With 40 teams in the Inter Active Football League, it can be tough to keep up with them all, except for the few that are unforgettable for one reason or another.
Enter the Alcoa Alloys, which are the only “Alloys” from among more than 800 developmental football teams nationwide and, to our knowledge, the only “Alloys” in all of sports, period.
“Branding is key,” Alloys owner Craig Brown told Developmental Football USA. “Once I secured the field at Alcoa High School – I was inspired by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ relationship with Pittsburgh Steel – it only seemed natural to go with Alloys, as the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) produces aluminum, which is an alloy metal. I also enjoy knowing that we are the only ‘Alloys’ in the whole wide world of sports.”
The Alloys are in their inaugural season as a team and as a member of the IAFL, and for Brown, it’s his first experience with this level of football.
“I’m a regional manager for Alumni Football USA,” Brown said. “After a rival game this past October between two local schools, I realized that some of the players wanted to continue past this experience. I did some research that led me to the IAFL and here we are.”
Similar to many teams at this level, Brown’s vision is to help young men continue their passion and dream and he’s had no problem putting together a roster full of play makers.
“Fortunately for the Alloys, we have a dozen players who on any given play will score,” Brown said of his offense.
Among those scoring threats are A.J. Young, Orlando Bledsoe, Jonathan Thompson, Zach Thomason, Lonnie Morris, Shawn Love, LaJaun Warfield, Brandin Frazier, Devarias Evans, Ervin Nard and kicker, Miguel McNelly, Brown said.
Thompson always leads the way on defense at the linebacker position.
“J.T. can play anywhere from running back, receiver, or lineman,” Brown said. “However, he excels at linebacker. He’s a good, solid hitter with instinctive skills.”
“A.J. Jackson is also another linebacker who is key to our defense. Typically quite, he does his talking on the field.”
Brandon McGill, Jonathan Shepherd, Jake Holiday, Steven Clark and Martin Mayne are also integral pieces to the Alloys defense, which has been a strength for them this year.
Unfortunately for the Alloys, they’ll be finishing the rest of their first-year journey without a few of their brothers, whose absence has been felt.
“We’ve lost over a half-dozen linemen to season and career ending injuries,” Brown said. “Among those is Andy O’Dell to a broken clavicle. Our linemen, the ‘Filthy Five,’ are the unsung heroes. I’d like a shout-out to all those men in the trenches who are taking the brunt of the punishment.”
Next weekend, the Alloys will have the opportunity to face off against one of the juggernauts of the league in the No. 2 Chattanooga Eagles.
“The goal is to win our remaining games which include the Chattanooga Eagles,” Brown said. “No one has scored on them…yet. That’s big, and defeating them puts us on the road to the championship. I also think we’ll also see the Asheville Aces in the championship race.”