CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Warriors will not play the 2013 season in the Indoor Football League after the death of the franchise’s main owner.
But they will field a team in the new Developmental Indoor Football League here.
Wheatland resident Toby SerVoss died Dec. 28 from liver failure. He had been the Warriors’ majority owner since the team was formed in 2011.
The SerVoss family has decided not to continue supporting the team, general manager Alton Walker said.
Because of the legal matters, the Warriors are stepping away from the IFL for this season. But Walker said he does plan to reapply for admission for 2014.
The Warriors announced last September that they had been accepted into the IFL.
“I didn’t want to bring football here and then pick up and leave,” Walker said. “For me, it was a commitment I made to Cheyenne.”
He and his wife, Mystie, are working to take over sole ownership of the team.
IFL commissioner Robert Loving said Cheyenne’s withdrawal from the league was not final as of Tuesday, but the process is under way.
He added that if the Warriors are going to be a part of the 2014 season, they will need to reapply.
“We certainly do have interest and have a desire to have a team in our league in Cheyenne if not for the 2013 season for the 2014 season,” Loving said.
“I have no reason to believe that we wouldn’t have a Cheyenne team for 2014. There are certain steps that have to be followed, and the new membership would have to be voted in at that time by the board of directors.”
While the Warriors won’t play in the IFL, head coach Damon Ware has been working with several indoor and outdoor teams around the region to put together the Developmental Indoor Football League.
Several of the teams were outdoor franchises from the American Professional Football League 2, and they are looking to make the move indoors.
Ware served as commissioner for the APFL2 last season.
He expects between six to eight teams to be in the league. A meeting of owners and coaches is set for the weekend to finalize details.
The league will start play on March 30, and the title game will be in Cheyenne.
Though the Warriors will be on the field, Ware said he does expect a few player losses.
Several who signed after Cheyenne was brought into the IFL have found their way to tryouts in the Canadian and Arena football league and with other IFL teams.
Still, Ware is working to fill the roster with quality players while Walker is hoping to bring in entertainment acts that will add to the fan experience.
Both say the product will be something fans can get excited about.
Said Ware, “This is about people having a chance to go out, see games, see people get hit into the wall, thrown over the wall, catch touchdowns, run touchdowns and have it be at a quality level.”