IFL Spotlight: Green Bay Blizzard
By: Adam Pasquale Jr.
January 5, 2021
WORCESTER, MA. — Up next for the Massachusetts Pirates’ IFL Spotlight is the Green Bay Blizzard. The team is based in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, and was founded in 2003. Before joining the IFL in 2010, the Blizzard played in the AF2, the former developmental league for the Arena Football League. The Blizzard are Wisconsin’s sole professional indoor football team.
The Blizzard were very successful during their run in the AF2. In seven seasons, they earned three trips to the Arena Cup Championship, but unfortunately lost all three games. Green Bay made deep runs in the IFL playoffs in their first two seasons in the league, but have since struggled to replicate the early success.
However, the team has found a bright spot in head coach Corey Roberson. Promoted as an interim head coach in the middle of the 2018 season, Roberson was hired full-time for 2019 and led Green Bay to their first winning season and playoff berth since 2012. The turnaround was enough for him to be rewarded the IFL’s Coach of the Year in 2019. The season came to a halt after a first-round playoff exit, losing 45-40 to the Nebraska Danger.
Roberson, a former IFL player who spent nearly a decade playing professional indoor football, spoke with masspiratesfootball.com about the opportunity to take on the Pirates for the first time.
“Hopefully we will be at a point in the pandemic where our fan base will help us win. Our fans are loyal and rowdy, but are also classy. The best team will win.”
Roberson also shared his keys to success as a head coach.
“The biggest thing is that I played under a lot of great coaches. I was able to see what they did well and what they struggled with. I learned so much from them, and incorporated that into my own coaching style.”
The Blizzard have a lot to look forward to for next season, and a big reason for that is the return of defensive back Bakari Triggs, who made his presence known throughout the IFL in 2019 during his first season of professional football. He led the Blizzard defense with 47 tackles and recorded six interceptions, which was tied for the league lead. This impressive performance was enough for him to be named the IFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019.
Green Bay is owned by Kathy and Larry Treankler and next season will be their seventh year owning the organization together. The two own multiple other businesses as well. When asked how they stepped into the Blizzard’s ownership, Kathy recalled the details of the story on a date night years back.
“My husband read an article that the team was going to be sold, and if the team was not going to be sold to someone in Green Bay, the Blizzard would leave for a new city. He gave me a look and then I asked, ‘So now we’re going to own a football team?’”
Kathy Treankler says it’s both a blessing and a curse to play in the same neighborhood as the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
“When you’re in an NFL market, people want NFL football, but we choose to look at it from a standpoint that we can bring football tickets to Green Bay year-round. Some people wait generations to get tickets to Packers games, but fans find they are much closer to the action at our games. The IFL has something called the fifth quarter, for all teams, when fans can go on the field after games to greet players and grab autographs. The period lasts twenty minutes.”
Pirates co-owner, founder and president Jawad Yatim gave high praise to Green Bay’s coaching staff and ownership.
“Green Bay is one of the longer tenured teams in the sport and it’s no surprise given their fantastic ownership group. Kathy is certainly one of the brightest owners we have in the game and they’ve done such a great job establishing their brand in the Green Bay area. They have a great head coach as well, who always puts his team in position to be competitive when the season comes around. We look forward to heading out to Green Bay and playing against a great ball club and organization.”
The Blizzard are still searching for their first championship. Kathy Treankler says her goal is to play a championship game in Green Bay.
“I feel the team is in good shape. We have a lot of returning players and also players from other leagues such as the NAL and CIF. We would love to host the championship!”
The Pirates are set to face-off against the Blizzard in a road matchup on June 18, 2021 at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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