Pirates: Defending IFL champion Pirates kick off the 2022 season on Saturday night

The Massachusetts Pirates will kick off the 2022 season on Saturday night against the Frisco Fighters. The two teams have developed quite the rivalry since last season. The two teams met three times last season.

The defending champion Pirates did go through some changes since last season. Head Coach and former Patriots running back Patrick Pass is no longer head coach. Pass is in the front office now as the Director of Football Personnel Development.

Defensive coordinator Rayshaun Kizer has been elevated to head coach. This is Kizer’s first opportunity to be a head coach. The good news for Kizer is that the team returns quarterback Alejandro Bennifield, the United Bowl Most Valuable Player and wide receiver Thomas Owens. The two formed the IFL’s most explosive duo last season.

The Pirates will have to re-tool upfront on both sides of the ball but they do return offensive lineman Maea Teuhema and defensive lineman Charles Williams. Both were First Team IFL All-Pros last season. Defensive backs backs Harlan Miller and Chucky Williams return which means that the Pirates secondary will once again be amongst the best in the IFL. The addition of former Texas Longhorn linebacker Naashon Hughes gives the Pirates a thumper on the back end.

It has been a busy off-season for the Pirates as several players have departed and several new players have been signed. Some of the new faces include former Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass III, wide receiver Jermaine Trotman, center Shawn Lockett and former Everett and Boston College star Lukas Denis.

Four Pirates were selected in the USFL Draft. Offensive lineman Marquis Lucas and Jared Thomas were selected by the New Orleans Breakers, center Jordan McCray was selected by the Birmingham Stallions and defensive tackle Toby Johnson was selected by the New Jersey Generals. The selections prove that the Pirates have done a great job of developing talent.

Arena Football is thriving in Massachusetts. If you have not had the opportunity to check out the Pirates, you should. Visit masspiratesfootball.com today for ticket information and to follow the team.