05/31/2012 1:56 PM
CHICAGO – During the 2012 Arena Football League season, the Silver Anniversary Committee has been tasked with voting on a number of “Top 25” lists to celebrate 25 seasons of Arena Football. The Committee has voted on categories ranging from the Best Uniforms of the last 25 years to the 25 Greatest Players in AFL History.
The latest Top 25 list announced by the Silver Anniversary Committee ranks the 25 Greatest Receivers in AFL History. The Committee, which consists of longtime League executives, coaches, media members and former players, was asked to weigh in on which receivers best displayed excellence on the field, showcased the highest level of talent and meant the most to their teams.
The results of the Silver Anniversary Committee’s votes will be unveiled in three segments, beginning with the announcement of receivers 16-25. The Barnstormers have two connections to the first part of this list, WR’s Kevin Swayne and Jesse Schmidt.
16. Kevin Swayne
An All-Rookie selection in 1998 with the Iowa Barnstormers, Swayne spent all eight years of his AFL career with one franchise and catching passes from one quarterback. Swayne burst onto the scene in 1998, hauling in 76 receptions for 1,086 yards and 16 touchdowns from quarterback Aaron Garcia. His best season came in 2001 when the Barnstormers moved east and were rebranded as the New York Dragons. Swayne caught a League-high 131 balls for 1,890 yards and 43 touchdowns. Both he and his quarterback earned First-Team All-Arena honors for their performances.
25. Jesse Schmidt
One of the most talented receivers in the game today, Jesse Schmidt got his Arena Football start with the Quad City Steamwheelers of the af2 in 2007. In 2010, he made the jump to the Iowa Barnstormers of the AFL and quickly became the team’s leading receiver with 116 catches for 1,621 yards and 28 touchdowns as a rookie. In 2011, Schmidt shattered the franchise’s single-season records for points, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, finishing his First-Team All-Arena season with 334 points, 168 catches, 2,171 yards and 55 touchdowns. In a 2011 game against Chicago, he also became the team’s single-game record holder for receiving scores and touchdowns, hauling in seven touchdown grabs for 42 points. Against Chicago in 2012, Schmidt put together another impressive showing by tying the franchise record for receptions in a game with 15 in the March 30th matchup. Through 11 games this season, he has recorded 108 receptions for 1442 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2012. Schmidt is one of three active players on the Silver Anniversary Committee’s list of the 25 Greatest Receivers in AFL History. Others who made the first part of this list are listed below.
17. Dwayne Dixon
18. Gary Compton
19. Marcus Nash
20. Darryl Hammond
21. Will Pettis
22. Herkie Walls
23. Gary Mullen
24. TT Toliver
The Barnstormers battle the Cleveland Gladiators this Friday June 1 at Wells Fargo Arena. The game will be televised live nationwide on NFL Network. Great seats remain on sale for Friday night’s game for as low as $15.00 per seat. Kickoff is set for 7:05pm. The first 3,500 fans through the gates will receive a FREE rally towel courtesy of Casey’s. To order your tickets, call 515.633.2255 or log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com for more information.