Soul take over Samuel W. Ridgway Middle School in Edgewater Park tonight

By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: June 12th, 2014 at 11:49 pm EST

For the second time within a month, the Philadelphia Soul has held a “Town Takeover” within Burlington County, New Jersey.

On May 30th, the Soul visited Evesham and held a “Town Takeover” at the Plaza 70 Shopping Center leading up to their win on June 1st over the San Antonio Talons. Tonight, the Soul came to Samuel W. Ridgway Middle School in Edgewater Park.

Philadelphia Soul at Samuel W. Ridgway Middle School (Photo by Anthony Caruso III)

Philadelphia Soul at Samuel W. Ridgway Middle School (Photo by Anthony Caruso III)

Before the Soul arrived, Team Torres held a martial arts exhibit to entertain the fans, as the Soul cheerleaders danced at the other corner of the gymnasium.

The Soul (6-6) made their first visit to Edgewater Park, where they held a walk-through practice. Their practice was short-lived, as they stretched, then quarterbacks Dan Raudabaugh and Bryan Randall threw passes to each player in attendance.

Once that was over, Clint Dolezel took to the microphone and invited young children, who signed up on the waiver, to practice with the team. There was nearly a 100 children that participated in this segment of the event.

“This is a new way to get out and interact with the fans,” Raudabaugh said. “The Soul always does a good job of interacting with the community. We’re trying to raise as much awareness for the team as possible. This is a way for the kids to have fun and stay out of trouble, and we’re happy to do it. It’s always neat to see their faces when they are able to catch a pass from Randall or myself. We’re going to continue the tradition.”

Each child, as long as they caught the ball, was able to score a touchdown and celebrate in the end zone.

“It’s a great way for the fans to come out and see us,” Soul fullback Derrick Ross said. “It’s a great atmosphere, and I’m enjoying myself.

“As long as the fans continue to come, I’m ready to perform. We do this for the fans.”

These “Town Takeovers” make many of the players feel like they’re kids again. Instead of being all serious with their jobs, as professional athletes, they could relax and act like kids all over.

“A little bit,” Raudabaugh added. “It’s always fun to interact with everyone. I wish they would let us run around more, but this is for the kids.”

This was the Soul’s last practice, before they face the Pittsburgh Power on Saturday night at 6 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. Earlier this season, the Power defeated the Soul in Pittsburgh, and are bringing a six-game win streak into the game.

“We have to start playing complete games,” Raudabaugh acknowledged. “We have played good for 58 minutes in some games, and others we have played good for 55 minutes. We have to play good for all four quarters, and allow our strong defense to make some stops and give us more opportunities to score. We just need to keep getting better as the playoffs approach. We have shown we are hard to beat over the past two years in the playoffs.”

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