IFL Spotlight: Bismarck Bucks

By: Adam Pasquale Jr.
Pirates Writer
November 12, 2020

WORCESTER, MA. — Next on the Massachusetts Pirates’ IFL Spotlight is the Bismarck Bucks. Originating in North Dakota, they stand as the lone arena football team in the state. The Bucks are the third indoor football team to play in Bismarck, following the Bismarck Blaze, who concluded their Indoor Football League run in 2000, and the Bismarck Roughriders, who played in the National Indoor Football League from 2002 to 2003.

The Bucks joined Champions Indoor Football (CIF) as an expansion team in 2016 and remained in that league through the 2018 season. During their two seasons in the CIF, the Bucks finished with a combined 10-14 regular season record and, fortuitously, snuck into the playoffs both years. However, both seasons ended with first round playoff losses. They made the transfer to the IFL at the beginning of the 2019 season and finished with a 2-12 record. Interestingly enough, the Bucks were able to play one game in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Bucks head coach Rod Miller. 

Bismarck is led by head coach Rod Miller, who has over twenty years of arena football coaching experience. He has coached in the AFL, AF2, IFL, Lone-Star, UIF, CAFL, and the CIF. Before joining the Bucks in 2019, Miller won a championship in the CIF in 2016 with the Wichita Force as their defensive coordinator.

In 2019, Coach Miller brought in Rayshaun Kizer as the Bucks defensive coordinator. Kizer, who is currently the Pirates defensive coordinator and secondary coach, spoke with MassPiratesFootball.com about having the chance to face-off against Miller and his former team next season.

“Bismarck is where I started my coaching career with head coach Rod Miller. The organization was professional and extremely well run. I’m looking forward to the game plan against Rod Miller and going up against some of the players I coached during my time there. It should be a really good game.”

The Bucks have a lot to be excited about for 2021. At quarterback, the team has brought back Richard Stammetti, who was originally signed for the 2020 season. Stammetti played college football at Henderson State University and led the Reddies to a 9-2 regular season record in 2019. The Bucks have also re-signed several key defensive backs. Both Zuril Hendrick and Marcus Green had an interception in the Bucks’ lone game in 2020. Deion Carter had a team-high 3 pass breakups in that game. Hendrick, Green, and Carter have all been with the Bucks since 2019.

The Bucks will be licking their chops to get back into the playoffs next season. After a down year in 2019 and a spoiled year in 2020, Bismarck will look to make their third trip to the postseason in four seasons in 2021. The experience and past success of head coach Rod Miller should give them the best chance to do so.

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