The Columbus Lions will open the 2013 season on Sunday, March 10, at home against Knoxville at 4 p.m.
Each of the eight teams in the PIFL -- Charlotte and Lehigh Valley were added during the offseason -- will play a 12-game schedule over a 15-week period from early March through mid-June. The playoffs will follow.
The Lions will play Albany, Charlotte, Alabama, Louisiana and Richmond twice each. They will play Knoxville and Lehigh Valley once.
The Lions, who finished last season at 6-7, will travel to defending PIFL champion Albany on March 16. The Lions will host the Panthers on June 8.
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Two new players
The Lions announced the re-signing of wide receivers Maurice Dupree and London Crawford for next season.
Dupree played an abbreviated season in 2011, but he returned last year to earn PIFL Offensive Player of the Year Award as he led the league in scoring (242), touchdown catches (40) and receiving yards (1,278).
Crawford caught 103 passes last year to lead the PIFL with four games in which he had 10 or more receptions. He finished with 1.044 receiving yards.
The team also planned a press conference for Monday night to announce the signing of two more players with local ties.
Carver to Charlotte
Former Carver High standout Brentson Buckner will be the coach of the Charlotte Speed, one of the two new teams in the PIFL next season.
Buckner was an All-ACC defensive lineman at Clemson and was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went to play for Cincinnati, San Francisco and Charlotte.
He went to the Super Bowl with both Pittsburgh and Charlotte.
2013 LIONS SCHEDULE
March 10 Knoxville 4 p.m.
March 16 at Albany 7:30 p.m.
March 23 Charlotte 7:30 p.m.
April 6 at Alabama 8 p.m.
April 13 at Louisiana 8 p.m.
April 20 Richmond 7:30 p.m.
April 27 Louisiana 7:30 p.m.
May 5 at Lehigh Valley 4 p.m.
May 18 Alabama 7:30 p.m.
May 25 at Richmond 7 p.m.
June 8 Albany 7:30 p.m.
June 15 at Charlotte 7 p.m.