LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The East Texas Timber Rattlers are a professional arena football team coming to Lufkin and they're building up their roster now to be ready for the season come March of next year.
The East Texas Timber Rattlers locked down one of their biggest deals with quarterback Michael Stewart.
The deal was made Friday as Stewart signed his contract with the team and he was already signing autographs for fans.
Right out of high school, the Shreveport native had an itch to start a professional career and has been playing semi-pro football for the past 10 years in the Texas Untied Football League. Stewart also has some experience playing arena football.
Head coach of the East Texas Timber Rattlers Buddy Dixon said when he began building this team, Stewart was the first player on his list to recruit.
"We've got a young and very talented team and I need a quarterback that can lead them. Michael's got a great arm. Michael's a phenomenal quarterback and physical, but even more than that he's a leader," said Dixon. "He's been to the top of the game, he played in the AFL."
"The main thing that I look forward to here is the crowd, the crowd that's going to be behind us. There's nothing like coming out with that smoke, the lights flickering, the music playing in the background and you just hear the crowd," said Stewart. "It's a high scoring game. It's going to be a big air attack. I'm going to put the ball in the air. I'm going to put the football in the air for this team and if you like the see the ball thrown in the air, you definitely want to come out and check out the Rattlers."
The East Texas Timber Rattlers will have their invitational try outs in September. Dixon said they have 60-70 players looking to make their 20 man roster.