Carolina Cobras set to open up season in April

The Carolina Cobras play their home games at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Carolina Cobras set to open up season in April
January 20
15:14 2021

The 2020 National Arena League (NAL) season was cancelled because of the pandemic, so fans, coaches and players are eager to get back out on the field for some fast-paced indoor football action.

The Carolina Cobras, based at the Greensboro Coliseum, is the local arena team in the area. They began play in 2018 and immediately showed the league that they are a team to be reckoned with. The Cobras won the NAL championship in their first season and were runners-up in their second season after they were narrowly defeated 52-48 by the Jacksonville Sharks.

Now that the 2021 season creeps closer, the Cobras are looking to continue with their winning ways. Cobra head coach Josh Resignalo is eager to get back on the field and see what his team is made of, especially due to not having a season last year.

“Unfortunately, COVID ruined 2020, so we are building for 2021 now,” said Resignalo. “I wish we would have played in 2020, but it’s good to have that extra time to build for 2021. We had the chance to add a few guys with the arena football league folding. There were a lot of players out there scrambling to find places to play, so there was a lot of great talent out there.

“It was a blessing to give us a little bit more time to get some different guys on the roster and get prepared for 2021.”

Resignalo was hired to be the head coach in December of 2019, so last season would have been his first season as the head man for the Cobras. He says it was deflating to not have a season, but feels his team can continue building upon the standard the franchise set its first two seasons.

“The Cobras are known for having a great defense and have had one of the top defenses their first two years, so we were hoping to keep that going three years in a row and make it three years to the championship game,” he said. “So, you have a lot of things we wanted to continue from the first two years going into the third, so to have that down time and break in between seasons hurts a little bit.

“Myself, I am a Marine, so I am used to adapting and overcoming and that kind of flows into my players. That is kind of our philosophy and mindset as a team.”

Resignalo was originally hired as the defensive coordinator under then head coach Billy Back in 2019. He says his mentality coming into the season is different now that he is the head coach versus when he was the defensive coordinator.

“The only difference is, being the head coach, you are responsible for all aspects of the game, all phases on and off the field and the operations part of it from a football standpoint,” he continued. So, it’s a little different from your overall responsibilities, but for me I have been involved in the arena football game since 2006.  

“Through those years, I played two years and I have been a head coach on a couple teams and offensive and defensive coordinator, so from a coaching standpoint, it’s all the same for me. But moving from coordinator to head coach, it’s more responsibility.”

Resignalo says everyone who enjoys football should come out to one arena football game, because they won’t be disappointed. The speed of the game versus what you see on Sundays in the NFL is apparent from the opening kickoff, especially on a 50-yard field.

“The arena football concept is very fan friendly and fast paced,” he stated. The fans are right there and it’s a lot of interaction between the players on the field and the fans and the fans can actually hear and see everything that is going on.

“It’s a great experience from a fan standpoint, much faster than outside and it’s only eight on eight that play at a time on the field. Everything happens much faster and if a fan gets up to go get some popcorn or a drink, they are going to miss something.”

As the home team, it’s great to have the fans right on top of you and cheering for you, but that is the exact opposite when you’re the visitor, Resignalo said. He says you need to have thick skin due to the close proximity of the fans to the coaches and players.  

The first game for the Cobras is April 3 and training camp for the league begins in mid-March. Resignalo is expecting his team to pick right up from where they left off in 2019.

“The only expectation that matters to us is to win another championship,” he said about his team’s goal for the season. “We got the players that can make it happen, we got a great ownership group, great facility in the Greensboro Coliseum, great town, great area that we are in, so we have all the tools in place to make it happen. It’s championship or bust really.

“We have some guys that have NFL experience, XFL experience, CFL experience, and guys that have played in the arena league. We definitely have the talent, it’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

Resignalo said it takes some time for players who are accustomed to playing on a traditional field to get adjusted to the style of play in the arena league.  

“It’s definitely different and it will take those guys a little bit of time to transition from outside to inside because of the style of play and the angles,” he said. “Everything happens much faster and when you’re a good football player outside, it’s because the game has slowed down for you and you understand what’s going on. So, when they get into the arena game, it intensifies times ten from when they first started playing outside.

“Guys will get accustomed pretty quick and you’ll be surprised at how many NFL guys have tried the arena game and are not very good because they can’t transition,” he went on to say. “It’s always nice to sign NFL talent, because they are some of the best athletes in the world.”

The players that have to make the biggest adjustments are the wide receivers and defensive backs, Resignalo stated.  He says it’s easier for offensive and defensive linemen, because their job is simplified due to the nature of the indoor game.

Resignalo enjoys having people from all over the Triad and beyond come out to enjoy watching the Cobras play. He feels that any person that watches the team will definitely come back to watch again.  

There are several players from area high schools that currently play for the Cobras. James Summers (Paige), Brandon Smith (East Forsyth), Patrick Green (North Forsyth), J.T. Surratt (Parkland) and Adam Smith (Davie County).

For ticket information about the Carolina Cobras, please visit or call 336-455-7232.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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