Pro football fans in Hampton Roads won’t have to wait until September to see some action.
The Virginia Destroyers were introduced last Thursday as one of the 12 members of the new National Gridiron League.
“We are absolutely delighted the Virginia Destroyers have chosen Hampton and the Hampton Coliseum as their home in the inaugural season of the National Gridiron League,” said Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck. “Hampton has a rich history of football, from winning state (high school) championships to placing individuals in professional leagues.”
The Destroyers will open the 16-game season at home March 30 against the Kansas Kapitals. They will be coached by Durwood Roquemore, who spent two seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and had a Hall-of-Fame career in the Arena Football League as a defensive back. The Destroyers will play home games in the Hampton Coliseum, and are in the Eastern Conference of the two-conference league.
The team roster of the Destroyers so far consists of QBs David Perkins and Mike Tindall; WRs Standish Doboard and Cole McDaniel; MLBs Corwin Hammond Jr. (Norfolk State) and Ryan Arnold; CBs Tajmire Flood and Johnny Littlejohn; RB Lyle McCombs; S Dominique Patterson, and K James Neal.
The roster limit for each team is 28, and compensation ranges from $6,000-$20,000.
“We’ve got a great team for this inaugural season … fast, sharp, methodical players,” Roquemore said. “They’ve been training hard, getting ready to face off against the Kapitals and we’re excited to show Hampton what we’re about.”
Eight teams will make the playoffs, and the championship game for the new indoor league is set for Aug. 10 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The Destroyers are one of two Virginia teams in the NGL. The Virginia Iron Horses are based in Roanoke.
Destroyers schedule: March 30 vs. Kansas Kapitals; April 6: at Louisiana Red Sticks; April 13 vs. Arkansas Twisters; April 20 at Indiana Blue Bombers; April 27 at Virginia Iron Horses; May 4 vs. Pennsylvania Pioneers; May 12 at Georgia Wildcats; May 25 vs. Georgia Wildcats; June 1 vs. Mississippi Mudcats; June 8 at Texas Bighorns; June 15 at Kansas Kapitals; June 22 vs. Indiana Firebirds; June 29 at Pennsylvania Pioneers; July 6 at Indiana Firebirds; July 13 vs. Indiana Blue Bombers; July 20 vs. Virginia Iron Horses.
Eastern Conference: Georgia Wildcats (Albany, Georgia), Indiana Blue Bombers (Fort Wayne), Indiana Firebirds (Evansville), Pennsylvania Pioneers (Wilkes-Barre), Virginia Destroyers (Hampton), Virginia Iron Horses (Roanoke).
Western Conference: Arkansas Twisters (Little Rock), Kansas Kapitals (Topeka), Louisiana Red Sticks (Baton Rouge), Mississippi Mudcats (Jackson), Saint Louis Stampede (St. Charles, Missouri), Texas Bighorns (Beaumont).