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Sharks a hit in home opener

It only seems like Robert Redd has been making defenders whiff for forever.

“I’d like to think my best years are ahead of me,” said Redd following a 64-16 Dayton Sharks indoor football league home-opening blitz of the Port Huron Patriots at Hara Arena on Friday night.

”I’m a fresh 32. Really, I’m 22 with 10 years of experience.”

What’s a few years among guys who just can’t say no to a good thing?

The Sharks, a new franchise following an old storyline, are hoping Dayton buys in. Dayton Dragons aside, minor league sports are a tough sell here. The Dayton Demonz hockey team, which also calls Hara home, knows all about that.

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That’s what the Sharks were up against, including high school basketball.

But they quickly won over an estimated crowd of about 2,500 that filled two-thirds of the arena. Never mind a Continental Indoor Football League championship, which seems to be the Sharks’ to lose. Bringing fans back for more and planting a franchise foundation is the real goal.

“The Sharks brings us something a little bit different,” said Dayton coach Chris Taylor, who led the Cincinnati Commandos to three league titles and before that was head coach at Middletown High School.

“It’s something that Dayton’s never had before. Everyone has embraced us. … Everything that we’ve done is geared toward them and the entertainment value.”

Redd did his part. He snared two of quarterback Tommy Jones’ five touchdown passes. Jones, the Eaton grad who led Saginaw to a CIFL title last season, was as good as billed, completing 18 of 29 passes for 202 yards.

“We wanted to come out and make it exciting for the fans and show them that we’re appreciative of their support,” Redd said. “It was good to see a lot of family and friends out here. It was beautiful.”

Most appropriate name: Sharks linebacker Santino Turbow. An original one-man wrecking machine. By the third quarter his bicep flexes were as common as his knockout hits to Patriots QB James Terry.

On the surface: The arena floor remains iced for Demonz games. Wood flooring was pieced together over the surface, then covered by a turf-like carpet.

Hot item: Any wayward football that finds its way into the stands stays with a lucky spectator.

Next home game: Sunday, March 17, 4 p.m. vs. Kentucky Drillers.

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