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Ex-Viper Heath Springer to play for Raptors in 2005
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February 21, 2005 - Huntsville, AL – Tennessee Valley Raptors coach Dick Adams has announced the signing of defensive lineman Heath Springer, a former Vipers’ superstar and standout at North Alabama and Cumberland.

Springer (6-foot-2, 295) joins a defense that already includes returning leading tackler Henry Freeman and veteran defensive back David Knott as the team heads towards its inaugural United Indoor Football season.

“I’m excited about getting Heath Springer back,’’ said Adams, whose team opens training camp March 1. “I know he’s a good football player and I’m looking for his leadership and his ability to lead the guys on the defense along with David and Henry.

“I think it gives us a good core on defense. We’ve got experience and we can line up and play.”

Springer played in 20 games for Tennessee Valley from 2000-01, making 34 tackles with 12.5 sacks. His eight sacks in ‘00 tied him for fourth in af2 and helped him earn second-team all-league honors.

“I’m just really excited with the new league and the team’s new name,’’ said Springer, 30, who teaches special education and coaches high school football in Lebanon, Tenn.

“I was a part of the original team and now I want to be part of the beginning of this team. The people of Huntsville are great and so is the organization. I just want to put a winner out there, put the Raptors on the map and get them going in the right direction.”

Springer began his college career at UNA and was a true freshman starter on a 1993 team that went 14-0 and won the NCAA Division II championship. He later became a three-time All-Mid-South pick at Cumberland University from 1995-97 and was an NAIA All-American and the MSC Player of the Year during his senior season.

The Raptors open the UIF regular season March 19 at Evansville and will host the Tupelo FireAnts in their home opener April 16 at the Von Braun Center.

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