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Massachusetts Pirates

Massachusetts Pirates
Current season
Established 2017; 7 years ago (2017)
Play in Lowell, Massachusetts
at the Tsongas Center
MassPiratesFootball.com
League/conference affiliations
Current uniform
Team colorsTeal, navy, gold, white
       
MascotArthur
Personnel
Owner(s)Hassan Yatim
Jawad Yatim
PresidentJawad Yatim
General managerJawad Yatim
Head coachRod Miller
Team history
  • Massachusetts Pirates (2018–present)
Championships
League championships (1)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (0)
Playoff appearances (5)
Home arena(s)

The Massachusetts Pirates are a professional indoor football team of the Indoor Football League based in Lowell, Massachusetts, with home games at the Tsongas Center.[1] The Pirates began play in the 2018 season as a member of the National Arena League (NAL).

The Pirates are the first indoor or arena football team to ever call Lowell home. Before moving to Lowell, the Pirates were based in Worcester, Massachusetts and played their home games at the DCU Center. The Pirates were the third indoor/arena team to call Worcester home, following the Massachusetts Marauders of the Arena Football League (1994) and the New England Surge of the Continental Indoor Football League (20072008)

History

National Arena League (2017–2019)

After numerous speculation beforehand, the Pirates were officially announced as members of the NAL on November 15, 2017.[2] The team began play in the 2018 season. The Pirates won their inaugural game, played at the DCU Center on April 7, defeating the Maine Mammoths 51–24. They were led most of the season by quarterback Sean Brackett until the second-to-last regular season game where he was injured for the remainder of the season in a 46–35 loss to the Jacksonville Sharks, who then took over the top seed in the NAL. Darron Thomas started the following week in 67–7 win over the win-less Lehigh Valley Steelhawks; following a Sharks loss to the Mammoths the Pirates secured the top seed and a home game in the 2018 playoffs. The team finished their inaugural season with a regular season record of 11–5 but lost the semifinal playoff game to the Columbus Lions 50–36. After the season, inaugural head coach Ameer Ismail was hired as the head coach of the San Diego Strike Force expansion team in the Indoor Football League,[3] but then joined the NAL's Carolina Cobras instead.[4]

For the 2019 season, offensive coordinator Anthony Payton was named the head coach.[5] The team finished in third place with an 8–6 record and qualified for the playoffs. They lost the semifinal game to the Carolina Cobras 30–26.

Following the 2019 season, the NAL announced it was creating a new league via a merger with Champions Indoor Football. The Pirates announced it did not agree with the merger and withdrew from the league.[6] Head coach Payton then left to become head coach of the Carolina Cobras and was replaced by Patrick Pass. Two weeks after the announced merger, it was dissolved and the Pirates rejoined the NAL.[7] The 2020 season was then cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic making arenas unavailable. The team was removed from the NAL when it was not offered an extension on its initial three-year membership agreement[8] while the team was openly looking to join other leagues.[9]

Indoor Football League (2021–present)

On August 19, 2020, the Pirates announced that they were joining the Indoor Football League for the 2021 season as its first East Coast-based team and had signed a three-year lease extension with the DCU Center.[10] The Pirates finished in second place following the regular season and defeated the regular season champion, the Arizona Rattlers, in the United Bowl to win their first league championship.

In 2022, head coach Pass transitioned to become the director of football personnel development for the Pirates and defensive coordinator Rayshaun Kizer was promoted to head coach.[11] The Pirates finished the season with a record of 11–5 in the regular season and fell to the Quad City Steamwheelers in the first round of the IFL playoffs in OT 39–38. Four players were selected to the All-IFL team at the end of the season. Defensive back Aarion Maxey-Penton and wide receiver Thomas Owens received First All-IFL team honors while defensive lineman Da'Sean Downey and offensive lineman Roubbens Joseph received Second All-IFL team honors.[12]

On November 6, 2023, the Pirates announced that they had signed a multi-year lease with the Tsongas Center at Mass Lowell beginning with the 2024 season.[1]

Personnel

Current roster

Massachusetts Pirates roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

  •  3 Jimmie Robinson
  •  9 Tavion Thomas

Wide receivers

Offensive linemen
  • 78 Adonis Boone
  • 74 Jeremy Cooper
  • 77 Navaughn Donaldson
  • 72 Jake Guidone
  • 68 Hunter Kelly

Defensive linemen

  • 90 D'Jimon Brooks
  • 92 Sam Montgomery
  • 95 James Nyamwaya
  • 11 Guy Thomas
  • 97 Kevin Thurman
  • 90 Tyrone Truesdell
  • 50 Julius Turner
Linebackers
  • 19 Calvin Bundage

Defensive backs

Special teams

  • 23 Josh Gable
Reserve lists
  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
Roster updated April 20, 2024
30 Active, 0 Inactive

Management

  • Hassan Yatim – CEO, Owner
  • Jawad Yatim – Owner, President, General Manager
  • Patrick Pass – Director of Football Personnel Development
  • Mardy Gilyard – Offensive Assistant

Statistics

Season-by-season results

League champions Conference champions Playoff berth League leader
Season League Conference Regular season Postseason results
Finish Wins Losses Ties
2018 NAL 1st 11 5 0 Lost semifinal (Columbus) 36–50
2019 NAL 3rd 8 6 0 Lost semifinal (Carolina) 26–30
2020 NAL Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 IFL 2nd 11 3 0 Won first round (Bismarck) 44–19
Won semifinal (Frisco) 43–22
Won United Bowl (Arizona) 37–34
2022 IFL Eastern 2nd 11 5 0 Lost quarterfinals (Quad City) 38–39
2023 IFL Eastern 3rd 9 6 0 Lost quarterfinals (Sioux Falls) 39–42
Totals 50 25 0 All-time regular season record
3 4 All-time postseason record
53 29 0 All-time regular season and postseason record

Head coaches

Note: Statistics are correct as of the 2023 Indoor Football League season.

Name Term Regular season Playoffs Awards
W L T Win% W L
Ameer Ismail 2018 11 5 0 .688 0 1
Anthony Payton 2019 8 6 0 .571 0 1
Patrick Pass 2020–2021 11 3 0 .786 3 0 2021 United Bowl Champion
Rayshaun Kizer 2022 11 5 0 .647 0 1
Mark Stoute 2023 9 6 0 .600 0 1
Rod Miller 2024–present 0 0 0 .600 0 0

References

  1. ^ a b "Massachusetts Pirates Ink Multi-Year Agreement with The Tsongas Center". MassPiratesFootball.com. 2023-11-06. Retrieved 2023-11-06.
  2. ^ "The Massachusetts Pirates, a new arena league football team, to play at Worcester's DCU Center". MassLive.com. November 15, 2017.
  3. ^ "Indoor Football League takes flight in America's Finest City with the San Diego Strike Force". San Diego Strike Force. December 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "2018 NAL Coach of the Year joins Cobras". Carolina Cobras. January 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "Pirates Name Payton Head Coach - Gilliam Defensive Coordinator". Pirates. January 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "Pirates Weigh Anchor from NAL/CIF Partnership". Massachusetts Pirates. September 26, 2019.
  7. ^ "Pirates Return to NAL for 2020". Massachusetts Pirates. October 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "NAL Update: Massachusetts Pirates". National Arena League. July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  9. ^ Garven, Rich (June 23, 2020). "Indoor football: Massachusetts Pirates continue to focus forward". Telegram & Gazette.
  10. ^ Bonner, Michael (2020-08-19). "'An anchor team to build towards': Worcester Pirates become first east-coast team to join Indoor Football League, ink 3-year extension at DCU Center". The Republican. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  11. ^ "PIRATES MOVE PASS TO FRONT OFFICE, PROMOTE HEAD COACH FROM WITHIN". Massachusetts Pirates. January 29, 2022.
  12. ^ "Pirates' Thomas Owens and Aarion Maxey-Penton Named To All-IFL First Team". Massachusetts Pirates. August 8, 2022.

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