WINSTON-SALEM,N.C.-- The Triad Assassins is a semi-professional football team, team members are faced with the challenge of playing in the coronavirus environment.
"I go by the guidelines, I've got my temperature gauge, I check their temperatures, if somebody's temperature is high, they've got to go, they can't come out here," says head coach and team owner James Summers.
The Assassins are in the beginning of their regular season.
As a member of the Carolinas Elite Football Alliance, the organization has a bigger mission at hand.
Summers graduated from Carver High School and started playing semi-pro football right after. The former player retired last year. The owner started the organization while he was still playing because he had a bigger vision.
"I understand it's football, I get that, but the bigger vision is to save a life that's in the streets from gun violence," Summers says.
The Winston-Salem native is focused on the guys who drop out of high school or graduate from high school and may be lost. Summers is also searching for those who may leave or graduate from college.
Bryant Fair has played semi-pro football since 2010. He played college football at Livingstone College. The chance to continue playing a sport he loves is what makes him happy.
"It's our NFL, you can ask anyone who plays semi-pro ball and they'll tell you it's our getaway, our peace," Summers says.
Kenneth Patten Jr. has a different perspective. The linebacker was told he would not play football again after suffering an injury in college.
"I met Summers and he was like, 'man, I believe you can still do it', and ever since then I've been out here, it's opened opportunities, I now have a contract to play Arena League Football", Patten says.
The Assassins have seen quite a few translate their experience from semi-pro to playing professionally overseas or to the Arena League, according to Summers.
Whatever reason the roster continues to play football, the owner and head coach is trying to save lives however he can.
"To get young men off the streets, to put the guns down to put back on the cleats, that is my calling," Summers says.
The team has 55 players on the roster with many backgrounds. Most work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summers is using his calling to influence those in the community who may need help through football.