The vast majority of people who excel in any role with a football program absolutely love the game. Due to the demanding nature of the industry, they have to. At the developmental level, with all of the various unique adversities that come with it, loving the game is an absolute must.
That love for the game inspired Carl Joyner to start the Arizona Desert Scorpions and strap it back up as a player at age 55.
“Building a team allows me to still be a part of the game I love when I’m done playing,” Joyner told Developmental Football USA.
Someone who brings the amount of passion to the locker room and field that Joyner does isn’t satisfied with just wearing a jersey and existing. No, his plans for the Scorpions run much deeper than that.
“Our vision with the Scorpions is to build a top-tier organization from the front office to coaches and players and the goal is to be national champions and to be a Top 5 team in the country consistently,” Joyner said.
Of all the options in Arizona, Joyner decided he wanted the Scorpions to be part of the newly formed Arizona Cactus Football League, so he applied for membership.
“What drew us was what Matt (Archer) and Rafiel (Lee) presented to us on what they were going to do with this level of football in Arizona,” Joyner said. “After attending the first meeting, we were all in.”
The Scorpions came in ranked dead last in the AZCFL Pre-Season Polls so they will need to silence their naysayers if they plan to make some serious strides to their goals.
“The biggest contenders are the Southwest Stampede and South Phoenix Runnin’ Rebels,” Joyner said. “All of our games are circled. Being a new team, we have a lot to prove to ourselves and every game is meaningful.”
Joyner knows fulfilling his vision won’t be easy so he’s taking things on step at a time with some smaller goals.
“Our first goal is just playing the first game and completing the season,” Joyner said. “Starting a new team from scratch is a challenge within itself. Then, just being competitive and winning lots of games”
Joyner didn’t want to tip his hand by naming any players as intrasquad competition and position battles are still underway.
“Our team is mixed with veterans and new players to this level,” Joyner said. “We have a lot of talented players with great coaches.”