Rampage cut back schedule

By Chic Riebel

Sports Editor

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The Carolina Rampage is hoping fewer is better.

Last year the two-year-old local semipro football team played 31 games in three different leagues in a season that seemed to go on forever. This year, the Rampage but will confine themselves to a 10-game schedule in only one league.

The Rampage, members of the South Division of the Southern American Football League, will make their season debut tonight at 6 p.m. at Pasquotank High School.

“We’re going to try doing only one season,” Carolina general manager Gene Goll said. “When you have different teams playing in different seasons, players are always coming and going. We should be able to be more focused this way.”

“The guys have a little more enthusiasm knowing they’re only in one league,” said team owner and head coach Wayne Baskerville, who guided Rampage teams to an 18-13 record last year, including a loss in the North South American Football League championship game.

While the Rampage will be in only one league, in a weird way, Baskerville said, they can actually play for three titles. That’s because the SAFL has a playoff arrangement with two other leagues where the top two teams from each league play in a round-robin tournament.

“So if you win that, you’ve won three championships,” is the way Baskerville put it.

The Rampage coach has no idea if his team will get a shot. The team is breaking in a lot of new players and has lost both of its exhibition games.

“We looked good in spurts, but we need to be more consistent,” Baskersville said. “I think we learned a lot from those games, though, and we could be a surprise.”

The team has 47 players on its roster, split almost equally between players from the Elizabeth City area and South Hampton Roads. Some of the localsinclude defensive lineman Ray Burnham, the head basketball coach at Pasquotank: former Northeastern High running back Derrick Basnight and ex-Pasquotank High players Kwavis Cooper, a defensive back, and Lee Carver, an offensive lineman.