Carlos McNeary discusses arena football.

2 GRID IRON Despite finishing the 2002 season with a record of 5-11, the Memphis Xplorers AFL2 have many positive pieces of the success puzzle in place. In fact, wide-out Carlos McNeary finished the season leading the team in receptions ( 82 ), receiving yards ( 1165 ), and touchdowns ( 28). McNeary is optimistic about his future in arena football and, more importantly, his opportunity and aspirations of playing in the National Football League. The Flyer recently sat down and discussed football wityh McNeary. Flyer: Talk about the season, on some nights the Xplorers were unstoppable, while in other games the team struggled. What’s your take on this year’s team? McNeary: This season started out great, but its been a disappointment for us. We took like 7 losses in a row and it’s been kind of hard to recover from it. Flyer: You guys beat this team (Peoria Pirates) up in Illinois. But tonight they get the win. Tell me about when teams remember what happened the last time they played against you? McNeary: Just like they will remember us beating them when they were on a big winning streak we came in there (Peoria) and stole it from them. And tonight they came in and beat us. Flyer: What do you want sports fans to know about this year’s Memphis Xplorers Arena Football Football 2 Team? McNeary: The Xplorers, we should have went and got the job done but hopefully fans will have faith in us and know that we will regroup if the team decides to get back together next year. We will regroup, we will get the job done, make the playoffs, and make a championship run. Flyer: Compare playing indoors in the Arena Football League with playing NCAA football outdoors on weekends in college. McNeary: It’s different, you get a lot more room to work with when your outside and here it’s basically a quick passing game. In Arena football you’ve got to deliver the ball quick, catch the ball and get up field. You don’t have time to look around and look for openings. Flyer: Talk about your days at Bethel College (McKenzie, TN); what are your thoughts on intercollegiate athletics? Mcneary: I loved it. I had a great time while I was there like everybody. When college football is gone you miss it, but we have to move on to bigger and better things and look for more success on another level. Flyer: Any final comments on your first season with the Memphis Xplorers and your future aspirations to play in the Canadian Football League, NFL Europe, or the NFL? McNeary: I couldn’t ask for anything better. I was up for rookie of the year, and I set team records. I wasn’t supposed to be playing this year but in the first game of the season I caught 5 touchdown passes and success has been going great from there.



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