J.C. Jones is the owner and director of the Talladega Panthers — along with his COO Rico Carter — and he’s at the head of an organization that appears to be on track for some great things heading into the 2017 season.
Talladega has only been around for one season now — the team was established in the spring of 2016 — but the Panthers are riding high coming off a debut 2016 campaign that saw them go 7-4 with a conference championship in the NDFL, which is the National Developmental Football League.
Talladega is making a change heading into the 2017 season, but the high expectations remain the same. The Panthers are heading to the World Developmental Football League, which is slated to kick off in early June, and Jones likes the way his team stacks up, despite playing in a better and bigger league.
The Panthers are heading to the World Developmental Football League (WDFL), which is slated to kick off in early June, and Jones likes the way his team stacks up, despite playing in a better and bigger league.
“I’m looking, again, to go all the way,” he told Developmental Football USA in a recent interview, clearly not lowering the expectations for his organization. “The teams we are playing against, they’re bigger, but we’re more athletic and we have more speed. I’m looking to really go to the top this year.”
Jones is obviously confident in his team, but the Panthers do have one thing working against them. Even the best teams suffer from turnover on a season-to-season basis, and that’s the case for Talladega heading into 2017.
“I can’t really say right now. Some players come back, some don’t,” Jones said when asked if there are any players on his current roster he’s expecting to play a big role this season. “Out of 50 players, I may have 20-to-25 coming back. The rest are going to be new. This season is going to be more interesting than last season because the league we’re going to be in this year is more competitive.”
Though Talladega is somewhat of an unknown as a team, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, the organization was an unknown last year, and all it did was go out and win a conference championship.
The only thing turnover means for this squad is that new players will have the opportunity to step up and show their potential.
Talladega is holding open tryouts on the third Sunday in February, starting at 2:00 PM on the West Side Field behind Talladega College.