All-Pro WR-Antonio "BIG 24" Batista back in action for 2023
The Erie Express are happy to announce the return of All-Pro WR-Antonio Batista (Strong Vincent) for the 2023 season. Antonio begins his eighth season with the Express and returns as a starter at WR.
This past season season we were crowned USA Bowl Summer Division National Champions, won our Division in the GDFL for the fourth year in a row and qualified for the GDFL National Playoffs for the seventh year in a row. In January of 2023 we headed to Daytona Beach, FL to face the Minneapolis Warriors in the USA Bowl Summer Division National Championship Game. (17-20 loss) The above mentioned team accolades, Antonio had a direct hand in making possible.
Antonio missed most of the 2021 season due to an injury but came back strong in 2022 finishing with 496 total yards. Ton hauled in 21 catches for 323 yards, 3 carries for 10 yards and 5 total touchdowns. On special teams Batista added 8 kick returns for 163 yards and 8 tackles. For his efforts he was named GDFL All-Pro for the 2022 season.
2019, Ton's last full season before 2022, he recorded 734 total yards of offense. He hauled in 25 passes for 528 yards, 7 touchdowns and a trio of 2pt conversions. Batista added 47 yards and a TD on the ground and returned 7 kicks for 172 yards. On defense and special teams Ton recorded 26 tackles, 5 caused fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and an interception. We also used Antonio from time to time as our kicker as well. Antonio led the GDFL during the playoffs with 2 touchdown receptions, finished the regular season ranked fifth with 332 yards receiving and was ranked fourth in receiving touchdowns with 4. For his efforts Ton earned GDFL All-Pro Status. In addition to GDFL honors Batista was also named Express Most Improved Offensive Player as well as Special Teams Player of the Year.
For his career on defense Ton has recorded 154 tackles, 6tfl, 7TDs, 13 int for 283yds and 5 pic 6, 14 fc, 10 fr, 2 blocked punts returned for tds, 13 pbu and 10 blocked kicks.
"It doesn't matter where we put him he produces. He really came into his own last season at the wide receiver position and I don't foresee him being moved again unless we are in a pinch. After all he had to deal with in 2021 to come back last year and do what he did...just amazing. We love what he brings to the team, he is a true leader on and off the field and we are blessed to have him back on board with us in 2023"-Director of Operations Paul Pennington.
Cruiz Photos have sponsored All-Pro WR-Antonio Batista (Strong Vincent, HS) for the 2023 season. Please visit them at their Instagram page. Great photos at a great price. When you want to capture that special moment, look no further than Cruiz Photos.
GO EXPRESS! #TEAMWORK
Happy to have you back on board the PAINTRAIN Ton! GO EXPRESS!