Though Charlotte Checkers history dates back nearly a half-century, today's Checkers made their AHL debut just recently in 2010. As the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, the team breeds young talent capable of performing in a professional environment while withstanding gale-force winds. Fans at Time Warner Cable Arena lend their support by drawing up backwards plays on the fogged-up glass, and mascot Chubby entertains the crowd by dancing and riding four-wheelers on the ice at intermission.
The Charlotte Eagles are a professional men's soccer team who compete in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues. This year's roster is packed with serious soccer muffins, such as midfielder and fruit elitist Joe DeLass and Uruguayan forward Gustavo Bentos. The players will only be able to display fancy footwork for four more home games. Check out the schedule and plan to attend a game when the sun will be close enough to earth to tan your body home-team orange.
United Social Sports expands its members' social circles through a slate of several sports and spirited, casual competition. Return to childhood bliss by joining kickball, throw bags at a board with cornhole, or whack around orbs in bocce. Leagues include a championship tournament, end-of-season party, and other goodies.
Instructors?including a former member of the Romanian national gymnastic team?teach students proper gymnastic techniques in 11,000 square feet of space. Classes for younger kids help improve their gross motor skills, while older students in high school learn more difficult moves. The staff also teaches a class for kids with special needs, and offers cheerleading and tumbling lesson as well.
A double-A minor-league affiliate of the NHL's Boston Bruins, the South Carolina Stingrays compete in the South Division of the ECHL?S Eastern Conference. The team has mastered a swift style of play and pitch-perfect Wayne Gretzky impersonations that have brought three Kelly Cups back to North Charleston Coliseum, where cheering fans turn the stands into a raucous mosaic of red and blue. Spectators can also follow cues from the Stingrays mascot, Cool Ray, to celebrate every slap shot that blazes into the net and every check that rocks the boards.
Founded in 2010, the EHCL's Greenville Road Warriors don't have the rich legacy of their parent squad, the NHL's legendary New York Rangers. But judging from their first two seasons, the team is eager to make up for lost time. The Road Warriors took the league by storm in their debut season, earning the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference before losing in overtime of Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs. Their quest for Kelly Cup glory continued in the 2011–2012 season, when they yet again made it to the playoffs and fell in the conference quarterfinals. Although championship hardware may have eluded the Road Warriors in their short history, the squad has produced enough top-notch regular-season performances to keep NHL scouts, fans, and trophy-case carpenters on their toes.