Former Pirates: Kiante Northington
By: Tim O’Brien
July 30, 2021
WORCESTER, MA – In his short stint with the Massachusetts Pirates, Kiante Northington proved himself to be one of the best defensive backs in the league. Coming out of Eastern Kentucky University, Northington put on a show in 2018 finishing with a league-leading 12 interceptions and 18 passes defended which were the third most in the league. Northington also returned an interception for a touchdown and led the league in interception return yards with 132 while forcing one fumble and recovering two. With those statistics, it is no surprise that he earned First Team All-League honors.
Although the games of outdoor and indoor football differ in many ways, Kiante didn’t have trouble adjusting to the new style of play.
Northington used training camp as his time to adjust to the pace of indoor football and the different small changes that have to be made when trying to get acclimated to the indoor game. He focused on working hard in practice, studying film, and learning from the veterans who have already made that adjustment and have experience at the highest level of indoor football, and it is safe to say that paid off. But once you step on the field on game day, as Kiante said, “football is football. As long as you understand the game, it (the adjustment) is not too bad.”
That 2018 Pirates season was one of the most successful seasons the Pirates have had yet, finishing the regular season with an 11-5 record and the first seed in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they lost in the semifinal game 50-36 and the championship hopes came to an abrupt end. An unsuccessful ending to the season, but a good lesson for the players.
“One thing I learned is that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said Northington. “We were the best team in the league but we just didn’t finish it.”
That is an important lesson for all players to learn. You can not get comfortable with regular season success and underestimate opponents. When you are the best, there are always going to be teams that want to take you down and will give you their best every time and it is difficult to overcome that sometimes when you know you are the better team. But, Kiante used that loss as a lesson and continued to work hard.
Kiante headed to the Arena Football League in 2019 and played for the Atlantic City Blackjacks. While there, he recorded 60 tackles, assisted on 10, had two pass break ups as well as two interceptions. He strives to keep playing football and his goal is to make it back outdoors whether it is the CFL or the NFL. He certainly has the confidence in himself to do so.
“One of my goals is to get back outside whether it be CFL or NFL,” said Kiante. “I know I have the talent to do so, I just need to get the opportunity. I think with football, I want to just play the game as long as I can, until I can’t anymore. It’s something that I love to do, so just play it, enjoy it, let business be business, and just continue to play football for as long as I can, like I said.”
Football is what Kiante does and he does it well. However, despite all of the accomplishments on the field, what really makes Kiante special is his love for the fans and giving back to others. He enjoys the increased involvement with fans that arena football provides. His off-the-field goals to give back to others are far more important than anything on the field.
“Outside of football, I just want to do whatever I can to give back to others, teach others, and just give back what I have learned through my shoes,” said Kiante. “19-20 years of playing football and I just want to do something positive for the community, whatever community I’m involved in, just do something positive for it because I was once that little kid, seeking for help and seeking for guidance, so just do whatever I can to give back.”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at Phoenix Field 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 now 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 Faceboo.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard