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January 10, 2014

Semipro football returns to area

Roster includes local players

DUNCAN — Three men who previously played semipro football in Duncan have founded their own team, with the ultimate intent bring the game back to Duncan.

Kyle Brandstatt, Jared Belcher and James Petty, who played for the defunct Duncan Diamonds team, are the owners of the Oklahoma Nightmare. The Nightmare will play games in Cyril, but Brandstatt and general manager Tina Thacker ultimately want the team to have games in Duncan.

“We would love to have Duncan be our home field,” Thacker said. “We just need to contact the right people and present that idea to them.”

The Nightmare have several players from Duncan and Comanche. Dustin Wiley, a Duncan resident, said when he heard Brandstatt was forming a semipro team, he wanted to participate.

“I think it’s awesome,” Wiley said. “I’ve known Kyle for four years and, when I heard he was going to make his otwn team, I thought, ‘Man, I’m all in.’”

Wiley remembered his senior year of football at Duncan in 2007 and how hard it was to know it was his last football game. He  played for the defunct Oklahoma Chiefs of Comanche and now joins the Nightmare roster. Wiley said it’s a good feeling to get together with other adults to enjoy the sport they love.

“The semipro game is all fun,” Wiley said. “You are with other adults who all know what they are doing. To play organized sports with other adults is just awesome.”

Brandstatt, from Rush Springs, said that he had the opportunity to play college football but opted not to. A couple of years later, though, he realized how much he missed the sport and explored options. He first considered Arena Football, but when he heard about the Diamonds, he tried out and made the team.

“It was like a second chance,” Brandstatt said.

After the Diamonds folded, Brandstatt, Belcher, who is also from Rush Springs, and Petty, a Cyril resident, played for another semipro team, the Oklahoma Chiefs based out of Comanche. When that team folded, Brandstatt, Belcher and Petty put together plans for their own team.

The Nightmare are part of a six-team league in its inaugural season. The other teams are the Oklahoma Gladiators, the Oklahoma Chargers, the Oklahoma City Force, the Northern Oklahoma Bulldogs, and the Green Country (Kan.) Phoenix. Each team may field a 40-man roster. The Nightmare have 32 players so far. The team will hold a scrimmage Jan. 18 in Cyril.

The Nightmare intend to put all money raised from admission back into the communities the team represents, bydonating to local non-profit organizations, Thatcher said.

Brandstatt said he wants the games to have a family-friendly atmosphere, and for the players and staff to be supportive of the communities they represent. He said he doesn’t want the league to grow too large.

“We don’t want it to where guys have to try out for spots,” Brandstatt said. “We want everybody to enjoy football again.”

The Nightmare still need linemen, he said. Anyone interested may call Thatcher at 656-6145 or Brandstatt at (580) 861-2502.

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