From staff reports
The Columbus Lions anounced Wednesday they have re-signed four offensive starters: quarterback Chris McCoy and wide receivers Gerald Gales, Anthony Merritt and Brandon Horace.
McCoy (5-foot-11, 195 pounds, from Navy and Randolph-Clay High) is entering his fourth year with the Lions and his second as the starting QB. Last season, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,847 yards and 58 touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 15 touchdowns while leading the club to an 11-1 regular season and a division championship.
Entering his fifth year with the Lions, Gales (6-foot, 185, West Alabama) is the club’s all-time receiving leader in receptions (254), yards (3,376) and touchdowns (68). Last season, he hauled in a team-high 77 receptions and 23 touchdowns en route to his second consecutive second-team all-league selection.
Also entering his fifth year, Merritt (6-foot, 215, North Alabama, Shaw High) spent the previous two seasons at defensive back, then made the switch back to receiver and finished second with 76 receptions, a team-high 26 touchdowns and a league-leading 1,833 all-purpose yards. He was selected first-team all-league.
Horace (6-4, 225, Alabama State) enters his second season with the Lions. He made 18 receptions for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
The Lions are in training camp for the Professional Indoor Football League season. They will play a preseason game March 4 at 6 p.m. in the Columbus Civic Center against the Team James All-Stars. The teams have pledged to donate 50 percent of the game’s proceeds to the United Way.