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Will Pettis returns to arena football
Former Bradwell Institute football player and Hinesville resident Will Pettis returned to arena football as a member of the Dallas Vigilantes. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

Former Bradwell Institute football player and Hinesville resident Will Pettis has returned to arena football and Dallas after the Dallas Vigilantes activated the two-time Ironman of the Year and former Dallas Desperados wide receiver/defensive back on June 1.

Pettis was the longest-tenured player for the Desperados and considered one of the Arena Football League’s premier players. In six seasons with the Desperados, Pettis compiled 566 receptions for 6,526 yards and 142 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 121 yards on 48 carries and 14 touchdowns. Pettis earned 223 total tackles and made 20 interceptions.

In December 2008, owners of the AFL announced that the league would not have a 2009 season because of economic hardship.

In November 2009, the League Office of Arena Football One announced it had submitted a formal offer to purchase the assets of the Arena Football League in an effort to re-establish the sport.

AFL One reorganized, signed some teams from the original AFL and accepted bids for new teams, which were forming or moving up from Arena Football League 2.

In January, AFL One announced the 2010 team alignments and spring schedule.

With the Vigilantes currently at 1-7, the coach thinks Pettis will be a tremendous asset.

"We’re very happy to have Will Pettis back in the family," Dallas Vigilantes interim head coach James Fuller said. "He’s done a lot in this community, both on and off the football field, and he’s meant a lot to the Dallas area. Hopefully, he can come in and be the same player for the Vigilantes that he was with the Desperados."

"I’m playing to teach these young guys how to play the game," Pettis said. "I did some praying and have peace about one more go around. Hopefully, we can help the rebuilding process."

Pettis was expected to make his Vigilantes debut last Saturday night when the Vigilantes hosted the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings. They lost 69-70.

No stats for the game were posted at press time.

The Vigilantes were set to battle at the Tulsa Talons on Friday night and will be at the Alabama Vipers on June 19.

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