got a little flustered with each other."
With the season over, Pettis said he plans to enjoy some down time by spending time with his wife and children. He said thoughts of football and next season would come later down the line.
Asked if he would switch over to the NFL, he joked, "If they give me some money to come, then yes." But, he added, given that he is 30 years old, he feels more established in the league that has given him the accolades and support for nearly a decade.
"When I first came into the league I did not plan to stay for as long as I did," Pettis said. "I only planned to play for a year or two. But after six seasons I am content. I've had some great experiences and met a great group of men and coaches and had the opportunity to travel to cities I would've never seen outside of football. I'm grateful for all my experiences, good bad and indifferent. Hopefully in these next few years we can get our championship and then we will see after that."
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