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This past fall Barbara Spigner acquired the remaining interest in the Cape Fear Heroes Arena Football Team and is now its sole owner.
Last year Barbara was a partner in the team but she had a vision to take the team to the next level and wanted do to some exciting things going forward. Being a successful business woman she knew her skills would allow her and the team to do great things with the right goals and objectives behind her, part of her vision was for the team to be more accessible and active in the community and for the team to work more with charitable causes. That being said the Heroes where set up as a non-profit legal entity and although it still will a take strong participation from team sponsors and ticket sales to make the Heroes successful our non – profit status will help us do many additional things within our community.
Barbara has always had a golden heart and looks for ways to be a positive influence to others.
Barbara is no stranger to professional Indoor Football having been a team owner for three years, two of those with the Florence Phantoms and last season with the Cape Fear Heroes. In two of those seasons her teams won national championships (2008, 2012). Over her three seasons as an owner her teams have amassed an overall record of 25 wins and 12 losses.
One of Barbara’s first acts of giving back to the community was during this past season when she donated five laptop computers to players from the Heroes Youth Football Organization, a member of the AIF for Kids program. Players were asked to write about one of their heroes in life, a player with the best essay was then selected from each age group.
The essays were well written as well as emotional and it was hard to choose just one winner from each age group but the winners were finally chosen. Many of the heroes written about came from that child’s family structure or a teacher in their school. The age groups represented were 8 & 9, 10 & 11, 12 & 13 and 14 & 15. Ms. Spigner hopes to expand upon the program this season.
Build – A – Bear Workshop
When the tragedy happened in Newtown Ct. recently Barbara and the Heroes we looking for a way to acknowledge the twenty six people who lost their lives with a positive reinforcement for the surviving family members and loved ones.
The Heroes sent each family through the Newtown Police Department A - Build – A- Bear Workshop Heroes custom teddy bear in remembrance of their lost loved one.
Heroes Ring Ceremony
Heroes owner Barbara Spigner shown with county commissioner Charles Evans and Heroes team members and staff (photo courtesy of the Fayetteville Press).
This past Saturday night January 19th, 2012 the Cape Fear Heroes held their Championship Ring Ceremony at the Holiday Inn- Bordeaux in Fayetteville North Carolina. Over one hundred people attended the event honoring players and staff of the 2012 Heroes undefeated and national championship season.
The evening started out with a cocktail and reception hour at the All American Sports Bar and Grill then later moved over to the hotels Wellington banquet room for the ceremony. The ceremony opened up with County Commissioner Charles Evans who talked about the benefits of the Heroes to the community followed by a speech from team owner Barbara Spigner who thanked everyone in attendance for their commitment to the Heroes and shared her plans and vision for the team’s future.
At that point Barbara Spigner and Heroes Head Coach Charles Gunnings presented championship rings to Heroes coaches and players in recognition of their undefeated 2012 season and AIF National Championship. While it is not uncommon for teams to give championship rings to reward their players of such an accomplishment Barbara took it one step further.
Each Heroes player was also given a special gift from Ms. Spigner and told not to open it until later in the ceremony. After a brief video, players were told to open their gifts and were surprised to see a certificate for a team cruise on Celebration Cruise Lines to the Bahamas from Barbara. Barbara went on to explain the cruise was the first component of a long range plan for a Heroes Goodwill Tour to the Bahamas.
As part of the Goodwill Tour proposed future plans include the Heroes working with the Bahamas and Grand Lucayan Resort to have Heroes coaches and players teach instructional football clinics across the Bahamas.
Barbara is a longtime resident of Fayetteville where she owns and operates Spigner Management Systems, Inc. and B.J. Hill & Associates. She serves on the City of Fayetteville Board of Adjustment and the Nursing Home Advisory Board.
Harrisburg Stampede Head Coach, Bernie Nowotarski announced today that WR Prentice Quince has signed with the Stampede for the 2013 Season.
Prentice is a player with quickness, speed and seems to just find the open area. The former Boynton Beach Community HS and Tallahassee Community College Grad has been a thorn in Coach Nowotarski’s defensive game plan for several seasons as part of the Fayetteville Guard and Force and last year’s AIF Champions Cape Fear Heroes.
Prentice signing with the Stampede will give the Stampede another speed threat. As well his Indoor experience and understanding of the game should pay off in points scored especially with veteran QB EJ Nemeth.
“If you would have told me a week ago that we were going to sign a starting WR from Cape Fear, I would have told you that’s just crazy. When Prentice messaged me I was shocked that he asked if he could come play for us in Harrisburg. Over the last 4 or 5 seasons this kid has probably caught more TD’s against us than any other receiver. So we are excited to have Prentice and we look forward to him getting into town. I think he will be a big hit with the kids and our fans. He understands how to play this game and entertain,” mentioned Nowotarski. .
Just a Reminder: The Stampede’s first Open Try-Out is Saturday January 12 from 10am to 1pm at Sports City Harrisburg. See our Team Web Site and our FB and Twitter pages for details. Opening night is Saturday March 16 at 5:05pm. Our FREE Super Bowl Ticket promotion is running til the end of this week. Don’t miss your chance for 2 tickets to the Big Game in New Orleans.
The Cape Fear Heroes are pleased to announce the re-signing of Head Coach Charles Gunnings for the 2013 season. Charles led the Heroes to a perfect 9-0 record last season, including a 79-27 victory against the California Eagles in the American Indoor Football title game this past June. The 2012 season was Charles second undefeated and national championship season having previously led the Fayetteville Guard to a perfect 13-0 regular season record in 2007 with a win over the Wyoming Calvary.
Charles is recognized as one of indoor football’s best coaches, his teams have consistently won and his defenses are usually ranked either 1st or 2nd almost every year. With a group of returning veteran players Charles and the Heroes have the opportunity to go after back to back championships a rare accomplishment in any sport.
Barbara Spigner owner of the Heroes is excited to have Coaching Gunnings back at the helm and anticipates another successful season for the Heroes
Charles was born in Gastonia North Carolina and raised in Laurinburg, North Carolina where he attended Scotland High School. While in High School he lettered in 3 sports: Football, Basketball, and Track. Later Gunnings earned a Football Scholarship to Elizabeth City State University as a defensive back where he was converted to linebacker and earned All CIAA honors at that position. Upon graduating from ECSU, Gunnings stayed at ECSU to coach as a linebackers coach while he pursued his NFL Dreams. After 3 failed tryout attempts with the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL Gunnings began his professional football career in 2000 with the AF2 Cape Fear Wildcats where he played running back and linebacker, and recorded the team’s first rushing touchdown in their history. Gunnings went on to play for the Cape Fear Wildcats for another 3 years before injuries sidelined him indefinitely and he turned to coaching.
Charles is married to Shaunee Langford Gunnings, and has 2 children, a daughter Laila and a son Charles Jr.
The Cape Fear Heroes have signed three players from their first open tryout for the 2013 season held this past December 9th. Heroes Head Coach Charles Gunnings was pleased at the high level of talent displayed by those athletes as he looks to add additional depth to last years undefeated championship team.
Andrew Parsons just finished his collegiate playing career, having played at Coastal Carolina University and Catawba College. He is a 6'1" - 270 lb lineman from Rockingham North Carolina who played high school football at Richmond Sr. High School where he was named All Conference and Best Lineman.
Chad Walcott a 6'3' - 205 lb wide receiver and defensive back was a three year letterman at Northern Durham High School where he was a team captain and MVP. Chads other honors include playing in the North Carolina East - West All Star Game as well as being named a two time Pac 6 All Conference player. In addition he received All State and All Area honors
Brandon Thompson a 5'10"- 175 lb wide receiver played his college football at Fresno City College where he was named All Conference and finished with 1,000 all purpose yards.
The Heroes will be holding two more open tryouts in the near future, go to www.capefearheroes.com for more information.
The AIF, American Indoor Football held their annual league meetings this past December 6th at the Historic Yorktowne Hotel in York Pa. Ownership groups from all 2013 AIF teams where represented at the meeting, the Harrisburg Stampede, Roc City Thunder, Washington Eagles, West Virginia Badgers, York Capitals and last year’s AIF Champion the Cape Fear Heroes Also in attendance was the ownership group from the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Pa. market who has committed to play in the 2014 season.
The first order of business announced was the six AIF team members that will be playing in 2013 as well as the under contract expansion markets of Wiles-Barre/ Scranton Pa. and Baltimore Maryland with the return of the AIF to 1st Mariner Arena in 2014. In addition the AIF announced it was in discussions with two ownership groups about securing teams in the State of South Carolina for the 2014 season
In a long day of meetings league officials and team owners covered a wide variety of topics from team budgets, team revenue streams, vendor products, a weekly AIF radio podcast as well as the radio broadcasts of team games. In addition a league executive and standards committee was formed featuring the owners of three AIF teams as well as members of the AIF ownership and management team to steer the direction and vision of the league. The final order of business was the 2013 AIF Schedule which was completed and will be released to the public in the next several days.
The event will run for ten days and take place on the fair grounds at the Crown Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina and will encompass an area of interactive games, mascots, pep rallies, football and dance team clinics all taking place on a portion of Heroes game field that will be set up special for this event. The Heroes will have giveaway items as well as autograph and picture opportunities with your favorite Cape Fear Heroes players, dance team or promotion team members.
In addition to the various activities you will be able to purchase Heroes merchandise, reserve your 2013 Heroes Season Tickets or join the Heroes Kids Club. Best of all, its FREE to anyone attending the fair!
All activities take place outdoors (rain or shine). A complete list of Heroes FanFest daily activities will be posted soon at www.capefearheroes.com.
For more information on the Cumberland County Fair go to www.cumberlandcountyfair.org or click on the fair logo on this website.
In 2012 as a defensive back for the Champion Cape Fear Heroes JeRome lead the team to a franchise record 12 interceptions in nine games. Mann is no stranger to success in indoor football over a three year period he has accumulated 30 interceptions while playing for four different teams the Richmond Raiders (2010), the Fayetteville Force and Carolina Speed (2011) and the Cape Fear Heroes (2012).He is also a two time indoor football all-star first with the AIFA in 2010 and then the AIF in 2012.
When asked about winning this great award JeRome says I would like to thank god for giving me the ability to play football at a high level in both practices and games. This award is a great individual award but without the rest of the team it would not have been possible. I had the opportunity this year to play side by side with a great group of players on the way to our undefeated season and AIF Championship. I also want to give a special thanks to my defensive line and linebackers for dominating each and every week, they made it easy for myself and our secondary to excel in 2012
JeRome played his college football at Saint Paul’s College in Virginia as a defensive back and was named to the 2005 CIAA All Rookie Team and was then named to the CIAA Honorable Mention Team in 2007. He has also played in two college all-star games, the 2008 East Coast Bowl and the 2009 Cactus Bowl the later a division 2 all-star played in Kingsville Texas. In 2009 after college JeRome was a pre-draft candidate and had several workouts with NFL teams before beginning his career in indoor football.
A complete list of 2012 AIF All-Stars will be released in the near future.
Mayor Chavonne read and presented a proclamation from the City of Fayetteville to Heroes General Manager Jack Bowman recognizing the Heroes undefeated season and American Indoor Football Championship as well as their great work in the community mentoring kids along with their work with the AIF For Kids Youth Football Program.
In topping the Eagles the Heroes became the first team in AIF history to complete a season undefeated. The Heroes earlier defeated the Harrisburg Stampede in the AIF Eastern Conference Championship on June 9th by the score of 42-40 to earn the right advance to the AIF championship game.
Other great moments this season where winning the AIF Eastern Conference regular season title on May 19th by beating the undefeated Harrisburg Stampede by the score of 57-32 and a close battle with the Carolina Force on April 14th that the Heroes won by a score of 41-40.
The Heroes entered the season with everything on the line to prove and wanting to set their mark on history. Early in the fall of 2011 an ownership group consisting of John Morris, Barbara Spigner and Charles Gunnings was put together and a territory was purchased from the American Indoor Football and later a lease was signed with the Crown Coliseum for the Heroes to play the 2012 season in Fayetteville.
The hard work was then ahead of the team of hiring the right management and coaching staff with the ability of putting a quality product on the field. Players where then recruited with coaches working around the clock to invite the right mix of veteran and rookie players to the first Heroes training camp.
Jack Bowman the Heroes General Manager says that the Heroes where a special organization in 2012, Head Coach Charles Gunnings structured a dedicated and skilled group of assistant coaches and support staff who spent endless hours at practice, evaluating opponents game film, working with players in the weight room all of which I believe help lead us to this championship.
The Heroes organization is more then just the game played on the field our overall success is only as good as our sponsors and fan base who without their support would have made this year’s success much harder to achieve. The Heroes would like to thank each one of our sponsors and fans who supported our organization this year and joined us on this great adventure. Our fans new and old, our loyal season ticket holders, our new fans who came on late in the season and our sponsors all deserve to enjoy and cherish in this accomplishment with the Heroes because each one of you helped us get here.
Now that the future is upon us and we look to “Repeat” our performance in 2013 you will see the Heroes active in the community on a year round basis as we continue our commitment to our community and look to build upon our success.
“Official League Championship Ring Supplier”
American Indoor Football is pleased to announce that Signature Style Jewelry has been chosen as the “Official Championship Ring Supplier of the AIF”. After discussions with four leading ring manufacturers Signature Style Jewelry was chosen for its high level of product quality and customer service. Chad Beeman Vice President of Signature Style has been a pleasure to work with says AIF President John Morris, along with his staff they have worked countless hours to design the 2012 AIF Championship ring for this year’s AIF winner the Cape Fear Heroes.
Founded in 1969, Signature Style Jewelry has come to the forefront of the industry in custom jewelry. Signature Style Jewelry is a leading online retailer of championship rings, class rings, corporate rings, military rings, and fashion jewelry. The company’s rapid growth over the years has come from their innovative and numerous options when it comes to customizing jewelry. Their aspirations to continually improve customer options are what make them different from the rest of the industry.
Chad Beeman of Signature Style Jewelry says Signature Style is excited about the opportunity to serve the AIF organization and be named the Official Provider for Championship Rings and Pendants. Signature looks forward to a long lasting relationship, and rewarding your Champions with the finest quality championship rings in the industry!
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