Are You Ready For Arena Football To Kick Off
One of the best parts of October, is the fact that Arena Football is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. As the leaves turn color most of the Arena Leagues are looking forward to training camp and getting ready for the Season. This year will be interesting as no one really knows what the leagues seasons will look like. Which League? And Who’s in What leagues are today’s questions and here is some of that is happening.
Recently, LockedIN Magazine took some time to chat with Tony Zefiretto, CEO for the American Arena League, and although we slammed the league for most of last year, the league is pushing forward to 2019. The Cape Fear Heroes, Carolina Energy, Georgia Doom, High Country Grizzlies and the Peach State Cats are confirmed for 2019 and they may add 2 or 3 more teams.
“Right Now we have 5 teams signed and we are talking with 3 or 4 more teams about 2019”, Zefiretto said, “we had some issues in 2018 and Jack (Bowman) and I are working to fix them.
Putting a QUALITY product on the field this year is paramount for the league to be able to continue and we look for 2019 to be different from 2018. Major Needs! Better Communication! Better Origination. Teams working together.
The Carolina Havoc have announced that they have agreed to return to the AAL, The team also announced that GM Joshua Resignalo has resigned his position on the team and has agreed to join the Carolina Cobras of the NAL. Steve Smith has been named the new GM.
A-League, the newly formed arena football league headquartered in Lakeland and set to play their first season in the spring of 2019 has a new approach to the game.
According to league Commissioner Gary Tufford, the game of arena football is still a great event but the time has come to mold it into a fresh new package that better fits the cities and venues of the smaller more appreciative markets in which they will play. “Look, I love arena football; I have a long history with the game and have seen the best and worst of times. When it is all said and done, you have to adjust with the times and we believe it is time for some new rules and innovations that better reflect the arena game, the size of our venues, the needs of our fans and the time they spend at our events.”
The A-League will feature several unique innovations featuring new rules designed to speed up game play and enhance the fan experience. Teams will only carry 16-man rosters, which must include at least two players who play both offensive and defense. Dubbed “The Deuce”, these two way players must play all 60 minutes on both sides of the ball. Tufford added “This is reminiscent of the early days of arena ball where we had ironman players. As a coach you will have to find the best athletes you can to fill those spots and as a fan you get to see some great players leaving it all on the field”. The league currently is seeking local and regional players with a high level of experience and want to extend their football playing days.
Over in the National Arena League, Free agency has started, but the league hasn’t announced much. The Columbus Lions have announced that Mason Espinosa, the 2018 National Arena League Offensive Player of the Year, has agreed to terms to return for 2019.