Meadow Lemon and his squad are bringing their red, white and blue ball to Independence this spring.
Sweet Georgia Brown is on the playlist, and the high-scoring offense is set to excite the local crowd this upcoming season, but it’s not the Harlem Globetrotters.
Lemon is taking over the reins as the Kansas City Phantoms’ general manager and head coach for the 2018 Champions Indoor Football season.
The eldest son of Harlem Globetrotter Hall of Famer Meadowlark Lemon, Meadow grew up in the sports entertainment industry and chose football as his way to get audiences excited decades ago. He’s coached in the original IFL, won championships as a coach in the PIFL and NCAA’s Division III, and helped bring an Arena Football League team to Portland in 2014.
Last year, Lemon served as the offensive coordinator for the Duke City Gladiators, leading his high-flying offense to a league-leading 3,036 yards of total offense. Quarterback Donovan Porterie earned league MVP honors under Lemon’s tutelage and will bring his talents to Kansas City for the 2018 season, which starts March 9 with a road game at the Bismarck Bucks.
Porterie also will be joined by his entire offensive line on the Phantoms’ preseason roster.
“Donovan is not just an incredible athlete, he’s a great quarterback and leader,” Lemon said. “Having had the opportunity to work with him in 2017, I’m excited to be able to bring him here and give Kansas City fans to have the opportunity to see him perform.”
Portiere, 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, is an eight-year indoor veteran, with a couple of stints with the IFL’s Green Bay Blizzard sandwiching a year in the Arena Football League with the Spokane Shock, where he played in relief of injured former AFL quarterback Erik Meyer.
Last year, in his MVP campaign with Duke City, Porterie led the CIF with 3,010 passing yards and was second in the league with 63 passing touchdowns. He also completed 265 of 435 passes (60.9 percent) on his way to an efficiency rating of 159.5.
Lemon, along with Phantoms’ co-owners Dr. Ken Vehec and Antonio Hori, said they promise to find the best talent available.
“We’re putting on affordable, family-friendly competition and an organization focused on God, family, and enhancing the Kansas City community,” Vehec said.
Phantoms training camp opens Feb. 22 at Epic Sports Lodge in Independence.
The first home game is set for 7:05 p.m. March 16 against the Omaha Beef at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.