UFL has a strong New England presence both on the field and on the sideline

Image courtesy of the UFL and the Michigan Panthers

The United Football League kicked off this weekend and the combined XFL and USFL spring league has plenty of New England flavor to it.

Former Andover standout, Boston College and Brown quarterback E.J Perry is once again the starting quarterback of the Michigan Panthers. Perry got off to a slow start throwing the ball completing passes 12-of-24 passes for 176 yards but he did rush for two touchdowns in the Panthers come from behind 18-16 win over the St. Louis Battlehawks on Saturday.

John DeFilippo won his debut as the head coach of the Memphis Showboats. Memphis beat the Houston Roughnecks 18-12. The Showboats have a strong New England presence both on the staff and on the roster. Connecticut native and legendary coach Paul Pasqualoni is the linebackers coach. Braintree native, B.C fullback and long time college and NFL assistant Jim Turner is the offensive line coach.

On the field, the Showboats have a strong Boston College presence with Shepherd Hill and Boston College grad Alec Lindstrom at center and Max Roberts at linebacker. DeFilippo’s father Gene of course was the long time athletic director at Boston College. UConn linebacker Vontae Diggs is also on the Showboats roster as well.

Former New England Patriots and Boston College offensive line coach and Lexington, Massachusetts native Dave DeGuglielmo is the Birmingham Stallions offensive line coach. Dartmouth guard Matt Kaskey plays for Coach Guge with the Stallions. Birmingham head coach Skip Holtz is the son of the legendary Lou Holtz and was the head coach at UConn from 1994-1998.

The D.C Defenders starting tight end is Trae Barry who transferred to B.C from Jacksonville State and started for the Eagles in 2021. Former Brockton High School standout and fellow Boston College alumnus Aaron Monteiro plays for the San Antonio Brahmas as their left tackle. Another former Eagle, Brandon Sebastian starts at cornerback for the aforementioned St. Louis Battlehawks.

The UFL is a great opportunity for coaches and players alike to coach or play professional football. Both the XFL and the USFL have given so many players a chance to continue their dream of playing professionally through the years. Provided the league continues to exist and grows, it will give more players and coaches from New England a chance to realize their dream of either working in or playing in a professional league.

If nothing else, watch the league to support those with New England ties. It is a good reason.