local

Force sign rookie DB Jefferson

The Georgia Force added Georgia native defensive back Marcus Jefferson to its defense Thursday, releasing Jacoby Shepherd.

Jefferson, an AFL rookie, had 53 tackles last season for Division II Albany State. As a junior at Albany State, Jefferson and a Division II best 21 pass defenses to go with five interceptions. The Putnam County graduate led the state of Georgia in interceptions as a high school junior.

state

All American Football League scraps season

ATLANTA - The new All American Football League has scrapped plans for its 2008 inaugural season and will continue to search for financial backing for 2009.

Kennan Davis, the AAFL's vice president of league operations, said the league's sponsors have commitments to remain with the league in 2009.

The league's decision to postpone its 2008 season was first reported by KRIV-TV in Dallas.

The league's chief executive officer, Marcus Katz, said economic conditions forced the decision to scrap plans for this year.

'I invested 29 million dollars in cash to roll out the operations of the league,' Katz told the station, adding he was owed 'a lot more money' by a student loan company.

'When I told the board I would subsidize the league, that was before the bond market collapsed,' Katz said.

The Atlanta-based league announced last week it was exploring 'multiple financing options,' including a TV deal, to address its funding crisis.

The league announced Thursday refunds will be given for tickets purchased for 2008 games.

The league planned to open training camps for its six teams this week. Games were scheduled to begin on April 12.

The AAFL was formed to fill the void created when the NFL shut down NFL Europe earlier this year after 16 seasons.

national

Lohse reaches preliminary deal with Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. - The St. Louis Cardinals strengthened their thin rotation on Thursday, reaching a preliminary agreement with pitcher Kyle Lohse on a $4.25 million, one-year contract.

General manager John Mozeliak said the 29-year-old Lohse was flying in from California and would undergo a physical on Friday at the team's spring training site. The exam is unlikely to include pitching because Lohse threw a 75-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday.

'If it were a perfect world, we wouldn't have had to go down this path,' Mozeliak said. 'But it's not and we're going to need someone to pitch every fifth day.

'At some point, we may be dealing with a strength instead of a weakness.'