Rapid City Flying Aces

The Rapid City Flying Aces were a professional indoor American football team in Rapid City, South Dakota. Like their predecessors, the Black Hills Red Dogs, they played their home games at the Don Barnett Arena in Rapid City. As of April 2007, the Flying Aces did not belong to any football league. The team was affiliated with the original Indoor Football League in 2000; with the National Indoor Football League from 2001 to 2004 and in 2006; and with United Indoor Football in 2005. The team considered rejoining United Indoor Football in 2008.

Rapid City Flying Aces
Established 2000
Folded 2006
Played in Don Barnett Arena
in Rapid City, South Dakota
League/conference affiliations
Indoor Football League (2000)
  • Western Conference (2000)
    • Northern Division (2000)

National Indoor Football League (2001–2004, 2006)
United Indoor Football (2005)

  • Northern Division (2005)
Current uniform
Team colorsBlack, brick red, white
Owner(s)Howard Neal
Head coachDan Majiejczak
Team history
  • Black Hills Machine (2000)
  • Rapid City Red Dogs (2001–2003)
  • Black Hills Red Dogs (2004–2005)
  • Rapid City Flying Aces (2006)
League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (0)
Playoff appearances (3)
  • IFL: 2000
  • NIFL: 2001, 2006
Home arena(s)

The Flying Aces won at least 10 out of 14 games three times in their seven seasons; however, organizational turmoil threatened the existence of the franchise.

History edit

2000–2005 edit

The team began play as the Black Hills Machine of the Indoor Football League in 2000. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Topeka Kings. When the IFL folded, the franchise moved to the newly formed National Indoor Football League as a charter member and became the Rapid City Red Dogs.[1] The team played in the NIFL from 2001 to 2003. In 2004, the franchise renamed itself the Black Hills Red Dogs. In 2005, the Red Dogs joined the United Indoor Football as a charter member and won a single game during their inaugural season in the UIF. Also in 2005, the team signed quarterback Chris Dixon. Dixon would later become the first indoor football player to throw for 500 touchdowns in his career.

2006 season edit

In 2006, the franchise moved back to the NIFL and became the Rapid City Flying Aces. During the 2006 season, they began the season 8–0. It appeared the team was going to fold when owner Howard Neal left the franchise in a financial mess;[2] However, several local investors helped pay the bills and save the team. The team went on to the Pacific Conference title game, where they lost to the Billings Outlaws.

Unfortunately, there was not enough time to save the team and the franchise would fold in December 2006.[3] Former owner Howard Weiner, who went by the alias "Howard Neal", was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting to committing bank fraud and was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $116,000 in restitution. He had until July 18, 2011, to turn himself in at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida.[4]

Season-by-season edit

Season records
Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Black Hills Machine (IFL)
2000 10 4 0 2nd WC Northern Lost Round 1 (Topeka)
Rapid City Red Dogs (NIFL)
2001 13 1 0 1st PC Central Lost Round 1 (Sioux Falls)
2002 6 8 0 4th PC Western
2003 7 7 0 3rd PC Western
Black Hills Red Dogs (NIFL)
2004 3 11 0 4th PC Western
Black Hills Red Dogs (UIF)
2005 1 14 0 4th North
Rapid City Flying Aces (NIFL)
2006 11 3 0 1st Pacific West Won Pacific Semi-Final (Katy)
Lost Pacific Championship (Billings)
Totals 52 51 0 (including playoffs)

Notable players edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Red Dogs Season Opener". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. March 19, 2002. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Rapid City Flying Aces ownership slapped with judgment last Friday, Black Hills Pioneer, May 15, 2006
  3. ^ Rapid City indoor football team folds, Jim Holland, Billings Gazette, December 21, 2006
  4. ^ "Former Flying Aces owner sentenced to prison for bank fraud". Rapid City Journal. May 21, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2018.

External links edit