The Colorado Venom of the National Indoor Football League began
preparing for their inaugural season in Northern Colorado by
holding open tryouts at Fort Collins High School Sunday.
About 110 football players of all ages gathered inside the high
school gym to test their speed, footwork, catching and mobility
skills in front of the Venom coaching staff and head coach Ron
Although many of the players trying out have experience playing
at the semi-pro or professional level, some of the hopeful athletes
are young and still are trying to grab a spot on the 21-man
Jeremy Wineland is only a sophomore at the University of
Northern Colorado, but at 20 he feels his experience playing
football for Chatfield High School makes him a legitimate
“I just saw it in the paper and could not pass it up,” said
Wineland about the open tryouts.
Coach Mondt said a few CSU students were attending tryouts, but
their names were unknown to him at the time.
Tryouts were held just one day after the Venom inked their first
three players to contracts.
Wide receiver Charlie Ricks, quarterback Jarrod Rouanzoin and
return specialist Johnny Johnson have become the first members of
the Colorado Venom.
Ricks was a member of the Colorado Football Conference’s Denver
Titans and in six seasons he led the Titans to two championships,
where he was named the game’s MVP both years. He was also named the
league MVP for five out of his six seasons as a wide receiver.
“Charlie had a lot of success in the league last year,” Mondt
said. “He is a quality person and a great athlete.”
Rouanzoin also has years of semi-professional football
experience. He was an eight-game starter for the sixth-ranked
Denver Titans last season. He played his college ball at Nichol
State of the New England Football Conference where he was named the
conference’s Offensive Player of the Year his senior season.
Rouanzoin also has ties with Northern Colorado as he played two
seasons for the Rocky Mountain Lobos.
“Jarrod is a local guy that had success back east,” Mondt said.
“He is definitely what this league is about…giving everyone a
chance to play.”
Johnson is a great addition with already three years of
experience playing professional indoor football. With the Rapid
City Red Dogs, Johnson was captain for two straight years and was
twice named the NIFL Player of the Week. He played college football
with Iowa Central College (1995-1997).
“We are excited to see where Johnny fits in with this team,”
Mondt said. “It will be fun to see him coming out of the backfield
or playing in the slot.”
The Colorado Venom begin their inaugural season against the Utah
Warriors on March 13 and will host their first home game at the
Budweiser Events Center on April 3.
For more information on the NIFL, visit