The Massachusetts Pirates have announced their first free agent signing this offseason by inking defensive back Manny Asprilla. The Cambridge Massachusetts native played four years at Boston College and honed his arena football skills the last two seasons playing for Green Bay in the Indoor Football League. Now he can’t wait to play closer to home in Worcester.
“It’s a great opportunity and I really look forward to playing at home. It’s been a while since my family and friends have seen me play “LIVE.” They watch me on line, but it’s not the same feeling. Everybody is excited, myself included, for me to play at home,” he said.
Pirates President Jawad Yatim feels the move will benefit the team in a few way.
"Being able to secure a local talent like Manny is a win-win for us. We don't necessarily focus on where a player comes from, rather we are more concerned with what kind of talent and character we are acquiring in an individual. However when you are able to acquire someone you truly feel can positively affect this organization, and they just so happen to be from our own backyard it makes that signing that much more special. We are looking forward to having Manny in a Pirates uniform this season,” he said.
Asprilla began playing football at age seven and played his high school ball at Everett where the Crimson Tide won back to back State Titles his last two seasons. As a senior in 2010 he was selected to the Massachusetts High School Coaches Association Super 26 All-State Team as a defensive back and earned All-Scholastic honors from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald in a season where he made 82 tackles and had five interceptions. He also played wide receiver catching 40 passes for 1,066 yards and 14 touchdowns.
When asked of you could call Everett a football factory he said “Yes.”
Asprilla said with pride, “There was a long list of guys (from Everett) who have gone on to play division one football and hopefully a few of them will be moving on to the NFL soon. Everett is well known for being a football city and while I was there I really felt it. It’s not like other places that claim they really love a sports team, they take great pride in Everett football.”
From there it was on to Boston College where he started 41 out of 49 games in his career as he helped to turn the program around. After winning just six games in his first two seasons, the Terriers won 14 the next two years with two appearances in bowl games. As a senior he finished third on the team with 70 tackles.
“My first two seasons were the most losses I’ve ever had in my career. We had a coaching change in my junior year and it turned around with a whole new culture. I played wide receiver my whole life. When I went to BC they knew I wanted to stay home, but they offered me to play defensive back. I came in raw and didn’t know anything about being a DB and played my first two years by instinct. When the new coaching staff came in they really prepared me for the next level. They put me in a position where I could showcase my skill,” he added.
That led to a free agent tryout with the San Diego Chargers and just last season a look from the Green Bay Packers. The past two seasons he played in the IFL for the Green Bay Blizzard and had a tryout with Baltimore this past season in the Arena Football League. With the Blizzard he amassed 123 tackles with eight interceptions and four defensive touchdowns. Now he hopes to be a part of taking the Pirates to another level.
“I want to bring a championship home, he said. I want Massachusetts to be a notable team because this is my home. I want the team to build a legacy here. I want them to be well known.”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019 season will be on sale in September. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $199.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Tim Parker at 508-452-MASS (6277) or email email@example.com. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.