Are you ready for some football? Indoor football, that is

Hampton Mayor Donnie Tucker (right) welcomes the Virginia Destroyers as coach Durwood Roquemore, Director of Football Development Eddie Brown, and NGL President Joe McClendon III (from left) look on at Thursday's press conference. (Photo courtesy of the National Gridiron League)
Hampton Mayor Donnie Tucker (right) welcomes the Virginia Destroyers as
coach Durwood Roquemore, Director of Football Development Eddie Brown, and NGL President Joe McClendon III (from left) look on at Thursday’s press conference. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the National Gridiron League)

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).

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.