Thursday, February 22, 2007


By Mick Hammond

2006 was a year that had started with high expectations for the IFL’s Toronto Dragons, but it ultimately ended in disappointment.

After winning their first ever team battle over the San Jose Razorclaws to start the second season of the IFL, they were promptly ousted by eventual tournament champions, the Quad Cities Silverbacks in the second round, and Dragons’ head coach Carlos Newton has yet to earn his first personal victory in the promotion.

But with a new year comes new hopes, enthusiasm, and according to now-middleweight team representative Brent Beauparlant, a chance to redeem themselves and turn some heads in the 2007 IFL campaign, starting with this Friday’s match-up with the Portland Wolfpack in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We did all right,” admitted Brent of the Dragons’ performances last year. “I think it was a very average performance. We talked about that a lot, that if the team this year is going to go anywhere, we’re going to have to meld a lot more.”

Beauparlant continued, “A lot of guys on the team are going to have to step up. There are a lot of top guys coming into the IFL, and every year there will be more and more top guys coming in, so we’re going to have to start training together a lot more and putting on a good show.”

As Brent sees it, there is no real reason why the team can’t be successful this year, considering all the incentives they have to achieve beyond what they accomplished in 2006.

“Last year in our second fight we had two replacements, we’ve had guys that have come and gone, and it’s sort of like a painful growth that’s going on,” admitted Beauparlant. “At the end of the day I don’t really care who else is experiencing it, because we get win bonuses, team bonuses and it would be really awesome to get that ring.”

“I think a lot of guys weren’t really aware of it, that if you do well individually there’s superfights and the grand prix, so there’s only incentive for people to do better. There can’t be any excuses. Be a professional, get the job done and work as a team,” added Brent.

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