Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers Poised for Success in 2009

Henry LaborantiContributor IFebruary 12, 2009

Two years ago, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers came off their best season in franchise history. They finally made it to the Arena Football 2 championship game but lost by a touchdown to the Tulsa Talons.

Last season was unique for the Pioneers. They started with two new quarterbacks and lost their season opener. However, when their star quarterback returned from the AFL to play for the Pioneers again, all things were looking good for another championship run.

But that run ended with a defeat in the divisional playoff round against future AF2 champion Tennessee Valley Vipers.

This year, the Pioneers are stacked with talent and seem ready for the challenge. With four receivers who each caught more than 1,000 yards last season, All-Star QB Ryan Vena, a very talented defensive backfield, and a coaching staff that every team wishes for, the team looks primed for a championship.

Three years ago, Rich Ingold took over the head coaching job as former head coach Less Moss made his way to a coaching position in the AFL. Now, with the AFL gone this year, Less Moss is back with the team as an assistant coach.

Ingold won a championship in the AFL as a player and holds the record for most wins ever by an AF2 head coach. Moss has two championship rings as a member of a coaching staff and began the winning era in Wilkes-Barre. Since Moss started and left, the Pioneers have yet to have a losing season.

When the Pioneers made it to the AF2 Arena Cup two seasons ago, they were outplayed by the Tulsa Talons. But with the talent of both the players and the coaching staff, many Pioneers fans have a quiet sense of confidence. Don't be surprised if these Pioneers go undefeated and/or win it all.