Wichita Force

Wild's Solomon dancing on

When "Sweet Home Alabama" blared during a timeout at last week's playoff game, Wichita Wild showman and wide receiver Clinton Solomon pretended to put his thumbs in his belt loops and proceeded with what can only be described semi-accurately as a Boot Scootin' Boogie, Hoedown, Tush Push, two-step Country and Western dance... thing.

It won't rank as one of the top performances for Solomon, an Indoor Football League star who, at seemingly every stoppage, turns the turf at Hartman Arena into his personal dance floor.

"Oh, man, I was just doing the western thing I learned when I was at Iowa," said Solomon, a Hawkeye from 2002-05, with a laugh. "I've watched some country videos, you know, picked up on some things."

Solomon, who is both playful and a playmaker, craves attention, and he gets it by dancing, high-fiving fans, teasing the crowd, jawing with opponents.

And by catching lots of footballs.

"Solo," as his teammates call him, is a first-team all-league receiver, but he may not haul in many passes on Saturday, when the Wild plays at Sioux Falls in the United Conference championship game.

Strangely, that would be fine with Solomon.

More than any team in the league, the Sioux Falls Storm has proven adept at limiting Solomon's effectiveness. In fact, in one of the three games the teams played this season, Solomon went without a catch.

He is quick to point out that it's the only game the Wild won, 44-26 on April 3. So his absence from the stats box didn't trouble him at all.

"I promise you it didn't, because we got the win," he said.

In that game, Solomon was frequently double-teamed — a defensive strategy the Wild expects to see again on Saturday night. The 6-foot-4 Solomon has faced the extra attention so often in his two-year indoor career that he has developed a mindset for attacking it.

"The way I look at it, I've got one guy to beat and then it's back to normal football," he said. "Once I beat the guy in front, then it's one-on-one with me and the safety.

"I've just got to be fast and play smart. I'll have opportunities to get open, and hopefully we can make plays."

If not, red-hot quarterback Dixie Wooten will be forced to look for other options. Hurtis Chinn has been the team's No. 2 wide receiver all season, and Edgar Givens has recently developed into a threat; he had three catches in the Round 1 playoff victory.

"It's gonna be real big that we get other people involved," coach Ken Matous said.

Solomon agreed. In fact, he said that he wouldn't at all mind coming up empty again on the stat sheet if it meant the Wild could advance to the IFL championship game.

"I've done my thing as far as stats," he said. "People know I can play. We've got other great athletes on this team. Let them make the plays. Us winning, that's all that matters."

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