KENNEWICK, WA - Rage Sports LLC announced Saturday that it had chosen Tri-City Rush as the name for its new Professional Indoor Football Team and a Rhino was chosen as the mascot.
The Rush are set to Play in the American West Football Conference.

They are scheduled to start next April pending solidarity and direction from the ticket-driven league.

But the white rhino in the room is the black mark left by the last professional indoor football team in the area -- the fire -- who closed shop and left without returning money to season ticket holders or fulfilling contracts. But the tri-city based general manager of rush Matt Cooley says that they won't do that because they are part of this community.

"I'll have people knocking on my front door," said newly-named general manager, Matt Cooley. "I live up the street. I don't live hours and hours away or possibly pack up with hundreds of thousands of dollars and move to another state and try to start another arena team an do whatever they do. That's why so much passion, so much love, so much respect just for our community to make sure they get what they deserve which is professional indoor football team. The fever were pretty successful. That rolled into the fire. You look at the games. There were fans in the stands and they were enjoying it."

"And I know that fans are going to have bad blood toward indoor ball in general," said newly-signed rush player Tyler Merkel. "It takes a lot to invest and take their family to games, but I've played for these guys for numerous years and it's going to be ran right this time."

Kennewick native Tyler Merkel played for the Rage, Fire, and now just signed his professional contract to the Rush. While they are waiting for direction from the league before signing any community contracts, they've already stated building their team. Also setting up farm teams... All to bring a successful team back to the tri-cities, where Merkel says have the best fans around.

"One of my favorite photos from last year was actually from our last game of the year and it was a pickup game," said Merkel. "The other team couldn't make it. The fans still came out. I had a kick return and there was like 5 fans screaming and going ballistic. And we hadn't won a game all year. So the fact that the fans still came out... What's going to happen when we bring the right product to the field? That's what I'm excited for is to see what we can bring and for me to see what the fans can bring back to us when we win games and stuff."

The Tri-City Rush Professional Indoor Football Organization announced Monday that it will hold its first round of tryouts on Sunday, January 10th at the Southridge Sports Complex in Kennewick, Washington. Tryouts will take place from 12-3 pm and the event is Online Registration Only. Pre-Registration has already opened at

“I am excited to see what everyone can do.”  - Head Coach Brandon Tate. “We have athletes traveling in and high-profile athletes locally that are going to get their chance to show why they deserve a spot on our limited training camp roster. Everyone’s dream is to get paid to play football and on January 10th somebody is taking their dream a step further.”

Tryouts will be a combine format. Drills will include the 40-yard dash, short shuttle, broad jump and L drill. Athletes will also perform in individual position drills, group position drills and team drills. Tryouts will be performed both inside and outside so Athletes must bring football cleats as well as basketball style running shoes.

Participants will receive a Tri-City Rush tryout t-shirt. For more information you can reach Coach Tate directly at 509-386-9315 or the team at