Latest On The AFL, NAL, AAL and More
Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Last Day of March. We say that cause that means more FOOTBALL is coming and things are getting mighty interesting. The American Arena League, is off and running (or at least some teams are), The National Arena League(NAL) is about to open camp, and the Arena Football League(AFL) is right around the corner.
Tons of Rumors going around as the AAL Season continues and players already signed with teams are leaving for the AFL. Arena Football is coming on Strong and LockedIN Magazine takes a Look at what is going on.
The American Arena League is going on right now, and like we thought before the season started there are alot of teams in the mix, but only 4 or 5 that have a chance at the crown this year. Teams like the Carolina Cowboyz, Pittsburg Defenders, Chicago Aztecs are not ready for the league yet. The Aztecs have already called 2019 OVER and will work on gearing up for 2020.
In Saturday’s games:
The Carolina Havoc used a 2 QB system on Saturday in Georgia and improved to 3-0 after beating the Georgia Doom 48-32. While regular starter Daryll Clark continues to recover from an injury in the season opener against Cape Fear, he shared time with former Marlboro County star Tymere Zimmerman, who also made his share of plays for the Havoc.
But there was no quit in the Doom as they rallied to get within 34-31 with more than seven minutes left in the third quarter. But Hampton gave Carolina breathing room after scoring on a pitch from Zimmerman. After the point-after kick, the Havoc led 41-32 with 11:50 left in today’s game.
The New England Bobcats beat the Pittsburgh Defenders 68-30. And the W Michigan Ironmen embarrassed the Indianapolis Enforcers 68-6. In the Battle of Carolina, the Predators visit the Energy this evening and the Carolina Cowboyz visit the Peach State Cats.
More News In The American Arena League,
The Carolina Energy have announced that the following businesses are the official sponsors for them as their 2019 campaign begins this weekend. The Energy’s sponsors include TeleTech, Sandwich Max, New South Wealth Management, Mario’s Italian Restaurant, Fuel Pizza & Wings, and the Law Offices of William H. Harding.
During the season, each home game will have a different promotion that will be sponsored by one of the Energy’s many sponsors. The home opener on Saturday March 31st will be Church and Weddington High School game night. During this night, the Energy will be honoring the Weddington High School football team who won the NCHSAA 3AA Football State Championship in 2018. Also, the Energy have encouraged churches in the Charlotte area to bring their congregation with them.
Apart from the home opener, there will be games that will be featured with the different promotions and sponsors for the team. The April 13th game will be Rotary Night which will be sponsored by the Rotary Club of Matthews and the group will be purchasing tickets for 2600+ members, after the game, the team will give the Rotary International a check towards their support against Alzheimer’s. April 20th’s game will be sponsored by the Samaritan’s Feet organization, whose goal is to put shoes on the feet of children all over the world. The May 11th Game will be sponsored by Atrium Health, a non-profit hospital network which has over 60,000 employees and the May 25th game, which is the home finale against the Cape Fear Heroes, will be sponsored by Turning Point, a charity that exists to end domestic abuse, sexual assault, and child abuse through different outlets.
In the Arena Football League,
The Arena Football League (AFL) announced that Team Issue will be the official game ball brand for the 2019 season. These new game balls, as with all Team Issue footballs, are handmade in Dallas, Texas. The ball was designed to improve quality, and incorporates both bold and modern style elements that reflect the AFL’s future-oriented vision.
The outer cover of the ball features battle-tested, top-grain red leather that is hot-foil stamped with the new AFL logo. The football features white lace stitching and distinctive blue spikes on both ends, which were designed to match the lines of the football in the AFL’s new logo. Additionally, the ball includes the signatures of Commissioner Randall Boe, and AFL Chariman, Ron Jaworski.
The redesigned balls improve the quality of play for the athletes in the League: they are more aerodynamic and perfectly balanced for optimal spin, handling and a tight spiral. Each football is manufactured with a strong chain-stitch construction, and a 3-ply inner layer for unmatched shape retention. Each ball is quality control checked against strict, industry-leading standards.
“The AFL’s decision to use the best football money can buy, and subsequently allowing fans who catch balls during the game to keep them, made this project so much fun for me,” said Chris Calandro, founder and CEO of Team Issue. “The AFL didn’t want to just let fans keep any football – they specifically wanted them to be high-caliber. We’re proud of the quality of American-made footballs that we build.”
AFL Commissioner Randall Boe said, “We are pleased to be working with Team Issue. The official AFL footballs are of the highest quality, look great and are handmade in the US. They’ll be great for both our athletes and the lucky fans who catch them during AFL games.”
Team Issue is the premiere football brand of Big Game USA, and a dominant-supplier for FBS collegiate programs. The AFL footballs are made alongside of those for some of the most highly-reputable football programs in the country, and the League is excited to incorporate them into its games.
Big Game USA has been putting forth immense passion in its football production since the 1990s, and produce about 500 footballs each day at its factory in Dallas. The Arena Football League is excited to be part of the experience with Big Game USA, joining well-respected football entities across the country.
Fans can purchase official AFL game footballs by visiting www.teamissue.com
The Atlantic City Blackjacks draw 100-plus to first open tryouts on Saturday as the team is looking for finalize their roster for the 2019 Season. The athletes, who ranged from first-timers to experienced players, were tested in various drills, including the 40-yard dash, short shuttle, position-specific drills and one-on-ones.
Atlantic City coach Ron James and his staff were there to evaluate the players. They will decide Sunday or Monday which players to keep when training camp opens April 8. James said he’ll bring 35 players to camp and already has about 25 players, leaving 10 spots open.
The Atlantic City Blackjacks and Harrison Beverage Company announce a partnership creating the Bud Light Party Zone at all Blackjack home games in 2019. The Bud Light Party Zone provides a unique viewing experience, located directly behind one end zone. Typically, Arena Football games are extremely high scoring, bringing a lot of action right to the fans of the Party Zone and encouraging the football tailgate atmosphere.
A ticket in the Bud Light Party Zone INCLUDES a picnic like food fare, such as sliders, hot dogs and soft drinks. Bud Light drink specials will also be featured.
“The addition of the Bud Light Party Zone to our arena during Blackjack games not only gives the fans a great amenity, but also helps to create a home field advantage for us,” said George Manias, Chief Operating Officer of the Atlantic City Blackjacks. “This section is ideal for the true football fan or for fans who like to be in the middle of the action. Nothing says football like Bud Light, and we couldn’t be happier than to partner with Harrison Beverage Company and Bud Light to bring this section to life for Blackjack games”.
Just like all of the Blackjacks season ticket packages, the Bud Light Party Zone will include: invites to year-round member events, the ticket exchange program, lowest price on additional tickets when needed, 15% merchandise online discount, and an inaugural membership T-shirt!
Don’t miss your opportunity to witness history for one of the best sports in the area! Still don’t have season tickets? Don’t miss out on our inaugural season. Fans can secure season tickets for the new Atlantic City arena team for as low as $80 by calling 609-783-9494 or by visiting ACBlackjacks.com A limited number of great seats are still available! Want to bring your organization to a game, fundraise, or perform on the field? Group experiences are on sale now! Call for additional information.
The Atlantic City Blackjacks’ inaugural campaign will begin on the road on Saturday, April 27th against the three-time League champions, Philadelphia Soul, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Kickoff time will be announced at a later date. The Blackjacks will play their first ever home game at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, May 4 against the Columbus Destroyers. Witness history and get your tickets to the Blackjacks’ home opener by calling 609-783-9494 or by visiting ACBlackjacks.com today!
Over In the National Arena League:
The Massachusetts Pirates announced that Railers Sports Tavern will be the official site of the Pirates pre-game tailgate party. Three hours prior to kickoff of each home game, fans can start their game day experience with live music, games, face painters plus great food and drink outside of the tavern, located at 90 Commercial Street, just behind the DCU Center.
Mike Okayka, Pirates Director of Marketing feels Railers Sports Tavern is a great fit for the Pirates.
“It’s a great location and it allows us to get more involved in our community and it’s another way that we can work with the Railers and their ownership as well,” Okayka said. “Last year a few of our tailgates were rained out, so now we have the ability to move things inside. It will add to our fans experience and make for a better atmosphere. We know our fans will get rowdy and fired up and then bring it all into the DCU Center for our games,” he added.
You can also Meet the Pirates at the Grid!! Fans of all ages are invited to a meet and greet with the Massachusetts Pirates on Saturday, April 6 at the Grid starting at 12 noon. Fans can interact with the Players who will be on hand at 50 Franklin Street in Worcester. The festivities will being with players reading to children. Team members will also be available for photos and autographs. The entertainment includes music and complementary food and drinks.
The Pirates kick off 2019 season on Saturday, April 13 at the DCU Center when they face the defending National Arena League Champion Carolina Cobras. That will be the first of seven home games this season.
The Pirates have also hired Pierre Chatman to coach their defensive line. Chatman played defensive end and outside linebacker for twelve seasons, having played at West Virginia State, Warner University and for several arena football teams.
Chatman has coaching experience from his days at Warner University. He served as their defensive line coach and the assistant strength and conditioning coordinator. He shares his feelings about his first time coaching professionally.
The Jacksonville Sharks made some moves on Saturday gearing up for the opening of Training camp…
Assistant Head Coach/Lineman Coach: Lee Johnson – Johnson is no rookie to coaching, as he’s been coaching football for over 20 years in the Canadian Football League and arena leagues. Johnson was also a player for the Washington Redskins, BC Lions (CFL), Tampa Bay Storm, Shreveport Pirates, and the Charlotte Rage. As a coach, he started his career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1997 to 1998. In 2000, he was the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Cobras in the AFL. In the AFL, he helped out defenses all over, ranging from the Colorado Crush, Cleveland Gladiators, Orlando Predators, San Antonio Talons, and Portland Thunder.
Defensive Coordinator: James Fuller – Coach Fuller knows the game of arena football very well, and has actually been in the NAL before. Last season, Fuller was the Head Coach for the Maine Mammoths. They had a 1-7 start, knocking them out of the playoffs, but were arguably the most dangerous team after their 6-1 finish to the season. Fuller and the Mammoths defeated the Sharks, Cobras, Pirates, and Lions, who all made it to the playoffs, and of course, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. Not only is Fuller aware of how arena football works, he is also reuniting with Quarterback Jonathan Bane and Wide Receiver Devin Wilson, who played for the Mammoths last season.
Player of Personnel / Special Teams Coach: Charlie Hunt – Hunt started his Sharks career in 2011 and played all the way through the 2012 season and rejoined the Sharks in 2014. After a hiatus from the game, Hunt returned for the 2017 championship season and stuck with the team for the 2018 season as well. Over his time at playing Jack Linebacker, Hunt won two championships with Jacksonville and earned First Team All-NAL in 2017. In addition, he was named the NAL Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.
The Sharks also announced today that Lisa Green will be named the new Attack Dance Team Coordinator for the 2019 season. Lisa is excited to be bringing with her Cayla Kurtz and Stephanie Hillin as Assistant Dance Coordinators. Lisa Green is no stranger to the Sharks family, her and her husband Jason Green joined the Sharks Ownership group and have been dedicated to the organization for many years. Lisa, is a native of Jacksonville, who loves spending time with her husband, 6 children and 5 grandchildren. She is a FL alumni of Florida State College of Jacksonville. Where after graduation, she went on to work in the Nursing field for 14 years at Nemours Specialty Clinic, with special needs children. In the dance world, Lisa has danced and cheered her entire life, coached many years for Pop Warner, as well as judged many dance and cheer competitions. For the upcoming Attack season, Lisa is focused on creating great new additions, traditions, and improvements both on the field and in the local Jacksonville community.
The Sharks finally added Quarterback Mike Fafaul (6’2,1205) for his second season of arena football. Fafaul attended UCLA and played for the Bruins in 2013, and 2015-2016. In his college career, he totaled 265 attempts, completing 141 of them for 1,670 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Fafaul is a native of Cockeysville, MD and attended Loyola Blakefield High School in Towson, MD. In his senior season, he was 121-of-202 (59.90%) for 1,803 yards, 22 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.