Former El Campo Ricebird Arkeith Brown won another ring Sunday when the Albany Empire beat the Philadelphia Soul 45-27 in the Arena Football League Championship at Times Union Center in New York.
“We worked all year to get to that point and we were able to cap it off and win the championship,” Brown said.
Brown, after Sunday’s win, is the owner of five championships rings. He picked up four with the Arizona Rattlers in the Indoor Football League. This season he switched leagues and still managed to be a part of a winning team.
Albany this seson dominated the Arena Football League going 10-2. The Empire scored the most points in the league and held teams to the fewest.
“We only lost two games the whole season, the players and the coaches worked hard,” Brown said.
Brown contributed four interceptions, 32.5 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss in the 10 regular-season games he played. He also scored a touchdown on special teams with a kickoff.
As the number one seed heading into the playoffs, the Empire beat the fourth-seeded Baltimore Brigade and in back-to-back weeks, outscoring them 123-47. The Empire moved to the championship game where they played on ESPN2 and beat the Soul easily.
Normally a defensive back, Brown was injured with a high ankle sprain but was able to make it back for the championship game and played on special teams.
“I made a couple of plays on kickoff (return),” Brown said. “I was there to support my team. I worked so hard the whole season to help my team and make plays for my teammates. So I was happy to be out there (with them).”
Overall the former Ricebird has played in six championship games as a professional football player. Now Brown will enjoy the offseason, spend time with his daughter and family, workout and prepare for next year.
“I’m 33-years-old and I’m blessed to be able to still play at my age and I enjoy playing,” Brown said.
Brown was a senior on the 2004 Ricebirds team that lost to Kilgore 18-0 in the 4A Region 3 Divison II Semifinal. Following high school, Brown went on to play for the Texas A&M Aggies.