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Panthers join new league, set first tryout date Oct. 22

Albany Panthers owner Rod Chappell

Albany Panthers owner Rod Chappell

ALBANY -- The defending Southern Indoor Football League champion Albany Panthers announced their schedule for the 2012 season Tuesday during a press conference.

And that wasn't all.

The Panthers are also changing leagues, becoming one of the founding members of the Professional Indoor Football League.

"Several owners desired to take more control of their destiny and provide more input in league development," Panthers owner Rod Chappell said. "The PIFL is the outcome of those desires."

The PIFL will feature usual foes, including the Columbus Lions, Louisiana Swashbucklers, Richmond Raiders, Alabama Hammers and the newly formed Knoxville KnightHawks.

The 12-game season kicks off with the Raiders coming to the Albany Civic Center on March 17. The season runs through Saturday, June 16, with playoffs the following week.

The schedule also includes three matchups with SIFL runner-up, the Louisiana Swashbucklers, who also defected from the league.

"We will be ready for this challenge," Panthers GM Will Carter said.

PANTHERS SET TRYOUTS: The first tryout for the 2012 Panthers squad will be Oct. 22 from 9-10 a.m. at the Silverback Sports Center in Suwanee. The cost is $50, and those interested must be 18 years of age or older.

For more information, call the Panthers' main office at (229) 435-1230.