By Mick Moninghoff
November 20, 2019
The Massachusetts Pirates have re-signed Kavika Luafatasaga for the 2020 season.
In 14 games, the 6’3”, 235 lb. linebacker was third on the team in tackles with 28 solo stops and assisted on 22 more for a total of 39. He posted two and a half tackles for a loss, broke up seven passes and was second on the team with five interceptions including a “pick six” vs. the New York Streets.
Luafatasaga says his main reason for coming back is to gain the ultimate prize.
“I think everyone that re-signed has the same mentality and the same mind set. We have unfinished business and we’re just trying to win it all,” he said.
Even just after one season in arena football, Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim can see big things in the future for Luafatasaga.
“Kavika gained a lot of experience last year and was a consistent presence on our defense. You could see him really getting comfortable in his role as time went on and he was playing his best ball towards the end of the season against some of the better organizations in our league. We are looking for Kavika to build on his performance from last season and continue to be a steady presence for us on the defensive side of the ball, ” Yatim said.
The linebacker agrees, saying that his adjustment to arena football did not happen overnight. In the beginning of the season he felt constricted, coming from the outdoor game.
“It took me a while. I wasn’t used to it. It took me about six games before I got it down and felt really comfortable. In the beginning I had to learn the rules. I couldn’t move past five yards, I couldn’t blitz. Those are all the things you want to do as a linebacker coming from the outdoor game and it was frustrating to me. I didn’t like it at first and thought this is not for me, but as I got used to it, I thought, this is kind of fun. I could actually make a lot of plays playing the “Jack” position. I slowly fell in love with it and I love the arena game now. I realize the “Jack” can make a lot of plays if you play it right. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m excited to come back and make more of those plays and to win a championship. That’s the main goal for me because I’ve never won a championship. I feel like we have a very good chance with some of the guys coming back and some of the players that we’ve added. This season coming up; we’re going to get it,” he said.
In college, Luafatasaga played two seasons at Utah helping the Utes to a record of 18 and 9 and two consecutive bowl victories.
In 2017 he received Pac-12 honorable mention honors at linebacker when he led the team with 82 tackles (3.5 for a loss). He added 1.5 sacks, had an interception, forced a fumble and broke up four passes. As a junior he played in 13 games, started eight times and tallied 52 stops along with five tackles for a loss while forcing a fumble and breaking up three passes. Before enrolling at Utah, Luafatasaga played junior college ball at Arizona Western where he was an all-conference player and rated as a four-star recruit.
After not being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, Luafatasaga was invited to mini camps with the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email [email protected] or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.