By Mick Moninghoff
November 29, 2019
The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football team in Worcester has re-signed former University of Tennessee Chattanooga quarterback Alejandro Bennifield for the 2020 season. As a rookie last year Bennifield appeared in four games completing 18 of 33 passes for 180 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Most of his stats came in his only start, a 50 to 35 victory over the New York Streets where he was 16 of 30 for 171 yards with four touchdowns.
On coming back, Bennifield said, “I just felt comfortable with the organization and the team. Last year we didn’t make it all the way to the championship, and I feel like we have the opportunity to make it back again this year, so I wanted to re-sign and be a part of that.”
Pirates owner and general manager Jawad Yatim was impressed by Bennifield last season.
“He’s had a season to get acclimated to the arena game and the experience will compliment his talent nicely. He’s a high character individual with NFL arm talent. There’s a lot to like about him and we’re happy to have him back in Massachusetts,” Yatim said.
Looking back on year one in arena football Bennifield said it was a true learning experience.
“I learned a lot, not knowing much if anything at all,” He said. “I learned a lot from the guys there, the coaching staff, and (QB) Sean Brackett; it was a full experience for me. I’m coming back this year knowing a lot more and expecting to do a lot more,” Bennifield said.
When asked what his biggest adjustment to the indoor game was, he quickly said, “it was more of the timing of the routes. I never understood how the arena game worked as far as quarterbacks and receivers and their timing. Once coach Payton (Head Coach Anthony Payton) kind of showed me, things slowed down in the game for me. I never really thought about that; what actually happens, but I got better day by day,” said Bennifield.
In 2020 his goal is to win a title. “I just want the team to win a championship. Anything else doesn’t matter, as long as we win the championship it will be O.K.”
A native of Lovejoy, GA, Bennifield (6’4”, 210 lbs.) graduated in 2017, signed a National Football League contract and went to minicamp with the New Orleans Saints.
Prior to joining the Pirates in 2018, he signed with the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football and took part in their quarterback showcase. He also played in Jacksonville, FL, playing in the Your Call Football League where fans call the plays.
Bennifield played 32 games at Tennessee-Chattanooga where he completed 64 percent of his passes (227 of 356) for 2,863 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran 589 times for 145 yards and scored seven rushing touchdowns.
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.