Lakeland Thunderbolts

Years of Existence: 2005-2006
Venue: Lakeland Center (Lakeland, FL)
2005 - Playoff appearance
2006 - Quarterfinal appearance
Lifetime Record: 19-12
Home: 10-5
Away: 9-7
Playoffs: 1-2
Average Attendance: 2,459

The Lakeland Thunderbolts completed their first NIFL season with a 5-8 record. Four of the wins came against teams that did not qualify for the postseason. However, the other win came at Rome, the eventual Champions. In the playoffs, it was the opposite story, as Rome blew out the Thunderbolts, 53-7. The team turned it around in 2006, getting out to a 9-0 start. Other than two 13 point wins against Florida and Montgomery, these first nine weren't all that close. The first loss of the year came to River City, 50-46. The team benefited from two forfeit victories en route to a 12-2 regular season record. In a rematch with Montgomery, the Thunderbolts stifled a fourth quarter comeback to win, 70-62. The following week at Fayetteville, the Thunderbolts took an early 12-0 lead, but lost 44-18. The team had a lot of front office trouble, as the general manager, Larry Kiernan, was fired for embezzling at least $60,000 from the organization. Following the 2006 season, the franchise left the NIFL for the AIFL.