Week 1 of the 2021 IFL season has one of the league’s newest teams, the Louisville Xtreme hosting the Massachusetts Pirates on their home turf. The game is scheduled for April 24th at 7:05 PM/ET at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. This game will be the first of four meetings between these two teams. It will be interesting to see in which direction these two teams will head to start the season. How will the two teams adapt to playing in the IFL? With solid finishes in both ‘18 and ‘19, is it finally time for the Pirates to achieve IFL greatness and bring home the championship? Will the Xtreme be one of the league’s surprise contenders?
The Xtreme are led by Head Coach Mark Stoute. Stoute has been coaching in the indoor game for over ten years. He is an offensive-minded coach, earning success as an OC for both the AFL’s Milwaukee Iron and Green Bay Blizzard. While with the Iron, Stoute coached a team that finished first in nearly every AFL offensive category. In Green Bay, his teams made the playoffs five straight seasons. The Xtreme have three quarterbacks on the roster. Bryan Hicks, with his five years of indoor experience, appears to be the favorite to start but both Dalton Oliver and Jamal Stoval could feasibly take some snaps. The Xtreme also has two solid running backs on the roster, Kendall Brown and Kadarrius Campbell as well as a handful of talented wide receivers.
First-year Pirates head coach, Patrick Pass, is trying to take his team to the next level in 2021. With third-year quarterback Sean Brackett, a solid running game, and talented receivers, the Pirates offense should dominate younger, less experienced teams. The Pirate defense, a combination of veterans and newcomers, is capable of stopping just about any team. Pass fully expects his team to reach the playoffs and anything short of reaching the IFL Championship will be disappointing. The Pirates have both the talent and experience. The coaching staff, from Pass down the line, all have a history of winning football. This game against the Xtreme will say a lot about the season. Expect the Pirates to play winning football.