A new professional football team is coming to the Triangle.
The North Carolina Bison of the Gridiron Developmental Football League is the latest organization to try to make a successful run in the area.
Based in Memphis, Tenn., the GDFL calls itself a community league with “high quality sports entertainment” that offers players an opportunity to participate in professional development sports.
It is a spring league where players can hone their skills and still be available for fall and winter leagues.
The new Bison will participate in the five-team Patriot Division along with the Fayetteville Commandos, Hampton Road Redskins, Fayetteville Horizon and Palmetto Havoc.
Harold Turner, CEO of Full Contact Sports Management, LLC, in Holly Springs, will run the squad. Full Contact is a sports development organization that helps athletes train year-round.
“We will be developing on and off the field,” Turner wrote via email.
“We are giving these athletes a opportunity to continue their careers, and also front office staff as well. We are a professional development system.”
Each spring, FCSM hosts a training camp and combine for athletes to showcase their skills before sports professionals. This year, the top 36 will be offered contracts to play with the Bison, whose season begins May 18.
Two combine dates are left: March 15 and April 12, 8 a.m. to noon – both being held at Durham County Memorial Stadium. Registration is $60.
“Tickets to our games will be just $10,” Turner said. “The Triangle is long overdue for affordable family entertainment.”
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Long Ball moves on
Durham Triple Play Long Ball is now a part of Major League Baseballs RBI program, which stands for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities.
President Pat James and Vice President Myra Blackwell recently returned from the RBI Institute in Grapevine, Texas.
James and Blackwell are the first women to oversee an RBI program in North Carolina.
“It was funny how the other coaches assumed we were there for softball,” James said. “We made some great contacts and even shared ideas that worked for us.”
Officials were so impressed with the Long Ball program, James said, they have been invited to Minneapolis in July to participate in the Junior RBI Classic even though there is no 11- to 12- year-old age group.
“They said we could just bring 12 players for baseball camp,” James said.
MLB covers all expenses except for luggage fees, which are $50 per player.
Also in July, two all-star teams will travel to the Mid-Atlantic Regionals in Prince Georges County, Md.
The entire cost of travel, hotels and meals is on James and staff. James is seeking sponsors to help with the luggage fees and with the trip to Maryland.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long Ball is 5013 so all contributions are tax-deductible.