Iowa Barnstormers

Years of Existence: 1995-2000, 2001- as the New York Dragons (AFL), 2010-2014
Venues: Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Des Moines, IA)
1995 – Semifinal appearance
1996 – Central Division champions, Arena Bowl appearance
1997 – Central Division champions, Arena Bowl appearance
1998 –
1999 – Central Division champions, semifinal Bowl appearance
2000 – Central Division champions, playoff appearance
2010 -
2011 -
2012 -
2013 -
2014 -
Lifetime Record: 92-89
Home: 50-45
Away: 42-44
Playoffs: 6-5
Average Attendance: 8,201

Despite never winning the Arena Bowl, the Iowa Barnstormers are one of the most missed teams in the AFL since they folded five years ago. In 1995, the team finished at 7-5, In the playoffs, the Barnstormers stormed into Arizona and beat the Rattlers, 56-52. In the semifinals, Iowa lost to Orlando, 56-49. In 1996, losses at Milwaukee and at St. Louis prevented the Barnstormers from going undefeated in the regular season. Iowa avenged the loss to St. Louis with a 52-49 victory and then defeated Albany to host the Arena Bowl. The Barnstormers clashed with the Storm, but lost by four points. The next year was a near repeat, this time an 11-3 regular season record. San Jose and Orlando were the Barnstormers’ victories this time. Iowa traveled to Arizona for the Arena Bowl and again lost, 55-33. The Barnstormers did not rebound off the Championship game loss, losing five straight to open their next season. The team finished at 5-9, missing the postseason foe the first time in franchise history. The team managed to rebound in 1999, going 11-3 once again. Iowa lost to Orlando in the semifinals, 48-41. In 2000, the Barnstormers again took the division crown and appeared in the playoffs for the fourth time in their six-year history. But, like the years before, the team came up short, losing to Nashville by a touchdown. The team left Iowa and moved to New York. The Barnstormers, under new ownership, resurfaced in the AF2 in 2001, but only lasted one year before the name disappeared. The Barnstormers resurfaced in the af2 in 2007. In 2010, the team moved from the af2 to the new AFL, led by quarterback Ryan Vena, who threw for 3,964 yards, 78 scores, and 22 interceptions. He also ran for 22 scores, putting him among the best rushing QBs on the year. Rodney FIler accounted for the team's other eight rushing scores. Jesse Schmidt and Todd Blythe were the favorite receivers, catching 28 and 22 touchdowns respectively. Five of Iowa's nine losses came by ten points or less, as the Barnstormers posted a 5-3 road record, as opposed to 2-6 at home. The team missed the playoffs. The Barnstormers returned in 2011 and posted a 5-13 record. Brad Banks quarterbacked the team for most of the season, throwing for 3,973 yards, 82 touchdowns and 23 picks. AFL veteran Jesse Schmidt caught 168 passes for 2,171 yards and 55 touchdowns. The team went 1-8 against playoff bound teams, allowing 46 sacks and a 62% fourth down conversion rate for opponents. The team was outscored 283-197 in first quarters of games. An eighteen yard field goal lifted Chicago over Iowa as time expired and a 42 yard field goal for Tulsa gave the Talons a win as the clock hit zeros the following week. Iowa exacted revenge on Tulsa late in the year, kicking a 20 yard field goal with 47 seconds left for a 55-53 win. The Barnstormers in 2012 were led by JJ Raterink, who threw for 4,870 yards, 93 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. His top target was Jesse Schmidt, who caught 172 balls for 2,218 yards and 58 scores. Marco Thomas also posted 1,523 yards and 21 scores. Jason Simpson picked ten passes for the defense. Two of the team's seven wins came against playoff teams. On the final play of the season, Iowa kicked a 28 yard field goal to upset San Antonio. Five losses came by seven points or less. After winning three of its first five, the Barnstormers dropped nine of their final thirteen games and missed the playoffs. The 2013 campaign was quarterbacked by J,J, Raterink by and large, who threw for just over 4,000 yards, 78 touchdowns and 18 picks. Raterink threw the ball around to many targets, as four receivers caught at least 13 touchdowns. Marco Thomas and Marcus Harris both topped 1,200 yards. The Barnstormers got out to a 4-4 start to the season, beating New Orleans twice, along with Chicago and San Antonio. However, a 2-6 second half of the season resulted in Iowa missing the playoffs once again. Raterink returned for the 2014 season, playing in six games before leaving the team. He pased for 22 touchdowns and one interception before giving way to Carson Coffman. Coffman threw for 2,970 yards, 53 touchdowns and 15 picks. Marco Thomas became the lead wide receiver, catching 1,946 yards and 39 touchdowns on 151 balls. Darius Reynolds also brought in 39 scores. The season went much like 2013, where all of the victories came in the first half of the year. Iowa was 6-5 before dropping the last seven of the season. Only twice did the Barnstormers crack the 60 point mark, while allowing more than 60 in ten games. The team left the AFL for the Indoor Football League following the 2014 season.