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After losing 2020 season to the coronavirus pandemic, Spokane Shock announce 2021 schedule


The Spokane Shock's Sergio Gilliam, center, is celebrated by Sam Pope, left, and Anthony Amos, right, after he went 49 yards for the kick return touchdown against the L.A. KISS in the first half Friday, May 8, 2015. (JESSE TINSLEY/The Spokesman-Review)

By Ryan Collingwood 
(509) 459-5473

Spokane Shock owner and former All-Pro defensive lineman Sam Adams hasn’t let coronavirus-induced cancellations and postponements curb his enthusiasm.

A year after the reborn Indoor Football League organization announced its 2020 schedule – and a litany of former Power 5 college players on its roster – Adams is even more excited about the team’s 16-game 2021 slate.

The Shock, whose entire 2020 schedule was canceled because of the pandemic, will open the season in Texas on April 2 to face the Frisco Fighters.

Home games begin April 10 at the Spokane Arena against the Green Bay Blizzard before facing the Tucson Sugar Skulls on April 17.

“I’m more excited about this schedule than the one we put out last year,” Adams said. “We’ll face more of those historical teams that have been around a long time.”

The Shock’s schedule also includes games with the Arizona Rattlers, Northern Arizona Wranglers, Louisville Extreme, Duke City Gladiators, Bismarck Bucks, Massachusetts Pirates and Sioux Falls Storm.

Sioux Falls, which has seven of the previous 11 IFL championships, visits the Shock on July 10.

IFL teams from California have opted out of the 2021 season.

The Shock will host the Tampa Tornadoes – a National Arena League team – on March 21 in an exhibition.

Shock head coach Billy Back left the NAL’s Carolina Cobras after winning a championship in 2018.

Spokane County is currently in Stage 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which discourages large groups, making it unclear if fans will be allowed into the Spokane Arena by March.

“We’re preparing for minimal capacity and full capacity,” Adams said. “We believe by April we will have some sort of capacity and possibly more as the season goes on.”