Soul kick off season Saturday against Atlantic City

Matt Leon
April 26, 2019 - 10:51 am
Philadelphia Soul

Vernon Ray/Creative Mind Productions

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Soul will be home to begin their 2019 season as they welcome the expansion franchise Atlantic City Blackjacks to the Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia is coming off a 7-5 season in 2018, when they lost in the semifinals of the playoffs to Baltimore. 

Clint Dolezel enters his seventh season as head coach of the Soul, and he's ready to get started.

"I'm excited," he said. "Got a lot of new faces on our team, bunch of rookies, so I'm anxious to see what they can do Saturday."

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The Soul also have several familiar faces back on the roster this season.

"Every one of my guys that I asked back came in shape," Dolezel said. "They look great. They had great training camps."

Dan Raudabaugh, a key veteran for the Soul, is one of the best signal callers in AFL history. The quarterback is getting ready to start his eighth season in Philadelphia. 

He played in just seven games in 2018 because of an injury, but Dolezel said he is ready to go this year.

"Dan's in great shape," Dolezel added. "He did a phenomenal job of being prepared for the training camp and teaching our young guys what to do."

This will be the debut of the Atlantic City Blackjacks, but Dolezel noted they are an expansion team in name only.

"Their roster is not an expansion team roster," he said. "They have a bunch of veterans. They have an MVP quarterback from just two years ago in (Randy) Hippeard. If you have a good quarterback, you have a chance in every game. 

"They have a veteran line on both sides of the ball. They have a veteran secondary. Their receiving corps — they only have a couple veterans there, but that's all you need; two out of the three spots are veterans. 

"They're a very experienced team," he continued, "probably more so than we are if you want to get right down to it, as far as years played with their starters."

Saturday's game gets underway at 3:30 p.m.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @MattLeon1060.