(Chicago, Illinois – Friday, January 22)

This past Saturday, the Chicago Bliss held their official open tryout. A total of 54 athletes attended the tryout and eighteen were invited to Mini-Camp to join the thirteen veterans returning from last season.

After coming up just short of their coveted three-peat in 2015, the Bliss are looking to get back to their championship winning ways. It’s safe to say head-coach Keith Hac was looking for some gifted athletes on Saturday, as his roster is already filled with a high caliber of talent.

Coach Hac was a little surprised with the turnout as he expected a lot more athletes to attend, but he was excited about a few of the rookie athletes and confident that some will stand out during Mini-Camp.

The big question-mark for the Bliss this season will be the quarterback position. Heather Furr has been Chicago’s quarterback for the past five seasons and with her stepping down, the team is left with big shoes to fill. Furr lead the Bliss to back-to-back Legends Cup Championships and was a big part of the team’s success both offensively and defensively.

The news faces consisted of mostly rookies. First time tryout Kristin Morrison was a standout from Saturday. The former track and field athlete from the University of Illinois in Champagne-Urbana, made a big impression on the coaches and players. Morrison, who has never played organized football discussed how she was excited and as well as nervous for the tryouts. “I had no expectations and no idea what we were going to do”, said Morrison. “I like to play hard, that’s what I cam ready to do. The competition was fun, everyone was a good sport”, said Morrison. Morrison was expecting to be a wide out but Coach Hac was more interested in her being at the defensive end spot. All-Fantasy defensive-end Yashi Rice expects to return this season, but it could very well be her last, so having another high caliber athlete like Morrison will help fill her role when Rice decides to retire.

Las Vegas Sin veteran quarterback, Sindy Cummings attended the tryout in Chicago and looks earn the starting position with her strong arm. Cummings taking over the quarterback role is a possibility for Coach Hac’s offense, but the question will be her endurance and conditioning. The Bliss offense features the option much of the time, and a mobile quarterback will be needed. During the 40-times and agility drills at Saturday’s Open Tryout, it was clear that Cummings needed to improve her training regime. Hopefully by training camp the Bliss will know what direction they will go regarding the quarterback position.

Another notable athlete at the tryout was veteran running-back and defensive back Tamar Fennell, who played for the Las Vegas Sin in 2015. Fennell has been one of the league’s most versatile and dependable backs on both sides of the ball over the last three seasons.

It’s going to be interesting to see which athletes make the cut during Mini-Camp and it would be a shock if some former Bliss veterans fail to make the 20-man roster, as there are quite a few talented rookies. Regardless of who makes the cut, the new cast of rookies will gain a lot of experience from the seasoned veterans of the Bliss.

Coach Hac stated that his team became “A little distracted last season” and is certain that it will not be the case in 2016. His mission is to dominate the Eastern Conference, finish on top and bring Chicago their third Legends Cup.

The Bliss will begin their season in a 2015 Legends Cup rematch against the Seattle Mist in Seattle on Friday, May 13th. Their first home game will be against the Omaha Heart on Saturday, July 16th at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Tickets are available now: July 16th vs Omaha