AIFA Leading Kicker, Montebello Teacher, Inks Deal with Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD (August 13, 2009) – Garry “J.R.” Cipra who led all American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) kickers in 2009 in scoring with 172 points and helped lead the Baltimore Mariners to a 9-5 record and the franchise’s first playoff berth, signed a deal with the professional indoor football team to return to the squad in 2010. Cipra who has played six seasons of professional football also is a Pre-K to 8th Grade Physical Education teacher at Montibello Elementary/Middle (School #44) located on 32nd Street in Baltimore.

Cipra is excited about his return to Baltimore this season, “I would like to get another ring and I really think the best chance of doing so is with Baltimore. With Muggy [General Manager Greg Justice] and Coach [Chris] Simpson we can’t fail.”

As a kicker at Mayfield High School in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Cipra twice was named to the All-Greater Cleveland Conference team and as a senior in 1996 was named second team All-State. His longest field goal for Mayfield was 52 yards. He then went on to letter for four seasons at Ohio Northern University where he was named All-Ohio Athletic Conference in 1999 and 2000, received national player of the week honors in 2000, and was named Division 3 All-American as a senior. He still holds a host of Ohio Northern records including longest field goal (47 yards) and most field goals in a career (19).

A three-time All-Pro, Cipra’s professional career started with the Peoria Pirates of the Arena Football League 2 (af2) in 2001. Cipra then shuttled between Erie, Pennsylvania (Erie Freeze 2005 and 2007 and Erie Riverrats 2008) and the Canton Legends in 2006 before signing with the Mariners in 2009. Four times he has led league kickers in scoring (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009), he led the league in scoring in 2005, and won a league championship with Canton in 2006. He also holds the AIFA kicking record with 24 points in a game.

After four seasons commuting between Baltimore and Canton and Erie, Cipra signed with his hometown Mariners last season. Cipra quickly became a fan favorite and an integral part of Baltimore’s scoring offense. In his first attempt as a Mariner he booted a 57-yard field goal against his former team, the Erie Riverrats, as Baltimore topped the Rats 60-32 in the Mariners home opener. Cipra went on to score a total of 39 points in Baltimore’s first two games as the Mariners started their season 2-0 on the way to a 9-5 regular season record. Cipra finished the season third overall in the AIFA, and led all kickers in scoring, and topped the league in field goals (34).

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Submitted by John Wolfe
Media Relations Director
Baltimore Mariners