Championship Game Preview

by Alyssa Morris

Jacksonville, FL – The final game of the National Arena League (NAL) season will take place at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday, August 12th, as the Jacksonville Sharks host the Carolina Cobras in the NAL Championship.

The teams split the season series 1-1, both winning at home. Their first game was on June 26th in Jacksonville, when the Sharks took down the Cobras 61-52; the Sharks made their way to Greensboro for the last week of the season, losing 50-37 to the Cobras, who solidified their second-seed placement with that win.

Jacksonville, the first-seeded team in the playoffs, will host after going 6-2 at home this season, including their 62-18 playoff win over the Orlando Predators last week. The Sharks outscored their opponents 513-312 in those eight games.

Sam Castronova led the scoring with two rushing touchdowns for the Sharks last weekend in their first-round playoff win. Devin Wilson also had two touchdowns; one passing from Castronova and one interception run back for the defense. 

Castronova enters the NAL Championship Game with 2,206 passing yards and 50 touchdown passes in nine games with the Sharks.

Carolina finished the regular season 4-3 on the road, including their loss to the Sharks in Jacksonville in late June. They ended the San Antonio Gunslingers' season last week by beating them 52-36 in Greensboro.

Miles Kelly and Nyqwan Murray both had two receiving touchdowns for the Cobras in their previous playoff game. 

Malik Henry has 3,429 passing yards this season in 14 games with Carolina. In their playoff game against San Antonio, Henry threw five touchdown passes.

Game time is 7 p.m. at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Come out and support your Sharks as they look to add a championship to their already record-breaking season. 

Tickets are on sale now! Purchase yours at or by calling 904-621-0700.

About the Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The 2019 & 2017 NAL Champions and ArenaBowl XXIV Champions play all their home games at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks season tickets for the 2023 season are now available. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700 or visit Follow the Sharks on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at and Chum at