Week 1 Preview: Cobras vs. Gunslingers

by Steven Shotola

Cobras Kickoff 2023 Season On the Road This Weekend

GREENSBORO, NC –  The Carolina Cobras take flight to San Antonio to face the Gunslingers in week 1 this Saturday, April 8 at the Freeman Coliseum. The top highlight features the 2022 Assistant Coach of Year James Fuller taking on the 2022 Head Coach of the Year Fred Shaw. The last time these two teams faced off it ended in an incredible overtime battle in San Antonio where the Gunslingers inched ahead 61-60 against the Cobras. However, in Greensboro the Cobras have never lost to San Antonio, dominating the Gunslingers 72-35 in the Snake Pit.

Under center the Cobras have perhaps the best quarterback duo in the NAL with veteran starters Charles McCullum, a NAL Championship MVP, who helped lead the Cobras to a Championship victory and the younger Malik Henry who gave the Carolina a jolt last season adding 15 touchdowns in only four games as a starter which added to his 38 touchdown total in 2023 (#5 in the NAL). The Cobras look to maintain their top tier offensive reputation as they ended the regular season as the highest scoring offense in the NAL with over 725 points. Fuller and the Carolina Cobras brought back several starters on defense including LB Zack Brown, DB Mike Green, DB Kenny Veal, DL Walter Thomas and DB Kerion Jones to name a few. That same defense led to a productive season last year where the Cobras held teams to 35 points or less four times last season.

Top threats for the Gunslingers include Quarterback Arvell Nelson who was a multiple NAL Offensive Player of the Week last season with the Sharks. Nelson also finished third in the NAL for touchdown passes despite not playing the entire season. Kali Rashaad who was the NAL special teams player of the year and a dual threat for the San Antonio offense and special teams. Not to mention NAL Champion and former Cobra wide receiver Phillp Barnett who will serve as a ironman for the Gunslingers as a WR/DB.

Kickoff is set for Saturday, April 8 at 6pm (central), 7pm (eastern). Fan can watch the game live on the National Arena League Youtbe Channel or click directly to view the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ebk0AtnuTY


The Carolina Cobras are members of the National Arena League (NAL). Founded in 2017, the Carolina Cobras are starting their sixth season in 2023 and were the 2018 National Arena League Champions. The Cobras play their home games at the Greensboro Coliseum. Cobra Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now call (336) 445-7232 or visit carolinacobras.com. Follow the Cobras on Facebook at facebook.com/carcobras, twitter.com/carcobras and instagram.com/carcobras.


The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League will kick off its seventh season in 2023. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at chris@nationalarenaleague.com . For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleauge, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.