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Arena football kicks off in Wake Forest

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WAKE FOREST — Are you ready for some spring football? Because Wake Forest will introduce its first arena football team, the Carolina Aviators, at The Factory on Saturday.

The Aviators are part of the Elite Indoor Football league, which is a division of the Arena Football League. There are currently 13 teams in the league with hopes for expansion.

The team is co-owned by Barry Marrow and Shawn Wood. Marrow also serves as the head coach and offensive coordinator, while Wood is the offensive line coach. Marrow was born and raised in Raleigh and played high school football at Cary High School.

Linda Lane is the Carolina Aviators’ team liaison. She said it’s been a journey to have an indoor football team in North Carolina and was happy Wake Forest opened its doors.

“We started out hoping to have a team in Concord,” Lane said. “We were bumped out of our arena, because there were other teams buying time for the arena. We started looking for a new home and we ended up in Winston-Salem. Then Winston-Salem’s arena was too small, so we moved to Wake Forest.”

The Aviators will play their first game of the season Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Georgia-Lina Lions at The Factory, 1839 S. Main St., Wake Forest. Tickets are on sale in advance for $5 and $8 on game day.

“This exhibition game is to get people acquainted with our team,” Lane said. “It will help the fans know that we are in community. We’ll be helping out with food banks, serving with veterans or other activities throughout the year.”

The Aviators are aiming to stick around long-term with hopes to be a full-time team in 2020. They want to represent North Carolina in the growing business of arena football and are looking at Wake Forest to get them started.

“If fans like what they see, they can purchase season tickets,” Lane said. “We should have information about that at our exhibition game.”

Sponsorships are available for the club. Those interested in being a sponsor can contact Linda Lane at or call 215-300-4928. More information about the Carolina Aviators can be found on their website at