ELIZABETHTOWN — The planned tryout session and upcoming season for the Carolina Vipers football program was cancelled on Monday because of a lack of interest in the area.
“Unfortunately, none of the people who were in position of power saw the dream nor the vision,” said Marcello Newkirk, owner and president of the Vipers. “Bladen, Robeson, Columbus and Sampson counties were approached about the program … and all of them denied the opportunity for us to bring change and make a difference.”
The intent behind the football program was primarily to give college-age players a chance to continue playing the game, to possibly get a chance to move on to collegiate football and to get assistance in enrolling in college.
“We set out to bring an overall change to not only the stereotype of minor league football, but we wanted to use the outlet of football to bring an impact to people lives,” Newkirk said. “(But) my multiple attempts to show how this program can be a positive affect on the community was unsuccessful.”
Newkirk said, however, he’s not giving up on the endeavor.
“I’ve learned through the experience that, just because you have a dream, it may not be someone else dream or they may not see it,” he said. “The organization will be taking the remainder of year to regroup (but the) Vipers will soon rise again once we locate our rightful home.”