Carolina Energy Start Season 2 With New Lineup, Sponsors
Charlotte's indoor football team, the Carolina Energy, open their second season Sunday afternoon at Bojangles Coliseum, against the Carolina Predators from Greenville, S.C.
The Energy play in the two-year-old American Arena League. They've got new lineups of both players and corporate sponsors - such as Atrium Health and Morningstar Storage. And games will air live on the radio.
This year's team is led by quarterback Steffen Colon, who played at Glenville State in West Virginia, and last year on Raleigh's short-lived arena team. With him are a crop of other recent college players, says team owner and head coach Ervin Bryson.
"This is probably one of my best rosters I've put together in my 15 years of doing this. These guys are very humble, very hungry, and very involved with the community," Bryson said.
Players have had more time this year to get ready for the season. Last year, the team was announced only in January, and play began in March.
"We've become more of a family in a short period of time. And I can say a lot of that goes to our quarterback," he said.
Colon has played for Bryson before, when both were with the Vermont Bucks, in the old Can-Am Indoor Football League. Colon was the most valuable player in the championship game when the Bucks beat Rochester for the title in 2017. The league later was part of the merger that formed American Arena League, and Bryson came to Charlotte to start the Energy
A FAST GAME
Arena football is fast and high-scoring, with eight-person teams battling on a 50-yard turf field surrounded by padded walls. Last year, the Energy had five wins and three losses in the regular season, before losing a first-round playoff game to the Richmond Roughriders, 57 to 43.
Charlotte has had other indoor football teams on and off since the 1990s - the Rage, the Speed, and the Cobras. Bryson says the Energy need to expand their following this year.
"We connect with this community, we're going to be here a long time. We win ball games, and especially, our ultimate goal is to win the championship, I think it changes the game and it gives Charlotte its first-ever professional championship," Bryson said
Sunday's game kicks off at 4:05 p.m. at Bojangles Coliseum. Tickets are $16 to $37.
More about the Carolina Energy, https://www.carolinaenergyfootball.com/