The Pirates host the Frisco Fighters on June 12th at the DCU Center at 7:05 PM/ET. The Fighters are led by legendary coach, and AFL Hall of Famer, Clint Dolezel. Dolezel is no stranger to winning having earned two ArenaBowl Championships while coaching the Philadelphia Soul and one China Arena Football League Championship while coaching the Beijing Lions. As a player, he enjoyed a thirteen-year AFL career playing quarterback that’s marked by a number of passing records. For the Pirates, Head Coach Patrick Pass, who enjoyed his own professional football career, winning two SuperBowls as a running back for the New England Patriots, hopes to lead his team to their first-ever league championship.
2021 is a big test for the Fighters. The team was originally formed in late 2019 and was slated to play in the 2020 season. Since the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, ‘21 is the Fighters’ inaugural IFL season. The biggest question mark is whether or not Coach Dolezel can lead a new franchise to a playoff berth. The Fighters offense is led by Jonathan Bane, a quarterback with plenty of indoor experience. His career started back in 2014 when he played for the Richmond Raiders. He last played for the Jacksonville Sharks in 2019. The Fighters will rely on Bane’s leadership. On the other side of the football, can defensive coaches, James Romain and Bobby Bounds, put together a first-year defense worthy of stopping the league’s best?
In all likelihood, the Pirates, in their third official season of existence, will be competing for league dominance. In ‘18 the Pirates finished the regular season in first place while in ‘19 they ended up in third. 2021 could be the Pirates breakout season when they finally play for a league championship. By this week, the team should be hitting on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Will Offensive Coordinator Chris Thompson, with over twelve seasons of professional indoor coaching experience, have his team ready? And will Defensive Coordinator Rayshaun Kizer have his side of the football prepared to stop the Frisco offense? By the end of this midseason clash, a lot of questions will be answered. In what direction are each of these teams headed? Could this game actually be a playoff preview? Are the Pirates ready to become an elite championship-caliber team? Time will tell. See you in Frisco on June 12th.