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Storm notebook

Happy as holder,  QB gets a bigger role

By DAVID MURPHY
Published May 3, 2007


TAMPA - How excited was Brett Dietz's family about his first game as an Arena League quarterback? They drove two hours from their home in Cincinnati to a sports bar in Columbus that was televising the Storm's game against the Destroyers.

Dietz said he warned his mother that his duties were expected to be limited to holding for kicker Seth Marler on extra points and field goals.

According to Dietz, his mom replied, "That's okay. I'll watch you hold."

In the end, she watched him do a lot more as the former Division III quarterback took over for an injured John Kaleo and played well enough for the Storm to earn its second win.

Though coach Tim Marcum did not rave about his performance - "There's a lot of things he has to do, " he said - he did say Dietz will be the team's quarterback for the foreseeable future.

"The Brett Dietz era has been ushered in, " Marcum said.

Dietz completed 12-of-24 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

Kaleo is expected to miss at least four weeks after having a non-invasive procedure to repair his left wrist, which he injured when bracing himself for a fall in the second quarter.

PLAYOFFS? Marcum admits he pays a little bit of attention to the National Conference standings.

And, strange as it may seem, he has to like what he sees.

Consider: If the Storm beats Austin this week, it will supplant the Wranglers 3-5 in fourth in the Southern Division. Furthermore, it could put the team one game out of the final playoff spot in the conference, given that New Orleans (4-5) faces Orlando (5-3) this week. Don't reserve ArenaBowl tickets yet. But things could be worse.

A FAMILIAR FACE: Chicago Rush wide receiver Bobby Sippio, recently named the AFL Writers' Association midseason offensive player of the year, has 35 touchdown catches. The Storm, which parted ways with him midway through last season, has 26 total receiving touchdowns.

STORM DEBRIS: Fullback Torrance Marshall is expected to start vs. Austin. He missed last week's game while attending his father's funeral. ... Offensive lineman Dwayne Morgan likely will miss the game, meaning Lincoln Kennedy should be back in the starting lineup.

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1407.