by Staff Writer


DUNEDIN, FL    The Pirates are making a slight change to their name.  Formerly the Anclote Pirates, the team is now officially the Dunedin Pirates.  

The Pirates are a minor league football team, who offer young men an opportunity to possibly attend college or be recognized by a professional football team.  The team was formed by Andy Villamarzo in 2009, and went by the name Anclote Pirates, due to their close proximity to the Anclote River.  From 2009-2012, the team was based in southern Pasco County, near the Anclote River.  In 2013, the team went by the name Bay Area Pirates since the team included players from all over the Tampa Bay area.  In 2015, the team went back to their original name Anclote Pirates.  In 2016, the team rebuilt the organization from the ground up, and targeted Dunedin, Florida as their home.  In late 2016, the team landed a partnership with Dunedin High School, which included Dunedin Memorial Stadium as their home field.  Their home field is also known as “Pirates Treasure Cove”.

To further lay their roots in the community, the team will now officially be the Dunedin Pirates.  Team President Andy Villamarzo cited the team’s commitment to the Dunedin community as the primary reason for the slight modification to the team’s name.

“Since we rebuilt this organization last year, we looked for a close knit community to be our long-term home.  Over the past year, we’ve developed a great partnership with Dunedin High School. We are deeply invested in the Dunedin community and making this modification to our name reflects our commitment”, Villamarzo said.

The Dunedin Pirates are a minor league football team who are one of sixteen team in the Florida Football Alliance, one of the longest running minor league football leagues in country.  The league includes teams from throughout Florida, and most recently a team from Georgia was approved to join the league.  

Pirates Vice President Steve Korossy is pleased with the modification of the name.  “With all the growth we have done in Dunedin, it’s absolutely the right decision to modify our name to reflect that.  We want to make sure the residents, visitors, and business owners in Dunedin know we are their team”, Korossy said.

In May 2017, the Pirates added former NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Ernest Givins as their head coach.  Givins grew up in Saint Petersburg.  He had a successful college career at Louisville and became the second round pick of the Houston Oilers in the 1986 NFL draft.  Givins played nine seasons with the Houston Oilers and one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, being selected for the NFL Pro Bowl twice.  Following his playing career, Givins focused on coaching and mentoring young men.  Givins has coaching experience at both the high school and minor league levels and his former players rave about his coaching.  Over the years, Givins has helped numerous players move on to college and even professional football teams.  

The Pirates first practice of the season will be October 17, 2017.  Players interested can contact the team at www.dunedinpirates.com.

The 2018 regular season opening game will be on January 27, 2018.  Games will be on Saturday evenings.  Home games will be played at Dunedin Memorial Stadium.  The team is a not-for-profit organization, so they are seeking sponsorships to help with the team’s expenses.  Any person or business interested in becoming a sponsor of the Dunedin Pirates, contact team president Andy Villamarzo at avillamarzo.pirates@gmail.com