Wichita Force

Force returns home for season-defining stretch

Wichita's Clarence Anderson (9) runs back a kick off return for a TD against Omaha in the first quarter at Intrust Bank Arena on April 3.
Wichita's Clarence Anderson (9) runs back a kick off return for a TD against Omaha in the first quarter at Intrust Bank Arena on April 3. The Wichita Eagle

A six- or seven-hour bus ride for the Wichita Force, made unpleasant already by its length and by the cramped nature of trying to fit professional indoor football players into too-small seats on a bus with too-small bathrooms and not enough ventilation, can become even more tiresome after a loss.

But it’s in these times, Force defensive lineman Matt Moss thinks, that you can really find out what kind of team you have.

“You win, everybody’s happy and there’s really no worries or stress on the way back,” Moss said. “But after a tough loss you get to see each other take it on the chin, so to speak, and I think it can make you grow closer. Often, the loss is what brings you together a little more.”

After playing three straight road games and dropping two of those – at Texas and last Saturday at Sioux City – the Force finally return home to Intrust Bank Arena on Friday to take on the Dodge City Law (6-3), which sits in first in the Champions Indoor Football standings.

Wichita (5-3) hasn’t played at home since April 3, when it defeated Omaha 59-42.

“One thing I know is that our team hasn’t shown any quit,” said Moss, who played at Texas A&M. “There have been no excuses after the last couple of losses and I think that says a lot about our character. We know we’ve still got a lot to play for.”

The Force do have a lot to play for and its next three games – all at home – represent a season-defining stretch. Wichita is in a three-way tie for third in the CIF with Sioux City and Amarillo and seven of the nine CIF teams are separated by one or two games.

Several members of the Force, including Moss, are trying for a third straight title after winning back-to-back Champions Professional Indoor Football League titles with the now-defunct Wichita Wild in 2013 and 2014.

“A lot of these guys have been playing with each other for awhile now,” Moss said. “And we see the schedule and we see we get to play this next stretch at home and think winning another title is attainable. Dodge City has a powerful offense and (Friday) should be a battle ... I think we’re all happy to get home, play some games and show our fans and the city what kind of team we are.”

Force to host All Skills Challenge – The Force and Westar Energy will host the Wichita Force All Skills Challenge on May 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at Intrust Bank Arena for children ages 7 to 12 to punt, pass and kick.

The skills challenge, run by Force players and staff, will be split up into three age categories and registration is free. One-hour registration blocks directly followed by the competition begin at 8 a.m. for kids 7-8, 9 a.m. for 9-10and 10 a.m. for 11-12.

Each participant will receive a free ticket to the game at IBA against the Salina Bombers that night, and the top three finishers from each age group will be given prizes and recognized before the game.

To register early, contact the Force office at 316-425-3009 or download the registration form at wichitaforce.com, fill it out and e-mail it to info@wichitaforce.com.

Reach Tony Adame at 316-268-6284 or tadame@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @t_adame.

DODGE CITY LAW AT WICHITA FORCE

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Intrust Bank Arena

Records: Dodge City 6-3, Wichita 5-3

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