The Carolina Venom recently kicked off their inaugural season in the Inter Active Football League and they couldn’t have asked for a better start to their team’s history. In their first match-up against another opponent, the Venom walked away victorious with a 29-14 win over the Carolina Kings.
“The guys are starting to slowly gel and trust each other,” Venom owner Lameen Williams told Developmental Football USA. “The Kings were our first field test against an opponent and, for the most part, we passed that test. We still got a bit of work to do, but we had a real productive day.”
Four other Venom touchdowns were called back by the referees, in what could have been a wider margin of victory, Wiliams said.
Offensively, the Venom are led by quarterback Cliff Providence, who also doubles as the team’s head coach, and running back JeChristopher Bowler. Providence has several options at wide receiver, like Eric Patterson, Anthony Colson and Donte Pruitt.
“We’ve got a lot of bright spots on offense, but none of it would be possible without them trench monsters up front,” Williams said.
Defensively, the Venom has a pretty fierce secondary with Trey Hodge III and Horace Morrison holding down the safety spots and a few strong athletes locking it down at cornerback. Defensive tackle Robert Mundo plugs the middle on the defensive line and Gregory Henderson and Lorenzo Slaton are a force coming off the edges at end.
This Saturday is the Venom’s home opener, where they will host the MJR Bucks. The Bucks were among the better teams in the league last year, but seem to be struggling at this point in the young season.
“We prepare for every game as if they are a top team,” Williams said. “It doesn’t matter, because any given Saturday you can lose. I don’t prepare any different. Just because Team A beat Team B and Team B beat Team C, doesn’t mean Team A is going to beat Team C.
“Our expectation is for it to be a good game. We’re looking for our defense to do what it’s been doing which is to play excellent defense and for our offense to move the ball like it’s been doing. Nothing different, we expect the Bucks to be looking to rebound. I’m quite sure they’re practicing real hard not to go 0-3, I wouldn’t expect anything different.”
Originally from New York where he played 15 seasons at this level in various leagues, Williams recently served as a coach of the Monroe Hurricanes summer team before deciding to venture off on his own.
“A lot of those players kind of pushed me to start my own team,” Williams said. “What inspired me to really push for this team is to try to mold some of these guys into responsible young men. The experience so far has been great. There are a lot of bright spots on our team, some of them are still young and can still go away to college.”
Right now, the Venom are just taking each day as it comes as they look to improve to 2-0.
“It’s one game at a time,” Williams said. “We want to win, make the playoffs and win a championship as a first year team. We are a first year team, though, so we’re not going to overlook anybody. We kind of like being the underdogs, that’s what we pride ourselves on.”