David Fessler, LFL360.com

The Seattle MIST started off their 2017 campaign January 7th with open tryouts. Looking for new talented athletes is the forefront of most of the LFL teams during the off-season, however, with new franchises coming aboard both domestically and overseas, it is even more important this year.

As the LFL continues to grow, and more teams become available, it can cause a thinning of the veteran pool as some players consider leaving their current teams to help fill expansion teams. So the marketing of these tryouts to future talent is paramount. This year is no exception for the Seattle Mist either. Coming off a 2015 LFL Championship and a 2016 Western Conference Championship, Coach Michaelson is still not sure which veteran players will be returning in 2017. When asked which veterans were expected to return, Coach Michaelson simply, yet honestly, replied, “That’s undetermined right now… 2 or 3 of them have some things pending right now, and if those things align they probably won’t be back, but if they don’t, they might return.”

Several key veterans, who were full participants in the tryout sessions, did confirm their return.

Quarterback KK Matheny stated, “Yes, I am coming back and so are a lot of the vets, so we will have a solid core, but we are always looking for new rookie talent because like every team we will have some big shoes to fill.”

Stevi “THE BULL” Schnoor also confirmed she was returning in 2017 by stating, “Yes! I have given this decision a lot of thought because it is such a large commitment to make if you’re going to do it right. And there is no way if I came back it was going to be done at anything less than 1000%.” She ended this interview with the hashtag #THEBULLISBACK!

Jessica Hopkins, who has been with the team since the inception, has also told me that she would be back in 2017. However, Jessica did state that 2017 would be her last season.

I asked Coach Michaelson how he felt the tryouts went overall. Coach Michaelson stated, “Honestly, better than I expected!” I then asked what positions were his priority to fill. Coach Michaelson, without hesitation stated, “Defensive backs and linemen”.

Coach Michaelson is not the only one with wishes in 2017. Sisters Krishelle and Amy Welsh are hopeful that they will wear the Seattle Mist uniform in 2017. I had the chance to speak with the two sisters immediately after the tryout. I asked them what their experiences were of the MIST tryout. Krishelle stated, “It was a lot! We didn’t have a lot of notice but knew after seeing a flyer that it was something they both wanted to do. “We’ve always been into sports, so going through a full combine was really cool,” stated Amy Welsh. When asked if it was tougher than expected, Krishelle Welsh stated, “I’ve never had so much fun while wanting to throw up”, referring to the rigorous combine pace.

With training camp tentatively scheduled for February, there is still work ahead for the MIST organization. However, if the attitudes of the coaches, veterans and Mist hopefuls are a sign of things to come, it should be an exciting season for the Seattle Mist.

(Seattle MIST, LFL360.com Writer) David Fessler may only be in his second season writing for the LFL360, but what he lacks in sports journalism is backed up by his sports photography passion. Having opportunities to shoot Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounder and Seattle Reign games as a freelance photographer, he was able to start his own blog (https://emeraldcitysportsblog.tumblr.com/) to support Seattle Sports. A resident of a suburban town of Seattle, David went to his first Seattle Mist game in 2016. It was at that point he saw even a bigger opportunity. Not only to photograph a new genre of Seattle Sports, but also to help promote one of the most entertaining sporting events he has been to. Not only is David into sports photography, but as a Scuba Instructor he also finds solace in photographing the underwater world as well. Second only to photographing football is David’s passion for photographing sharks.