It’s been a healthy year for current and former Iowa Barnstormers trying to advance their careers into bigger and better things than the Indoor Football League (IFL).
Jimmy Allen is the latest former Barnstormer to get a taste of the success.
Former Barnstormer Jimmy Allen lands Chicago CFL tryout
Next weekend, Allen will be traveling from his Michigan home to Chicago, IL to show off his kicking skills to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers staff.
“It’s a blessing honestly,” Allen said. “Two months ago, I was contemplating retirement due to all of the bad luck and misfortune I’ve dealt with. Whether that [was] teams folding, or anything else out of my control. I️ kind of made a last-ditch effort by getting some film of me kicking back here at home. I was just lucky enough it fell into the right hands.”
Allen said his family has been behind him through and through even though things like teams folding happen regularily in the sport.
“My parents and my sister have done everything they possibly can to help me to pursue my dream,” Allen said. “My girlfriend has sacrificed a lot to allow me to chase my dream as well. She is in the army, so I know me staying here to pursue this hasn’t been easy on her, but she has really taken it in stride.”
Allen’s brother, Kenny, graduated from Michigan in 2016 and went on to punt for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats last season.
The two actively train together.
“My brother has been by far the best training partner anybody can ask for,” Allen said. “With his experience, and the sibling rivalry, I’ve been training in high pressure situations for a long time now.”
Allen, a Fenton native, kicked for the Barnstormers during the 2016 season which saw an injury-prone team limp to a 4-12 record. Although it wasn’t a great year for Iowa, Allen finished in the top half of the league in extra point percentage.
Through the years, Allen has played for eight different teams, with the goal of taking that next step every where he goes.
“Indoor football has been great for my game,” Allen said. “It’s given me film, it’s shown coaches that Im still around the game. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to work on my punting enough, so I’ve spent most of my spring spending time on that.”