IFL SPOTLIGHT: SIOUX FALLS STORM

September 12, 2020
Written by Oliver Nissi
Pirates Insider

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the greatest dynasty in professional football history?” I’m sure most of you, especially in this neck of the woods, would say the New England Patriots over the past twenty years. But what if I told you there’s a team that has been better. A team that the Massachusetts Pirates will get to play in 2021. Enter the Sioux Falls Storm.

The Storm are the longest tenured team in the IFL and are the reigning league champions. Put this into perspective, since the team’s inaugural season in 2000, the Storm have appeared in fifteen league championship games and have won eleven championships. In fact, since re-entering the IFL in 2009, the Storm have played in ten straight United Bowl’s (IFL championship game).

The team’s success starts with their Head Coach and General Manager Kurtiss Riggs. Since being named head coach in 2003, Riggs has put together a 240-44 career record. He has also been named Coach of the Year four times, led the Storm to three undefeated seasons and achieved a 40-game winning streak, which spanned from 2005 to 2008. He has led the Storm into the playoffs in every season at the helm.

Prior to coaching the Storm, Riggs also played for the team (2000-’01) and acted as offensive coordinator (2002).

Riggs recently spoke on his team and the current state of the IFL.“We are excited to defend our title and to have new teams that will help continue to strengthen our league. The Storm has been in existence for 20 years and has seen many teams come and go. But we feel the league is really moving in the right direction to create the strongest league that we have been a part of.”

Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim knows the Storm will be one of the toughest matchups moving forward. “In my opinion they are the New England Patriots of Indoor football. Extremely consistent year in and year out. They have a phenomenal head coach and a quarterback who seems to be at the point in his career where he’s breaking a different record every game he appears in. That combination alone will win you a lot of ball games. They have been in operations for quite a long time, so not only on the field but off the field they are exemplary of the type of organization you strive to be at the end of the day. I know our fan base should be excited to catch the Storm when they come to town, and we are looking forward to competing against them.”

The Sioux Falls Storm was founded as the Sioux Falls Cobras as an expansion team in the original Indoor Football League in 1999. A year later, in their first season of play, the franchise left the IFL for the National Indoor Football League and changed their name to the Storm. The team had a winning record, but missed out on the postseason. The team clinched its first postseason berth in 2001.

The Storm won their first league championship in 2005. That same year, the Storm left the NIFL to play in another indoor football league called United Indoor Football. Sioux Falls played in this league for four seasons and won the league championship each year.

In 2009, the Storm decided to reunite with the IFL, as the league was recreated with the Intense Football League merging with United Indoor Football. From 2011-2016, the Storm won six straight United Bowl’s. In 2019, they captured their eleventh league title with a 56-53 win over the Arizona Rattlers.

Sioux Falls has produced three league MVPs in franchise history and has more members in the IFL Hall of Fame (eight) than any other team. In October 2019, the team announced a new ownership group had purchased the organization. IFL Commissioner Todd Tryon had previously owned the team since 2009.

The Storm play their home games at Denny Sanford PREMIER Center since the stadium opened its doors in 2015. Previously, the Storm played their home games at Sioux Falls Arena.

The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single-game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook via Facebook.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard