The Albany Empire roster is coming together nicely. Not only did they bring back star quarterback Tommy Grady and sign the AFL's top receiver Darius Prince as well as a bunch of talent with NFL, CFL, or XFL experience but now they've added some local flavor. Head Coach Tom Menas (pictured above) promised he'd sign at least one player from the open tryouts on Saturday at the Afrim's Sports Park in Colonie and he more than made good on that promise. Three of the more than twenty athletes that tried out for the Empire signed with the team.

There's a definite buzz around the return of the Empire to the Capital Region. It was great to see all the media outlets and a bunch of fans in attendance along with the Empire hopeful. Coach Menas along with his staff tested the players on their athleticism and some more football-oriented drills. When the four-hour tryout was over Tyler Brown from Lake George, Gabe Ostrow who helps coach football at Lasalle, and Kenneth McGruder who drove here from Houston Texas for the opportunity were all invited to join the Empire.

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Jared Phillips of NEWS 10 ABC was on hand and spoke to new teammates.

“It’s a really big opportunity,” Brown said. “You’re playing with guys that are coming from the NFL, they’re coming from D-1 colleges. You get a lot of exposure from upper ranks CFL, XFL, NFL.”

“I’ve been coaching at La Salle Institute so I’m excited to represent those guys and my family and the local area and the community here,” Ostrow said.

The Albany Empire's first training camp as a member of the NAL is set to start on May 9th. The season begins May 29th at the Times Union Center. Originally the 2021 season looked like a longshot to even kickoff and now it's clear that Coach Menas and his team are full steam ahead and on paper have to be a favorite to win the NAL Championship.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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