Carolina Cobras

Versatile Veteran James Summers Returns to Cobras

December 14, 2023 - National Arena League (NAL)
Carolina Cobras News Release

GREENSBORO, NC - The Carolina Cobras announce the signing of veteran WR/QB/FB/KR James Summers (6'2, 210). The Greensboro native who played for Page High School before his successful career at East Carolina has decided to return to the Carolina Cobras for his fifth season with the Carolina Cobras.

Summers signed with the Cobras during the 2019 NAL Championship run under Coach Billy Back. In his first season with the team Summers and the Cobras had a successful 9-5 regular season, a thrilling 30-26 playoff victory over the Massachusetts Pirates, and a 2019 NAL Championship appearance against the Jacksonville Sharks in a nail biting 52-48 final.

In 2021, Summers helped lead the Cobras to another NAL playoff run becoming one of the more versatile players on the roster playing in nine games with starts at quarterback, fullback, receiver, and kick returner. He finished second on the team with receptions with over 25 catches for 244 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. The local Page High School product also proved to be a weapon in the rushing game leading the team with six rushing touchdowns and over 78 rushing yards. Summers served as a talented backup quarterback who completed 8 passes for 82 yards and one touchdown. He also backed All-NAL Kick Returner Kendrick Ings, where Summers gained 16 yards for the Cobras on two returns. That season the Cobras fell to the Empire in the NAL Playoffs in a close 51-44 battle.

During his third season, Summers served as a veteran leader for the Cobras 2022 Championship run under head coach Josh Resignalo. Summers combined for 11 regular season touchdowns with seven receiving, three rushing, and one passing. He continued to play skill player roles serving multiple positions on offense but had a career high receiving year with 34 catches for 324 yards. The Cobras defeated the Columbus Lions 65-51 in the Snake Pit where Summers had a rushing touchdown and four receptions for 40 yards averaging a 10-yards per catch. Unfortunately, the Cobras championship run came to an end in Albany as the Empire defeated the Cobras in the postseason in back to back years.

In 2023, James Summers spent the season with the NAL expansion team the Fayetteville Mustangs where he played quarterback, fullback, and receiver. Helping the first-year team to a record breaking season opening victory where the Mustangs scored 68 points against the Orlando Predators in the season opener (Most Points Scored in a NAL Game) Summers would go on to help the Mustangs to a 4-4 record in 2023.

"Signing James Summers was about much more than football. His impact on this team and our community over the years is well documented. He is the perfect athlete. He knows the game. He's a teacher on the field. He's a leader in the locker room. We've brought James where he belongs...home. James and I have built a relationship of mutual respect over the years, not just for the game, but personally. If he's going out after this year, he's going out on top, and I'm thankful that he's allowing me to be his coach to ensure that."

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