Tri-Cities Fever Open Training Camp This Week - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Fever Open Training Camp This Week

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by Tri-Cities Fever Media Relations

KENNEWICK, WA - Just as the last of the NFL players were cleaning out their locker rooms, the Tri-Cities Fever players are filling theirs, getting ready for the upcoming 2015 season.

Training camp is just a few days way as players start reporting to town this week, and the first official practice is Wednesday. The players will endure a little over two weeks of camp in preparation for the 2015 season opener against the expansion Billings Wolves on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Toyota Center.

Adam Shackleford returns for his sixth season as Fever coach, looking to get the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Tri-Cities is coming off an 8-6 season in which it just missed the playoffs.  After a slow start to the 2014 season, the Fever won its final five games of the season and seven of its last eight.  Many left last season with a bitter taste in their mouths after beating the Colorado Ice, the conference's top seed, in the final game of the regular season.

There was a strong belief that they were the best team in the conference by seasons end, they could not make-up for their slow start, which resulted in a 1-5 record.  “No doubt in my mind,” said quarterback Houston Lillard.

Lillard, and some other veteran players looking to take care of some unfinished business. For some, it's about atoning for last season. For some others, it's about chasing that IFL title that eluded them in 2011 and 2012, when they lost in the championship game.

The Fever's training camp roster is loaded with veteran players that have helped build the organization into one of the best in the IFL.  Lillard, who quarterbacked the runs to title games, returns after joining the Fever midway through last season. Running back Dennis Kennedy, who was an integral part in the Fever's success in 2011 and 2012, is also back.  Veterans Lionell Singleton and Brandon Wilson return on defense. Also making his return is Jake Killeen, who helped anchor the defensive line for several seasons. Joining those three is the defensive backfield tandem of Donyae Coleman, Rudel Crimm, and Dustin Bell.

That's just some of the returning players. Throw in that veteran leadership with several highly-regarded rookies and some other veterans that are making their first stop in the Tri-Cities, there is a lot of excitement heading into this season.