Rock River Raptors

The Rock River Raptors were a professional indoor football team based in Rockford, Illinois. The team was most recently a member of the Continental Indoor Football League. The franchise was established in 2000 as the Tennessee Valley Vipers, a charter member of af2. The franchise was based at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2005, the franchise moved to United Indoor Football as the Tennessee Valley Raptors, to accommodate the Vipers' af2 return to Huntsville, as which point the team owner Art Clarkson announced that the franchise would relocate to Rockford. Coincidentally, Rockford was the site of the first-ever Arena Football game in 1986. The Owner of the Raptors was Art Clarkson. The Raptors played their home games at Rockford MetroCentre in Rockford, Illinois.

Rock River Raptors
Established 2005
Folded 2009
Played in Rockford MetroCentre in Rockford, Illinois
League/conference affiliations
United Indoor Football (2005–2007)
  • Southern Division (2005)
  • Central Division (2006)

Continental Indoor Football League (2008–2009)

  • Great Lakes Conference (2008)
    • West Division (2008–2009)
Team colorsGreen, Black, White
PresidentBob Lowe
Head coachDave Jones
Team history
  • Tennessee Valley Raptors (2005)
  • Rock River Raptors (2006–2009)
League championships (1)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (2)
Playoff appearances (4)
Home arena(s)

Franchise history

2005: Move to UIF

In November 2004, owner Ark Clarkson announced that the team would be leaving af2 and would be joining the newly formed United Indoor Football due to what Clarkson claimed as the af2 not performing its obligations to the team operators to meet increasing financial demands on the teams. The financial demands on the af2 member teams were such that since the league was founded in 2000, numerous teams had gone out of operation. They worked to make the league more financially viable and responsive to the needs of team operators, but were unable to get the organization to change,[1] as well as changing their name to the Tennessee Valley Pythons.[2] Clarkson wasted little time naming veteran coach, Dick Adams, as the team's head coach.[3] In late January, the team changed their name to the Tennessee Valley Raptors, after the af2 objected that the Pythons would spark people to become confused with the former af2 Vipers.[1]

On October 1, 2007, the Raptors announced they would not play in the UIF in 2008. Eighteen days later, they announced they would move to the CIFL to begin play there for the 2008 season.[4]

Jim Terry kicking for the Raptors

Logos and uniforms


Season records
SeasonWLTFinishPlayoff results
Tennessee Valley Raptors (UIF)
20056903rd SouthWon Round 1 (Fort Wayne)
Lost Semifinals (Sioux City)
Rock River Raptors (UIF)
200611401st CentralWon Round 1 (Sioux City)
Lost Semifinals (Lexington)
200710501st EastLost Round 1 (Bloomington)
Rock River Raptors (CIFL)
20087502nd Great Lakes WestWon GLD West Finals (Chicago)
Lost GLD Championship (Kalamazoo)
20097503rd Western--
Totals4128 (including playoffs)


  1. "Tennessee Valley Football renamed Raptors". OurSports Central. January 26, 2005. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  2. "Tennessee Valley Pythons join United Indoor Football". OurSports Central. November 17, 2004. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  3. "Veteran coach Dick Adams to direct Pythons in 2005". OurSports Central. December 8, 2004. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  4. News from the Rock River Raptors
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