It's been a tough two weeks since the Dodge City Law's since the team's 55-0 exhibition victory when it comes to who will be on the roster for the team.
Now head coach Sean Ponder feels that practices and film after that game have allowed him to find the best pieces of the puzzle for this year's Law who open the season Saturday night's against the Amarillo Venom at United Wireless Arena.
Among the players on this year's 24-man roster involved in the game – with a 7:05 p.m. kickoff — include 16 who were on the 2014 inaugural Law squad.
Returning on offense include quarterback Joshua Floyd; running back Dominique Carson and lineman Mack Randall Jr.; while defensive players returning include defensive linemen Jamar Seard and Marquis George and almost all of the secondary of a year ago.
Among the new players on the list include two players from the former Oklahoma Defenders: running back KingJack Washington and defensive lineman Michael Billingsley.
"It's important to have that core group of guys," Ponder said. "What we did was to have that leadership group back as well as quality players on and off the field. We're also excited to have to add from the roster from other teams and throughout the nation from our recruiting process.
"I don't know if we're better than last year, but we'll find out after a few games. I know we won't shut out every team we play, but I think we've already shown how much better we are on the defensive side of the ball."
Floyd has been working on improving his skills during the offseason and Ponder said that the quarterback will be putting more expectations this year when it comes to his play in leading the Law offense.
"Josh has been working on being physically prepared," Ponder said. "I think the thing Josh learned last year some of the things he needed to work on; and there is no doubt in my mind he put in the effort to working out to making sure his body was ready.
"He also worked on the playbook to understand the reads and the schemes and all the different things on the field. He's on pace to have a breakout year. Our whole work ethic is that we're working on that he understands what we're trying to do offensively."
Ponder said the fans are going to see both Carson and Washington out on the field running the ball for the Law during the year. Both players possess talents that will help the team on the field.
"The ceiling is the limit with those two players," Ponder said. "We don't think of them as a '1-2' punch with our coaching staff; but both have speed and power, and both can run through tackles.
"They are both starters and there is no official starting running back. If we can play the game with two footballs, then we would because they both do well carrying the football. We're going to have fresh legs at the end of the season which is what we wanted."
The receiving corps returns Maurice Young and Brandon Venson; with Jeffery Cameron, Lance Jackson, Jamie January and Dexter Manley joining the team.
"Our receivers very deep when it comes to experience and talent-level," Ponder said. "We have a good group of guys; five very talented kids who can make plays."
Randall, Kyle McManus and Quinton Johnson return with Seard coming over to help on the offensive line. Also joining the squad is rookie Odie Rush.
"I think we have a real big physical line," Ponder said. "We have four real good ones. We have a strong and athletic line, but we have been working on things from last season. We have multiple amount of players who can play the line and do it well and size is not our problem."
The defensive line has Seard and George back from last season, plus will have Billingsley and Louvan Green also joining the group.
"Marquis is the vocal leader of the group and it's nice to have Seard back. We have a lot of high hopes on Green and Billingsley. I think we've gotten a lot bigger up front and a lot quicker too. Teams can't ground and pound us or use athletes against us."
Quarterman is the only returning linebacker back from last your and will have Rico Brooks also playing in that position this season.
"Jecorey has gotten a lot stronger and a lot smarter; and he's been working out," Ponder said. "Rico is a little bigger and a physical guy who can also play as a d-lineman. I'm very happy with my linebacking corps."
Defensive backs returning include DaeJohn Love, Cordney Sanders, Mark Sterling and Cashman Thomas; with Quinton Collins and Dello Davis both adding to the unit. Davis will also spend some time as a receiver on offense for the Law.
"I think having a good core of defensive backs is important," Ponder said. "I think we were playing some of our best football defensively last year and for that group to communicate where our strengths and weaknesses are is a plus. Collins is a great cover guy who has stood in very well."
One final returner from last year is kicker Alex Fambrough, who spent most of the season with the Law until he was picked up by Portland of the Arena Football League.
"Alex is an unbelievable kicker," Ponder said. "He's got an NFL size in big and tall, and can boom the football. He definitely helps us on the special teams side of the ball and we're expecting him to be a consistent kicker."
UPDATED 2015 LAW SCHEDULE
Mar. 7, 7:05 p.m. Amarillo Venom
Mar. 15, 3 p.m. Sioux City Bandits
Mar. 21, 7:05 p.m. at San Angelo Bandits
Mar. 28, 7:05 p.m. Texas Revolution
Apr. 4, 7:05 p.m.at Salina Bombers
Apr. 11, 7:05 p.m.at Duke City Gladiators
Apr. 18, 7:05 p.m.Omaha Beef
Apr. 25, 7:05 p.m. at Amarillo Venom
May 2, 7:05 p.m.Salina Bombers
May 8, 7:05 p.m.at Wichita Force
May 22, 7:05 p.m.at Omaha Beef
June 6, 7:05 p.m.Sioux City Bandits
DODGE CITY LAW ROSTER
NA Michael Billingsley DL 6-4 290
16 Rico Brooks DL-LB 6-3 245
5 Jeffery Cameron WR 6-0 185
21 Dominique Carson RB 5-5 165
7 Quinton Collins DB 5-10 177
10 Dello Davis R-DB 5-6 160
98 Alex Fambrough K 6-5 230
11 Joshua Floyd QB 5-10 185
90 Marquis George DL 6-3 270
94 Louvan Green DL 6-2 285
14 Lance Jackson WR 6-1 172
1 Jamie January WR 6-2 210
70 Quinton Johnson OL 6-4 320
6 DaeJohn Love DB NA NA
NA Dexter Manley WR 6-3 225
50 Kyle McManus OL 6-1 350
8 Jecorey Quarterman LB 6-2 205
71 Mack Randall Jr. OL 6-7 375
55 Odie RushOL 6-4 320
3 Cordney Sanders DB 6-2 203
54 Jamar Seard OL-DL 6-3 300
22 Mark Sterling DB 6-0 195
4 Cashmin Thomas DB 5-9 190
9 Brandon Venson WR 6-4 235
2 KingJack Washington RB 5-10 180
0 Maurice Young WR 5-11 185