FIGHTERS ANNOUNCE 2021 SCHEDULE

The Frisco Fighters released their 2021 schedule on Tuesday. The Fighters open the 2021 season on Friday, April 2, when they welcome the Spokane Shock to Comerica Center in Frisco.

The Fighters are still looking to play their first-ever Indoor Football League game. The team was just hours from kicking off their inaugural game this past March when the spreading COVID pandemic shut down the arena just prior to kickoff. Now more than a year later the Fighters will attempt a do-over on their inaugural season.

The Fighters will play a 16-game regular-season schedule in 2021, including eight home games against IFL foes. America’s longest continuously-running indoor football league, the IFL will take the field in 2021 with 12 teams stretching from the East Coast to the West Coast and from as far north as Wisconsin and the Dakotas all the way south to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The league kicks off the 2021 season with a Hall of Fame Game on March 26, 2021, before advancing to its first full weekend of play starting on April 2. The Hall of Fame Game pits teh defending champion Sioux Falls Storm against longtime IFL rival Green Bay.

The Fighters feature a talend roster coached by former Dallas Desperados quarterback and Arena Football League Hall of Famer Clint Dolezel. The Texas native was named head coach shortly after the team was announced in Frisco following an outstanding stint as head coach of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul where he won two ArenaBowl championships and became the only coach to ever be named AFL Coach of the Year three times.

In addition to a solid corps of returning players that includes former TCU star KaVantae Turpin and 2019 NAL championship quarterback Jonathan Bane, the Fighters have added a number of talented players to their roster for the 2021 season. The team signed two first-team 2019 All-IFL wide receivers, in addition to former University of Texas star and two-time Denton-Guyer state championship quarterback Jerrod Heard. The team has also stockpiled a number of former Dallas Renegades players, including Heard, wide receiver Jazz Ferguson, defensive lineman Terrell Thompson, and others, along with starters from two other XFL teams.

The 2021 season officially begins March 15 when the Fighters report for training camp. The April 2 home opener will also include a number of special guests and exciting promotions, all of which will be announced as the season gets closer.

Season tickets for the Fighters are on sale now. Just a $25 deposit secures your season ticket for the eight home games. For more information visit www.friscofighters.com.

FIGHTERS SIGN PAIR OF ALL-IFL RECEIVERS

In 2019, wide receivers Keyvan Rudd and Quinton Pedroza became the first pair of wide receivers from the same IFL team to be named First Team All-IFL. Their next chance to make history starts in March when the all-star duo again pair up to try to make it two seasons in a row.

But it won’t be in Quad City where they seek to make history. Both Rudd and Pedroza signed free agent contracts with the Frisco Fighters, adding to the franchise’s elite receiving corps.

Rudd and Pedroza led a dynamic offense in Quad City in 2019, and both provide huge targets for the Frisco offense in 2021.

“We are very excited to be able to bring both players to Frisco,” said Fighters president and general manager Stephen Evans. “Not only are they both great players, but they are also great people who will be active in the Frisco community. They are exactly the types of players we wanted to add to make Frisco a championship contender in 2021.”

Pedroza (6-4, 235, University of Hawaii) led the IFL in scoring in 2019 with 170 points. He also ranked second in touchdown receptions (25), third in total receptions (63), and third in receiving yards (918). Additionally, Pedroza was named IFL Man of the Year in 2019 for his service in the Quad City community.

Rudd was second in the IFL in 2019 in receiving yards (925), third in touchdown catches (17), and seventh in total catches (52).

“It’s an honor, privilege, and a blessing to get to continue my playing career in Frisco,” Pedroza said. “I’m ecstatic to get back on the field with not only a new franchise, new coaches, and new teammates, but also with my former teammate ‘Stud’ Rudd. It’s going to be a ride for the city and fans to remember. I look forward to bringing leadership, knowledge and hard work to this team and helping this wonderful growing city win a championship. Fighter fans, get ready for non-stop electric, passionate, highlight-reel games. We are coming by swarm!”

Added Rudd: “It’s exciting to be a part of Frisco’s organization because I will be remembered as one of the players who will help build the Frisco name and tradition in the community and league. I’m looking forward to building relationships with members of the organization and fans as we bring championship caliber football to Frisco. Stud s ready to take flight!”

The Frisco Fighters open training camp in March 2021. The team will continue announcing the addition of new free agent signings in the coming weeks.

FIGHTERS, BOMBSHELLS SURPRISE YOUNG AUTHORS

So many suffered from the shutdown of schools, businesses, and life as we know it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the shutdown took effect, the Frisco Fighters made it known that, as an organization, we’re here to help.

Many took the team up on that offer, including Anne Schacklett, Librarian at Canyon Creek Elementary in Richardson, TX. Every school year 20-30 members of the school’s Writing Club write and illustrate their own books. At the end of the school year those books are then published and given to the young authors. With the COVID outbreak and the closing of in-person school, the school could not hold its annual event, a tradition the students look forward to year after year.

Schacklett knew she had to be creative so that the students didn’t go without. After hearing a Frisco Fighters commercial on the radio, she went into action.

“I heard a promotion on The Ticket about the team’s community outreach, and it gave me the idea,” Schacklett said. “Usually we have a celebration of these young authors in May to present them with their finished books. It is an amazing accomplishment. I thought it would be awesome to have the Frisco Fighters amazing athletes show the students how proud we are of them.”

So in May, the Frisco Fighters, along with the Bombshells, showed up at Canyon Creek Elementary. The Bombshells lined the sidewalk to cheer on the students as their parents drove them through the circular drive in front of the school to pick up their books. The Bombshells were eventually joined by residents from the neighborhood who cheered as each vehicle rolled through.

Ms. Schacklett announced the name of each student on a bullhorn as they pulled up to the school, and the Bombshells personalized a cheer for each of the 16 students who were only expecting to see their teachers, friends, and Ms. Schacklett.

Some of the students were a bit timid at first to see so much going, while others stuck their head through the sunroofs and windows of their parents’ vehicles, beyond excited to receive such recognition. When the students reached the end of their personal parade, they were unexpectedly greeted by Frisco Fighters players, who handed the students their hot-off-the-presses books, along with a few other goodies from the Fighters.

“It was so amazing to see the smiles on the kids faces and get to personally hand them the books they worked so hard on during the school year,” said Fighters quarterback Jonathan Bane. “Being a role model is so much more than football for me. Any opportunity to inspire kids is something that I am always more than happy to be a part of. We hope to see the Canyon Creek Elementary family in the stands in 2021!”