03/31/2015 1:46 PM -

JACKSONVILLE – The Arena Football League and the Jacksonville Sharks announced Tuesday that Jacksonville wide receiver Joe Hills has been named the AFL’s J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 1. Hills is being honored for his performance in the Sharks’ season opener against the New Orleans VooDoo on Saturday, March 28.

Playing in his first game as a member of the Sharks, Hills made a significant impact despite Jacksonville’s one-point loss. In the first half, Hills helped kick-start the Jacksonville offense, catching a touchdown on three consecutive second-quarter drives. Adding two more scores in the second half, Hills was on the receiving end of all five of Tommy Grady’s touchdown passes and totaled 11 receptions for 100 yards in his Jacksonville debut.

Hills was the only player in the League to score more than three touchdowns in Week 1, and his 11 catches tied for third-most among all receivers during the season’s opening slate of games. Hills also extended his League-best streak of consecutive games played with at least one touchdown catch to 36, as he has scored in every one of his appearances since Week 17 of the 2012 season.

A fourth-year AFL veteran, the 27-year-old Hills joined the Sharks via free agency after spending most of his career with the Tampa Bay Storm. A First Team All-Arena selection in 2013, Hills totaled 80 touchdowns over the course of his final two seasons in Tampa Bay. For his career, Hills has caught 297 passes for 3,995 yards and 99 touchdowns.

Hills and the Sharks are in the midst of preparation for their 2015 home opener, as Jacksonville will face the Orlando Predators on Friday, April 3. Kickoff on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is set for 8:00 p.m.

About the Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2015 season are now available, two tickets as low as $99. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at and Chum at

About the AFL

Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 on ESPN.