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Pettis wins AFL Ironman for second year in a row
For the second year in a row Hinesville native Will Pettis was named the 2008 Ironman of the Year for the Arena Football League. - photo by Photo Provided/Coastal Courier
Hinesville's very own Arena Football standout two-way player Will Pettis was once again tapped as the AFL's Ironman of the year. It is the second consecutive year he has received the league's most prestigious individual award given to its best all-around player.
He also received his fifth straight selection to the 2008 All- Ironman Team.
As the league moves away from two-way players, due to a change in the substitution rule, Pettis knows there may come a time when he may focus his skills either as a defensive player or an offensive player, and not both at the same time.
During a news conference after receiving his award Pettis said, "I was talking to somebody earlier about my career and prolonging it (by) maybe not playing both ways anymore. And I was really thinking about that, this probably being the last year that I play both ways."
Pettis has felt some disappointment in the Dallas Desperados' post season record after the Desperados were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs three consecutive years. He told reporters that being named Ironman is great but he has a bigger goal in mind.
"The award is great, " he said. "I'm glad to win it. But I want to win a championship."
Despite missing three full games and two half games this year due to injuries, Pettis finished tied for 13th in total points scored among non-kickers with 186 (25 receiving touchdowns, five rushing and one interception return). He also ranked eighth in the AFL with 1,960 all-purpose yards (37 rushing, 1,035 receiving, 817 on kickoffs and a 71-yard interception return). His 95 catches helped him keep his status as the Desperados' all-time leading receiver (571 catches for 6,624 yards and 142 touchdowns). He is ranked ninth on the team with 22 1⁄2 tackles and four pass breakups playing on the defense.
Pettis became the first player in AFL history to score a touchdown four different ways in a single game (receiving, rushing, passing and an interception return).
As Pettis waits for his next season as the longest tenured Desperado on the roster his love of the game and mentoring skills will be shared with the younger players he hopes to develop. He's entering his third year as an assistant coach for Trinity Christian Academy where he will over see the secondary.

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