The Cape Fear Heroes are back in the AAL for 2019, locked in and loaded. The Heroes ended the 2018 season strong. They lost in the playoffs against the eventual winner of the AAL Championship, the former Atlanta Havoc, in a close score of 59-51. Their overall record was 5-3.
The Heroes also literally ended the year of 2018 on an exciting note. The team hired former Torch head coach Chris McKinney to come lead the team in 2019. In 2017, McKinney brought the Torch to the SIF Championship after a 6-0 run, and was named Coach of the Year. He was the head coach of the Torch from 2017 to 2018.
In 2018, his overall record was 2-2 (the Torch forfeited four games, finsihing 2-6). His overall record with the Torch is 8-2 (taking away the four forfeits that was out of his control. From 2014 and four games into 2015, McKinney was the head coach of the St. Louis Attack of the X-League. They finsihed the season 9-0, winning the Championship, and McKinney was named Coach of the Year.
In 2015, he was fired after a 2-2 start. His overall record was 10-2. He has also coached in the AFL with the Philadelphia Soul.
The coaching staff also includes offensive coordinator Corey McDowell. He held the same role from 2013-2015, and for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he served primarily as the receivers coach. McDowell will also serve as the receivers and quarterbacks coach.
So far, the Heroes have made some good signings. The quarterback room includes Yeshai Callaghan and Garrett Sutphen. Callaghan was a free agent quarterback of who many people were excited about after seeing his film. He had signed to play with the Vermont Bucks, but they didn't play the 2018 season.
Callaghan played with the River City Thunder arena football team in 2016, the film that caught people's eyes. In 2018, he played with River City Outlaws. For the Heroes, that sealed the deal.
As for Sutphen, he had a stint with the Cape Fear Heroes from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, Sutphen played with the Alabama Hammers of the PIFL. In 2016 and 2017 he played for the Triangle Torch of the SIF.
Other signings include offensive lineman DeMarcus Whitehurst, fullback/linebacker Jalan Jackson, defensive lineman Steven Fluker, offensive lineman Dalvon Stuckey, fullback/linebacker Vinston Thorpe, wide receiver/running back LaMont Brown, linebacker/defensive end Fletcher Faison, and defensive/offensive lineman Dayvon Prophete.
The Heroes will play at the Crown Complex in Fayetteville, NC. They will kickoff their season at The Florence Center in Florence, SC against the Carolina Havoc on March 15.