WSN graduate wins AIFA championship with Lakeland

Published 12:42 am Monday, July 2, 2007

When the Lakeland, Fla. Thunderbolts left the now defunct National Indoor Football League earlier this year for the American Indoor Football Association, Coach Teddy Keaton took something with him.
The 1995 W.S. Neal High School graduate guided Lakeland to the league championship, which was capped off with a 54-49 win over the Reading Express in the title game played at Florence, South Carolina.
Lakeland won the AIFA south division championship with a 14-2 record during the regular season and then beat the Carolina Speed 54-32 and the Mississippi Mudcats 84-62 to claim the southern division conference championship.
Lakeland also went 14-2 last season and won the Atlantic South Division championship under Keaton's direction when it competed in the NIFL, but the Thunderbolts lost in the second round of the playoffs.
Keaton said his squad has received great support from within and outside of its organization.
This season was Keaton's fourth with indoor football. He served two seasons as the defensive coordinator for Odessa in the NIFL. Odessa went 20-2 over those two seasons and led the league in most defensive categories. Keaton also spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Stillman College.
Keaton said he has turned down numerous offers to stay with Lakeland.
The community really supported that program just like it supported us,” said Keaton.
Keaton also said the support he received when he attended W.S. Neal where he was known as Teddy Agee has also been a big key to his success.