Charting a Championship Course
With the goal being to win a championship, the Pirates hired a three-time Super Bowl champion to lead them. Former New England Patriot fullback, Patrick Pass was elevated to Head Coach after serving as Director of Player Development in 2019. His staff includes Offensive Coordinator Reggie Gray, a two-time Arena Football League Champion and Defensive Coordinator Rayshaun Kizer, who ranks third all-time with 67 interceptions in the AFL. In 2020, amidst the hectic COVID-19 outbreak, the Pirates utilized their time wisely and updated their official website. While doing so, they launched their official online pro shop, which serves to reach Pirates fans all over the state, country, and world!
Pirates' Persistence
In year two, the Pirates named Anthony Payton, Head Coach. After a slow start the Pirates went on a six-game winning streak to secure their second consecutive playoff berth. Only a controversial call in the final seconds against Carolina kept the Pirates from advancing to the league’s championship game. The season was highlighted by the in-season signing of Dexter McCluster, former All-Pro kick returner for the Kansas City Chiefs. At season’s end, wide receiver Mardy Gilyard had set single-season National Arena League scoring records with 33 touchdowns (29 receiving and four rushing) and 198 points. Gilyard was named as a First Team All-NAL performer along with defensive end JD Griggs and defensive back Lawrence Austin.
On April 7, 2018 the Pirates took the field at the DCU Center in Worcester, and arena football had returned to the city. After winning its opener against the Maine Mammoths the Pirates would compile a league-best 11-5 record to earn the top seed in the playoffs. A late-season injury forced quarterback Sean Brackett to miss the postseason and the Pirates playoff run lasted only one game. Despite missing almost three regular-season games, Brackett was named the league Most Valuable Player.
Raise the Jolly Roger
At a press conference in November, Jawad Yatim, Founder, Co-Owner, General Manager, and President of the Massachusetts Pirates announced his team would begin its initial season, in the spring of 2018.
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