Arena football team coming to Eastern North Carolina


RALEIGH, NC (American Arena League) — Triangle Torch has been purchased by Torch LLC, which will take over as the new owner. Former owners David Foster, Harold Turner will no longer have any affiliation with the team or the AAL.  The new ownership has decided to change the name of the team from Triangle Torch to the East Carolina Torch which will act as the local arena team for the Kenansville, Jacksonville, New Bern, and Wilmington markets. The team will play their home games at the Duplin Events Center in Kenansville, and had formerly played home games at the Raleigh Fairgrounds Arena. The AAL has 12 teams from Rochester, NY to Lakeland, FL that are part of the professional organization.

“We realize that Raleigh along with the Southeastern part of North Carolina are avid football fans, and we look forward to bringing high-energy, fast-paced, arena pro football to the area,” Tony Zefiretto,  an AAL and Torch team spokesperson stated. “The Torch will deliver high-quality pro football in a fun atmosphere for the entire family, in which we feel will attract sold-out games at the Duplin Events Center in Kenansville. It will cost an entire family about $100 to attend one of games, where a family would pay about $600 to attend a NFL game.”

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The East Carolina Torch will be led by Coach Chris McKinney who has 5 years of professional indoor arena football experience with the Georgia Rampage and the Philadelphia Soul.  As Head Coach of the Torch, McKinney won the 2017 Supreme Indoor Football regular season league title and went undefeated with a 6 win 0 loss record in league play.  The Torch hosted the 2017 SIF Championship against the Cape Fear Heroes and lost in a closely fought game 30 – 24. McKinney is a Raleigh native that excelled at Apex High School near Raleigh. He played at Guilford where he started 40 games, and was a 4 time All Conference Award winner, plus 3 time All American Award winner. McKinney also set an NCAA record for 5 punt returns for touchdowns in a single season, and during his playing time in arena football, he scored 171 touchdowns.

Steffen Colon will be calling the signals for the Torch as Quarterback, who played arena football with Richmond Raiders, and Vermont Bucks where he was the MVP in their championship game. The team features Beddingfield High football standout Tobias  Brown on the offensive line, NC A&T standout Chris Andrews as Fullback and Wing, along with Defensive Back Shabre Judkins, who played a NC Wesleyan, and Mocksville, NC native Adam Smith as Wide Receiver for the Torch.  In arena football, fans are seated close to the action, and  many times have a chance to meet the players when they attend a game.


¨March 24 at Carolina Energy Lost 64-25

¨March 31 at Atlanta Havoc

¨April 7     Bye

¨April 14    Bye
April 21    at High Country Grizzlies

¨April 28    Home Upstate Dragons

¨May 5     Home Cape Fear Heroes

¨May 12   Home Carolina Cowboys

¨May 19   at Richmond

¨May 26   Home Austin Wild

¨June 2    Home Macon

¨June 10  Home Peach State Home (Sunday Game