The Triangle Torch had a bad taste in their mouth after their Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) title game loss to the Cape Fear Heroes. They had the game in their hands, but a late turnover gave Cape Fear a chance to win, and win they did.
That’s not how defensive end Eddie Verrett and the Torch felt going in. “The whole vibe of going into the game was different,” Verrett said. “We had our mind set that we were going to win the championship and take home the gold.“
Triangle blew a 14-point lead in the title game, as well. That is not the end of the story between Cape Fear and Triangle. Verrett signed with the Heroes this off-season. One reason he said he signed with them is their owner, Babara Spinger and head coach Charles Gunning.
“She is a great woman a hustler mind frame and leader/ business woman and so kind hearted,” Verrett said of Spinger. “Coach [Gunning] reminds me of my father so much – a serious-minded person that when he walks in, he is respected and feared like Suge Knight,” he said of his new coach. “He pushes me to be great. After the championship game, he made sure I was okay.
“I was in a bad place mentally, spiritually and physically going into the game. He pretty much looked out for me, players and staff. He imbraced me and gave me respect being over here. I feel like I got that swag back on the field. I’m working super hard and I’m pushing myself harder it feels like home.”
Cape Fear isn’t the only team Verrett tried out for. He also attempted to make it with the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks of the National Arena League (NAL). As far as another AAL team, there was no competition. “I never wanted to reach out to other teams,” Verrett said. “I had my mind set on Cape Fear and Cape Fear only.”
Cape Fear travels to Raleigh, NC on May 5 to take on the Torch in a rematch of their classic championship meeting. The trash talk between the two teams has already begun, however. Verrett is expecting more come gameday.
“I’m expecting for the heat to be on,” he said. “I already exchanged words with former teammates. Some were happy and positive. Some were negative. I was getting called the [Kevin Durant] of arena football [and] all kinds of stuff.
“I’m expecting boos and words to get swapped during game play,” he went on. “The tension will be high. Me and my former team Justin Sullivan that [also] signed to Cape Fear – both [of us] have this game on our mind and it’s at their home.
“Every game, you should play like your last, but this game, I plan to just beast mode non-stop. All brakes, no gas, but no bad blood with Torch. I wish them all success,” he finished.
Cape Fear will be looking to repeat as champions in the AAL, but it won’t be easy. The Richmond Roughriders (Arena Pro Football champions) and Vermont Bucks (Can-Am Indoor champions) are also members of the league. Verrett believes that Richmond will be the biggest competition to Cape Fear when it comes to repeating.
“They have the tools, the staff, the owners, the players, coaches and the fans,” he praised the Roughriders. “They are very talented and aggressive team, but I love that type of stuff I love to battle and fight.”
“Coach Gregg [Fornario] is a great dude and Keontae [Hollis] is going to do great things on the defensive line for them,” he added. Cape Fear will get a taste of the Roughriders when they travel to Richmond, VA on April 7.
The American Arena League kicks off their season on March 17 with multiple games. Triangle is on bye to start the season and will not play their first home game until April 7 against the Georgia Doom. Cape Fear opens with the High Country Grizzlies on March 31.
The league will play a 12-week schedule with playoffs being played the weekend of June 23 and the title game being played on Saturday, June 30.