Lakeland Thunderbolts

The Lakeland Thunderbolts were a professional indoor football team. They were a member of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA). They played their home games at the Lakeland Center.

Lakeland Thunderbolts
Established 2005
Folded 2010
Played in Lakeland, Florida
at the Lakeland Center
League/conference affiliations
American Indoor Football Association (2005-2007) On hiatus (2008-2010)
Team colorsBlack, Gold, White
CheerleadersThunderbolts Dance Team
General managerBennie King
Head coachTeddy Keaton
Team history
  • 'Lakeland Thunderbolts (2005–2010)
League championships ()
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (0)
Home arena(s)


The Lakeland Thunderbolts began in 2005 as an expansion member of the National Indoor Football League, finishing their inaugural season with a 6–8 record and losing in the first round of playoffs to the Rome Renegades with a score of 53–7.

Lakeland's 2006 season ended with a 44–18 loss to the Fayetteville Guard, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, during the second round of the NIFL playoffs. The Thunderbolts finished the regular season fourth overall (third in the Atlantic Conference) with a 12–2 record.

After the 2006 season ended, the 'Bolts decided to move to the American Indoor Football Association. Perhaps the team's biggest victory so far is their 39–36 win over the defending champion Canton Legends on March 11, 2007, ending their 12-game winning streak dating back from the previous season (The previous team to defeat Canton was the Reading Express on April 23, 2006, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center by a score of 56–18). Lakeland secured the 2007 Southern Division Championship after an 84–62 win over the Mississippi Mudcats on June 16, 2007. On June 23, they would win AIFA Championship Bowl I at the Florence Civic Center, defeating the Reading Express by a score of 54–49.

On Saturday, October 20, 2007, it was announced that the Thunderbolts had declined on rejoining the AIFA for 2008.[1]

On Tuesday December 4, 2007, the AIFA announced they have reached an agreement with the Lakeland Center, and the Thunderbolts will return in 2009. [2] There is a possibility that Thunderbolts could play in the Southern Indoor Football League in 2010. The Thunderbolts will likely return to the American Indoor Football Association in 2011


Season records
Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Lakeland Thunderbolts (NIFL)
2005 6 8 0 3rd Atlantic South Lost AC Quarterfinal (Rome)
2006 12 2 0 1st Atlantic South Won AC Quarterfinal (Montgomery Maulers)
Lost AC Semifinal (Fayetteville)
Lakeland Thunderbolts (AIFA)
2007 11 2 0 1st Southern Won Round 1 (Carolina)
Won SD Championship (Mississippi)
Won Championship Bowl I (Reading)
2008 Did Not Play
Totals 33 14 0 (including NIFL and AIFA playoffs)

2007 Season ScheduleEdit

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
February 17 Mississippi Mudcats Away Lost 36-46
February 25 Florence Phantoms Home Won 69-25
March 11 Canton Legends Home Won 39-36
March 16 Baltimore Blackbirds Home Won 69-14
March 23 Florence Phantoms Away Won 54-18
April 5 Danville Demolition Away Won 71-6
April 14 Carolina Speed Home Won 57-19
April 20 Tallahassee Titans Away Lost 40-48
May 5 Mississippi Mudcats Home Won 54-31
May 12 Tallahassee Titans Home Won 51-24
May 19 Montgomery Bears Away Won 34-32
May 25 Carolina Speed Away Won 39-21
June 2 Montgomery Bears Home Won 72-56
June 11 Carolina Speed (Playoffs) Home Won 55-32
June 18 Mississippi Mudcats (Playoffs) Home Won 84-62
June 23 Reading Express (Championship Bowl I) Neutral (Florence) Won 54-49

External linksEdit