SC Ravens hope to become next arena indoor football team in Lowcountry

Published: Mar. 25, 2016 at 10:22 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2016 at 10:31 PM EDT
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(Source: SC Ravens)
(Source: SC Ravens)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Get ready to possibly root on another sports team in the Lowcountry!

The South Carolina Ravens want to be your arena indoor football team around this time next year. The team is run by former football players from the area hoping to take another cut at this fast paced sport.

In 2000 the North Charleston Coliseum was home to the Charleston Swamp Foxes.

"I watched it when I was little," said Jordan Gillison, who went to a game. "I enjoyed it."

The team folded three years later.

While it's not a great omen for the South Carolina Ravens, the team is confident.

"We're doing the things that people didn't do while we were playing," said Ravens owner Andre Duncan. "That's the difference between us."

"We have a lot better marketing team, and we're actually catering to the families," said Ravens head coach Jonathan Short.

Short had a brief stint with the Swamp Foxes back in the early 2000s. He said the organization had great players, coaches, and staff, but the front office needed some help bringing fans in.

"We're learning from the things that were done back then," Short said.

Tickets for the Ravens are estimated to cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

"We want the entire family to come out to this kind of game," said Tory Fields, the Raven public relations manager. "Give us one game. Let us show you what we can put on."

"Kids get to meet us on the field after the game, sign autographs," Short said. "They get to keep the footballs if they go into the stands."

Some locals think it would be a great idea.

"It's something I think we can use," said Mike Quick, who works in North Charleston at Danny Jones Sports Complex. "I think some of the football players would enjoy seeing some football here."

The team already has some well-known players on the roster for their exhibition games.

Former SC State Wide Receiver Oliver Young, better known as Trey, is on the team.

He had a short stint with the Carolina Panthers a few years ago.

"Such a dynamic athlete," Short said. "He can play any position on the field."

Former University of Tennessee Offensive Lineman Marques Pair is also playing exhibition games with the team.

"We got a lot of football fans in this state," Gillison said. "People will enjoy coming to watch them play."

The Ravens hope to play their home games at the North Charleston Coliseum.

It will cost them about $100,000 for the season.

"We've had very preliminary conversation with them, but do not have any confirmed dates," said Alan Coker, marketing manager at the Coliseum.
Duncan said the team is planning to pay for it through sponsorships from local companies and businesses.

Meredith Huggins, a spokeswoman with Roper St. Francis, says the company is working with the team providing athletic trainers for their practices and games as well as physician support.

"I'm glad to see it come back so I can actually see it in person," Gillison said.

The South Carolina Ravens will head to Savannah, Georgia Saturday for their first exhibition game.

The team is expected to be selected June 1, 2016.

The Ravens join 19 other teams in the American Indoor Football League. The league has teams running from New York, to Florida, over to Texas and Colorado.

The Ravens' season would run from March until June. The hope is to have their first games by March 2017.

The team is still looking for players and sponsorships.