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Franklin and McDonald Ink with 'Ants
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February 25, 2005 - Tupelo, MS-Former Delta State Statesmen Ricky Franklin and Rico McDonald hare re-signed with the FireAnts for the 2005 United Indoor Football season.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Franklin has been a member of the FireAnts since the 2003 season playing both linebacker and defensive back. In 14 games played with the ‘Ants last year, Franklin was responsible for 60.5 total tackles, one interception, three pass breakups, and one blocked kick.

A native of Columbia, Mississippi, Franklin attended Pearl River Community College before transferring to Delta State University. A standout player at the collegiate level, Franklin was a member of the 2000 Division II National Championship football team at Delta State.

“Franklin is a true football player with strong skills,” Head Coach John Fourcade said. “With such promise and ability, he is sure to make an impact on the field in 2005.”

Also joining the FireAnts for another season is running back Rico McDonald from Ripley, Mississippi. McDonald had a breakout year with the ‘Ants in 2004, leading the team’s rushing attack. In 14 games played, McDonald carried the ball 146 times for a team high 551 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also hauled in 21 receptions for 220 yards and three more scores.

The 5-foot-9, 224-pound McDonald was also a member of Delta State’s 2000 Division II National Championship team, setting the Gulf South Conference single season rushing record with 1,697 yards that same year. In 2001, McDonald became Delta State’s all-time leading rusher with 3,285 yards to his credit.

“Rico is by far one of the top running backs in the UIF,” Fourcade continues. “Good things happen when Rico touches the ball and we expect him to be a great contributor to the ‘Ants this year.”

The Tupelo FireAnts will open the 2005 season on Saturday, March 19th at the BancorpSouth Center in Tupelo, MS as the Lexington Horsemen come to town. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm. Season tickets are currently on sale through the FireAnts Office by calling (662) 620-BITE.

In other news, the FireAnts will conduct their final player open tryout of the 2005 season tomorrow at Robins Field in Tupelo with registration starting at 9:00am. Cost is $50 and includes a T-Shirt and two tickets to the 2005 home opener at the BancorpSouth Center. Interested participants must be ages 18 or older and will need to bring running shoes, cleats, and workout clothing appropriate for the weather.

For more information, call the FireAnts at (662) 620-BITE.

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“United Indoor Football is not affiliated, associated, or sponsored by any other professional football league,
the National Indoor Football League, the Arena Football League or any of its member teams.”