The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football in Worcester has re-signed linebacker Shawn Loiseau for the 2019 season. Last season the 6’1” 250 lb. product from nearby Shrewsbury, MA saw action in only four regular season games due to injury, recording four and a half tackles with one pass broken up. Now he can’t wait to return to the Pirates to play the game he loves in his own backyard.
“For me football’s been my life since I was seven years old. It’s been my identity, I define myself as a football player and I haven’t take a year off since I’ve been seven.” Loiseau said. “It’s the same feeling when I was in high school. It’s a pride thing. I definitely want to bring a championship to Worcester. We were on the verge of a championship last year and just missed out so I think that with the building blocks and everything we have going, this year is the perfect formula to win a championship in the second year of the Pirates. Everything that Jawad’s (Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim) did in the off season building up a team and all the different things that he’s improved on, we expect nothing less than a championship,” he added.
Loiseau was a standout linebacker at Shrewsbury High School where he established a team record 136 tackles in 2007 while leading the team to a state championship. That season he was also tabbed as the Massachusetts Defensive Player of the Year. He then played his college ball at Merrimack recording 382 tackles, the most in school history. He set the Warriors’ record for tackles in a season with 133 in 2010 and was named 2nd team All-American. Loiseau was named Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year twice, marking the first time a player from the school earned that award on two occasions. He also became the first player from Merrimack to sign an NFL contract after going undrafted in 2012.
He signed with the Houston Texans in 2012. The next season led him to the Indianapolis Colts. 2014 saw him in arena football for the first time with the AFL’s LA Kiss. He then went back to the Colts the following season. In 2015 he moved on to the FXFL’s Hudson Valley Fort. 2017 led him to the IFL’s Sioux Falls Storm and the Nebraska Danger. Now he wants to share his experience with the Pirates for a second season.
“As far as what I can bring to the team is leadership and my energy and the way I play. I definitely want to bring that to the Massachusetts Pirates and show some of the younger guys what they can do and what they are capable of. Playing in the arena league and making it back to the NFL from the arena, I know what it takes to get to the next level and I want to pass that on to some guys. If I can then obviously I’ll be a part of something great here in the city of Worcester,” he said.
Pirates President and GM Jawad Yatim knows first what Loiseau can do. As teammates at Shrewsbury they not only won a state title, but became the first Massachusetts high school team to win 13 games in a season.
"I've known Shawn since middle school and he has always been a tenacious, instinctual player. He brings a great attitude to the locker room, and is a high energy guy and that can be infectious throughout the team when it's most needed. He battled the injury bug last year, but before he got hurt he was clearly our best linebacker. He's a homegrown talent and the community is supportive of him, which is always a plus when signing a player. He's a very sound tackler and has a great pedigree as well having signed with multiple NFL teams and seeing the game at the highest level. We are glad to have him back and he'll be a piece of the puzzle moving forward," Yatim said.
Loiseau’s excitement on playing this season almost can’t be contained.
“There’s nothing like being able to look up in the stands and see family and friends. You know after high school I really didn’t have that same feeling. In college you play for the pride of your school but it’s not the same feeling of playing for your high school or playing in front of your friends and your family. In the NFL obviously when you travel around the country it’s a little tough to look up in the stands in an NFL stadium and see people that you recognize. You are kind of overwhelmed with the situation. As far as playing at home with the Massachusetts Pirates, the arena league is up close and personal so if you have friends and family in the front row you can high five them as you’re playing. The atmosphere of the game is really exciting. It’s fast paced. It’s almost like a gladiator mentality which is the way I love to play football, always banging and hitting. It was just fun to have that atmosphere of having friends, family and the home town crowd here in Worcester. It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to doing again,” said Loiseau.
This season Loiseau says he has added size and will come into camp at 250 lbs. as he will be playing Mack Linebacker. He sees unlimited potential for the Pirates.
“Our pass rush and our D line this year is going to be nasty with JD Griggs coming back and a couple other guys who were big foundations for the team last year. Jawad did a great job in building this roster. It’s almost like an all-start team. Now it’s up to us to put our skills to the test and come together as a team and win a championship because we have a log of veteran leadership on the team. It’s just about having that chemistry in the locker room and everybody working together for the same goal.”
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 $200.00. 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 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook at Facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.