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Tucson Sugar Skulls release 2021 schedule, which has more games — and new opponents

Tucson Sugar Skulls release 2021 schedule, which has more games — and new opponents

Tucson Sugar Skulls

Tucson Sugar Skulls running back Shadrach Thornton pumps up his teammates during a time out in a game against the Sioux Falls Storm on Sunday, June 23, at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

Let's try this again. 

The Tucson Sugar Skulls released their 16-game schedule for 2021, and it features more games and matchups with four of the Indoor Football League's five expansion teams. 

The team will play 16 games in 2021, up from the usual 14. The season will start two weeks later than the 2020 season that was shut down because of COVID-19.

During the offseason, the IFL added five expansion teams: the Northern Arizona Wranglers, Louisville Xtreme, Columbus Wild Dogs, Frisco Fighters and Massachusetts Pirates. It appears the Oakland Panthers, the team founded by former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch, is no longer a part of the league.

Tucson will face four expansion teams — everybody except Columbus — in '21, including the April 3 season opener against the Wranglers in Prescott. The Sugar Skulls' home opener at Tucson Arena is scheduled for April 11 against Louisville. The Sugar Skulls face the in-state rival Arizona Rattlers three times, with the lone game in Tucson scheduled for July 17. Half of Tucson's games will take place against either Duke City or Northern Arizona.

The first round of the IFL playoffs are scheduled for the weekend of July 31, with the United Bowl taking place Aug. 21. 

Here's a complete look at the Sugar Skulls' 16-game schedule, with home games in ALL CAPS:


April 3: at Northern Arizona Wranglers, 6:05 p.m.

April 11: LOUISVILLE XTREME, 3:05 p.m.

April 17: at Spokane Shock, 7:05 p.m.

April 24: NORTHERN ARIZONA WRANGLERS, 6:05 p.m.

May 1: at Arizona Rattlers, 6:05 p.m.

May 8: DUKE CITY GLADIATORS, 6:05 p.m.

May 15: FRISCO FIGHTERS, 6:05 p.m.

May 22: at Bismarck Bucks, 4:05 p.m.

May 30: MASSACHUSETTS PIRATES, 3:05 p.m.

June 5: at Northern Arizona Wranglers, 6:05 p.m.

June 12: at Duke City Gladiators, 5:05 p.m.

June 19: NORTHERN ARIZONA WRANGLERS, 6:05 p.m.

June 26: at Arizona Rattlers, 6:05 p.m.

July 3: BYE

July 10: DUKE CITY GLADIATORS, 6:05 p.m.

July 17: ARIZONA RATTLERS, 6:05 p.m.

July 24: at Duke City Gladiators, 5:05 p.m.

Contact sports content producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter @justinesports

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Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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