Gonzalez and Thomas Named to IFL All-Rookie Team – Presented by Celsius

By: Mick Moninghoff
Pirates Writer
September 7, 2021

WORCESTER, MA – Massachusetts Pirates wide receiver/kick returner Laquivonte Gonzalez and offensive lineman Jarred Thomas have been selected to the Indoor Football League’s All-Rookie Team. It’s the second honor for the duo in as many weeks as both were named to the IFL’s All-League Second Team last week.

Gonzalez and Thomas played a major role for the Pirates who are making their first ever trip to the United Bowl, emblematic of the league’s championship this Sunday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ against the top seeded Rattlers at 6:00 pm Eastern time. The second seeded Pirates set franchise records by winning 13 games overall and are the hottest team in the IFL heading into the title game having won a team record ten straight games.

Gonzalez, a 5’10,”185 lb. return specialist, was a two-time IFL player of the week this season. He led the league with three kickoff returns for touchdowns and had the best average of 21.3 yards per return. The Cedar Hill, TX native was second in the league 957 return yards in 45 chances; fourth most in the IFL. He was fourth in the league with 1,386 all-purpose yards while averaging 106.6 all-purpose yards per game. Aside from kick return average, all of his totals established single season and all-time records for the Pirates. His 57-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the week 13 68-44 victory against Arizona was the second longest in the IFL this season.

Gonzalez, who played collegiately at Texas A&M, Kansas and Southeastern, was also the Pirates second leading receiver as he had 35 receptions for 353 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 10.1 yards per catch and 27.2 yards per game. He also ran the ball nine times for 52 yards with two scores and averaged 5.8 yards per carry.

Thomas, a former captain at Northwestern (6’3,” 300; Atlanta, GA) showed his versatility being able to fill any position on the offensive line in any situation. He played a major role clearing the way for running back Justin Stockton to become a top-ten rusher in the league and allowing quarterback Alejandro Bennifield to set a single season record with 16 rushing touchdowns which tied the Pirates all-time mark. As Thomas improved, so did the Pirates offense, finishing the regular season as the third highest scoring unit in the league at 44.4 points per game. Additionally, Thomas and the rest of line protected Bennifield, enabling him to throw 37 touchdown passes which was second in the league while passing for 1,750 yards which ranked third in the IFL.

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 contact@masspiratesfootball.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For 2022 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