The Iowa Barnstormers officially lost a receiver Thursday as Lucas Hefty announced that he is heading to Istanbul for the 2018 season.
Hefty will head to Turkey to play for the ITU Hornets of the American Football First League of Turkey, one of the country’s best teams.
Lucas Hefty goes to Istanbul for 2018 season
“[It’s] tough to leave behind a bunch of friends and family but hard to pass up this opportunity that football has given me,” Hefty said.
Hefty leaves the Barnstormers after spending the past two seasons with the team, and graduating from Upper Iowa.
“[Iowa has] been my home and [I] have always felt nothing but welcome,” Hefty said. “[It’s] hard to leave behind such a family feel.”
The news means that Iowa won’t be returning their entire receiving core as Ryan Balentine and Brady Roland come back to Des Moines.
“It’s different [without him],” Roland said. “[Hefty is] a pretty good friend of mine. He was a good dude to have at practice, always had fun. He was a great player.”
Hefty leaves the team as the no. 5 receiver in the league in total yards, corralling nearly 1,000 during his time in Iowa.
“He didn’t drop many balls,” Roland said. “When a quarterback was throwing to him, you knew it would be a completion.”
The Barnstormers will start their season a week from Sunday when they take on the Green Bay Blizzard on the road to open the year.
Iowa Barnstormers 2018 Schedule
Sun. Feb 25 @ Green Bay
Sat. Mar 10 vs. Arizona
Sun. Mar 18 vs. Sioux Falls
Sat. Mar 24 @ Cedar Rapids
Fri. Mar 30 @ Nebraska
Sat. Apr 14 vs. Nebraska
Sat. Apr 28 vs. Green Bay
Sat. May 5 @ Sioux Falls
Fri. May 11 vs. Cedar Rapids
Sun. May 20 @ Arizona
Fri. May 25 vs. Green Bay
Sat. Jun 2 vs. Arizona
Fri. Jun 8 @ Sioux Falls
Sat. Jun 16 vs. Cedar Rapids