Kansas City's new indoor football team heads to training camp

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City’s newest arena football team will start training camp in a few short weeks and the roster is filled with hometown favorites.

Practices for the Phantoms, KC’s new Champion Indoor Football team, have not officially started yet, but 41 Action News got an inside look at some informal play calling.

Related: New professional football franchise heading to Kansas City

Frankie Seurer was suited up at quarterback – you may recognize him from the Jayhawk’s roster where he just finished his final game in November. He helped Olathe South win its first state championship in school history his junior year and started playing flag football as a kid.

“Football has always been a number one priority to me and now that I can keep it that way, it means a lot,” explained Seurer, whose father also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

In college, Seurer was transitioned from calling plays to the defensive side as a safety.

“I wanted to get back playing quarterback,” explained Seurer, who is now getting that chance as a professional with the Phantoms Indoor Football Club.

Another familiar face at the receiver slot is Truman High School graduate OJ Simpson. Simpson has played arena football all around the country since 2008.

“Fans in KC love football. Hopefully we get everybody out there and behind us,” said Simpson on the upcoming season that starts March 13. “Being home that way family and friends don't have to drive from state to state to see you play -- it's been a blessing.”

Simpson is known for his passion on and off the field. He works as a supervisor at KVC Health Systems trying to improve medical and behavioral healthcare for families. He also said he has a passion for working with at-risk youth.

“A lot of these kids may not have a positive role model or don't have a lot parents around. They need guidance. Someone, a trusted adult, to show them love, not show them the bad things in life,” said Simpson.

Simpson believes football has given him a better way to connect to kids.

“They see you and look up to you as a role model. You do that to reach them and build some rapport for them,” said Simpson.

Many of the players have ties to Kansas City and the Midwest, with several players from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, as well as nearby community colleges.

Training camp starts on February 19 – that’s when the roster will be trimmed from 35 to about 24 players.

The new team was announced back in September by owners Dr. Ken Vehec and Antonio Hori. The team will practice at Chiefs Hall of Famer Will Shields’ 68 Inside Sports facility.

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Belinda Post can be reached at belinda.post@kshb.com.

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