Covering The AFL, AAL, NAL and MORE
So its December 7, 2018 and on the memorial day in History, LockedIN Magazine is looking into the moves in Arena Football. Winter is here and Arena Ball, is right around the corner and with the AFL, AAL, NAL and maybe a surprise or 2, Arena Football is COMING.
Kicking off in the Arena Football League(AFL), there is NO NEWS. Ted Leonsis’ plan to resurrect arena football is going NO WHERE! Rumors of bribes, embezzlement and corruption are rampant in and around their players union. Emails to the league have not been returned.
Over in the American Arena League(AAL), things are progressing. Still a RUMOR, But it looks like the West Virginia Roughriders are in the league now, the team and league are planning a statement.
Former South Carolina Gamecock Former Havoc defensive lineman Anson Yarborough has been named Head Coach for the Carolina Havoc. Havoc General Manager Steven Smith and the team’s ownership have announced the team’s moves just after announcing their re-entry into the AAL.
Yarborough was named the team’s third Head Coach. Yarborough, a native of Darlington, South Carolina, moves into his new role after spending the previous 10 seasons as a player and the last three as Defensive Coordinator for Scotland County High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Coach Yarborough played collegiately at the University of South Carolina from 2005 to 2008 and was a member of the last Gamecock team to defeat Alabama at Williams-Brice in Columbia.
After a brief stint with the Baltimore Ravens, Anson came home to Florence to play for the AIFA’s Florence Phantoms. He was a part of the Phantoms’ 2008 championship team and championship teams with the Fayetteville Force, Cape Fear Heroes and the Havoc last season in Atlanta. As a player, he garnered first team or all-league selections three times, lead two different leagues in sacks, and was a 2018 AAL All-Star.
The Havoc then named former Cape Fear Heroes Head Coach Charles Gunnings Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator. Yarborough will also assume the role of Offensive Coordinator. “I’m really excited to add a great football mind like coach Gunnings’. He’s not only one of my former head coaches, he’s also my mentor and to have that here with me in my first head coaching position is great. I don’t think we could have found a better fit,” said Havoc head coach Anson Yarborough.
General Manager Steve Smith said of the hire, “I’m extremely pleased that Coach Yarborough has brought Coach Gunnings to our organization. Having two championship-winning coaches leading our team onto the field in 2019 gives us an advantage that most teams do not have at this level.” The Havoc’s owner, Chris Duffy, also said, “We’re honored and excited to have Coach Gunnings as part of our pride. His experience will only help us in raising another championship banner in the city of Florence!”
Finally late yesterday the team announced the signing of Tymere Zimmerman to the roster. Zimmerman, a six foot, three inch, 220-pound wide receiver from Bennettsville, South Carolina, comes to the Havoc with a wealth of experience in indoor football. The former Newberry Brave and Clemson Tiger will add more size and experience to an already deep roster spot. Coach Yarborough said of Tymere’s addition, “He’s more than just a great football player. He’s a great teammate who will provide leadership on and off the field. He’s a local legend (he hails from Marlboro County) and has some of the best hands that I’ve ever seen.”
The Jersey Flight made a few announcements this week. First The Flight announced the hiring of General Manager William Thomas. Mr Thomas will serve as the General Manager of Team Operations, and brings a solid foundation of business and operations experience to the sophomore season for Jersey Flight. As a previous General Manager of the Jersey Bravehearts, and co-owner and CEO of the Jersey Sharks, he prides himself in guiding organizations with high standards in the office and on the field.
Thomas has also built a reputation as a relentless and tireless advocate for the MLF (Major League Football) League. He has developed a coordinated and clear vision for the Jersey Sharks organization and guided that first class organization throughout the last couple years.
The Flight then announced the hiring of Adam Turkel as the second Head Coach and director of player personnel in franchise history. Coach “Turk” brings a wealth of indoor experience having coached in various leagues professionally since 2004.
Coach Turk is a Brooklyn NY native currently residing in the suburbs of Trenton. Notably Coach Turk was the initial GM of the now defunct Trenton Freedom parting ways shortly after its inception due to differences in business philosophy.
“It’s a great opportunity” stated Coach Turk. “I’m looking forward to being part of the Flight family and helping create a product the city of Trenton can be proud of. We want to adopt the community, and hope they see our dedication to them as well as producing something Trenton can be proud of.” With a new GM and Head Coach in place , the Flight will now begin to gear up for 2019.
Over in the National Arena League(NAL) The Massachusetts Pirates have announced the signing of defensive back Reggie Wilkerson. The 5’-11” 185 lb. DB played three seasons at the University of Georgia and one year at Iowa State. Wilkerson came out of North Marion High School in Citra. FL as a four star recruit and it appeared he was going to start for the Bulldogs in 2013, but an ACL injury in practice slowed his progress, but not his determination. After rehabilitation he was on the field for one game in 2014.
The Jacksonville Sharks are preparing for their 2019 season, which happens to be a very special year for the franchise as it serves as their 10th anniversary season or our Decade of Dominance season. The Sharks plan to celebrate their 10 years as a winning franchise and as a member of the Jacksonville community with their new 10th Anniversary logo.
“It has been an unbelievable ride”, stated Operating Manager Jeff Bouchy. “We cannot believe we are ready to start our 10th season. In this last decade, we have been as dominant in the sport as I could have ever imagined in all areas. I would like to thank all the players, coaches, staff and most of all the sponsors, season ticket holders and fans. We couldn’t have done it without you.”
The Jacksonville Sharks then announced the signing of Defensive Lineman Jonathan Taylor Prior to signing with the Sharks, Taylor (6’6”, 340) worked out with the Cleveland Browns. He attended Southeastern Louisiana University, where he made 34 tackles and two sacks during 11 games.
We are still waiting on word about Orlando… and maybe Santa Jeff will bring us a Christmas Gift! Since he didn’t bring one for Hanukkah! LOL… We shall see.
Its going to be VERY INTERESTING come FEBRUARY! The Battle for Arena Football Trophies starts SOON!
BE BLIMP WORTHLY