Pelham semi-pro football team opening home season

The Alabama Crusaders will open their home season on March 2 at Pelham High School's Ned Bearden Stadium. (Contributed)

The Alabama Crusaders will open their home season on March 2 at Pelham High School’s Ned Bearden Stadium. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A week after demolishing the Covington County Raiders 36-0, the Pelham-based Central Alabama Crusaders football team will take the field at Pelham High School’s Ned Bearden Stadium on March 2.

The Crusaders will hit their home field at PHS for the first time at 4 p.m. when they take on the Alabama Warriors from Morris.

“We are going to have some pretty good things happening that day,” said Dewayne Moore with Next Level Sports Management, which owns the team.

This year marks the Crusaders’ inaugural season, and the team will play all of its home games at Ned Bearden Stadium. The Crusaders are competing in the Extreme South Football League, which is in its second year.

In addition to the Crusaders, the Warriors and the Raiders, the XSFL contains the Santa Rosa Ravens from Gulf Breeze, Fla., the Alabama Tornadoes from Montgomery, the Costal Destroyers from Panama City, Fla., the Brewton-based Escambia Sharks, the Jackson, Miss.-based Jackson Patriots, the Memphis Panthers, the Prichard Falcons, the South Alabama Seminoles from Montgomery and the Walton County Chiefs from Freeport, Fla.

During the March 2 game, local elementary and middle school students who wear their school colors or logo will be admitted for free. Regular admission is $10 at the gate, and season passes are $70.

The Crusaders’ roster includes several former Auburn University, Samford University, UAB and University of Alabama players. The team is coached by Richard Haynes.

At halftime, the Crusaders will honor local Girl Scouts through the team’s civil service spotlight, Moore said.

The team will hold a spring golf tournament beginning at 8 a.m. on March 14 at the Timberline Golf Club in Calera. Proceeds from the event will benefit the team and Children’s Hospital in the name of Pelham High School student Carson Sumpter, who passed away in 2011 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Entry fees for the golf tournament are $420 per team and $110 per golfer.

For more information about the Alabama Crusaders, visit