On decisions both large (hiring LeBaron Hollimon as coach) and small (playing "Rocky" theme music at the first team event), the new Wichita Wings franchise has embraced the original professional indoor soccer team of the same name.
And that sentiment will extend to the playing field.
Hollimon, who played for the Wings from 1992-99, has signed two former Wings players: defenders Larry Inlow and Jamie Harding.
Another veteran of the indoor game with local ties, Maize High and Tabor College product Casey Barton, has also signed.
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Inlow, drafted out of Newman College by Wings coach Kim Roentved in 1998, was on the final team that Wichita fielded before the organization folded in 2001.
The 36-year-old, who owns a soccer store in Wichita, hasn't played since 2003 when he suited up for the San Diego Sockers.
Inlow, described by Hollimon as a "big, strong player," stresses that he isn't returning for old time's sake. He clearly recalls that the Wings, who played in the Kansas Coliseum from 1979-2001, were fixtures in the playoffs.
"But we never got that ring," Inlow said. "There's unfinished business. This is an amazing opportunity. With the leadership we have here, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to make an immediate impact."
Hollimon said that Harding, who started his five-year career with the Wings in 1995, is "extremely fast, extremely athletic — one of those utility players who allows other guys to do their jobs better."
Barton was a member of the 2007 Philadelphia Kixx, which won the Major Indoor Soccer League championship.
Notes — Hollimon said that his biggest signing so far is Carlos Farias, a veteran goal scorer. "He's an MVP quality player," Hollimon said. "He's very crafty, very good with the ball."... The Wings have also added 2007 MISL rookie of the year Frederico Moojen, a forward/midfielder. "He's definitely going to be one of the guys we count on to score goals," Hollimon said.... Former Wing Sammy Lane will be Hollimon's assistant coach. Lane will remain as women's soccer coach at Hutchinson Community College, Hollimon said.