Pioneers launch 21st season in 2022

By Jim Walsh

Under a bright sun but in frigid late March temperatures, the St. Paul Pioneers opened their 2022 season with their annual, full-contact
mini-camp at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center.

More than 50 prospective players donned helmets and shoulder pads to see if they have the mettle to play for the only Minnesota team to win multiple national championships.

The Pioneers, NEFL runners-up in 2021 to the Minneapolis Warriors, start their 21st season giving players of all backgrounds and experiences the chance to keep playing football. Led for a second season by Head Coach Damien Rochon Washington, the Pioneers hope to finish the year once again as one of the nation’s best amateur squads. With returning starters on both sides of the ball, chances are good the three-time National Champions will once more be in the mix for league and national hardware.

Washington, an original Pioneer and member of the team’s Hall of Fame as a wide receiver, has assembled a coaching staff long on experience and deep in Pioneers lore. It is, he hopes, a recipe for sustained success.

St. Paul will once again play its home games at Concordia University-St. Paul’s Seafoam Stadium, facing some of the toughest opponents in adult amateur football, including the Kansas City Bulldogs and the Fargo Invaders.


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