About the Whaling City Clippers
The Whaling City Clippers are the Greater New Bedford Area’s only semi-pro football team. The Clippers are proud members of the New England Football League, the nation’s largest and most successful semi-professional football league.
The Clippers are comprised of former high school, college and professional athletes from around the surrounding areas. Players are not paid and are considered amateurs, many of whom also maintain full-time employment. The team is dedicated to representing the area in a positive manner, through cooperation, teamwork and a winning attitude.
Under General Manager, Michael Arguin, the Clippers hope to bolster their success on and off the field. The Clippers seek to expand their community service efforts and reach out to more Sponsors for support for the upcoming season.
The Whaling City Clippers enter their second-consecutive year in the highly-competitive New England Football League’s AAA Conference. The NEFL expanded the AAA Conference again this year, swelling the AAA ranks to twenty teams in four divisions. The four new teams are comprised of the defending AA Champion New Hampshire Wolfpack(Manchester, NH), the expansion team Coastal Chiefs (Hannover, MA) and two teams formerly competing in leagues in NY/NJ in the New Jersey Spartans (Belleville, NJ) and the Tri-State Bulldogs(Hillburn, NY).
The Clippers will play in the East Division against with home and away matches with division rivals the Boston Bandits, North Shore Generals, Metro-West Colonials and the Coastal Chiefs. The Clippers will travel to Lowell mid-season in a divisional crossover game with the Nor’Easter and will host the Southern Maine Raging Bulls.
The Clippers coaching staff is comprised of 3rd year Head Coach Shane Arnum. Defensive Coordinator Lenny Sylvia returns to assist Coach Arnum and once again lead a staunch Clippers defense. The offense is led by first-year Offensive Coordinator Andy McAfee who has been priming the Clippers with their new offensive system since practices began in April. Special Teams Coach Derek Bouchard returns to helm a potent kicking game. Assistant Coach Tony “Radio” Pina is back for another season assisting the coaching staff during practices and along the sidelines.
In 2011, the Clippers finished the season with their first playoff win in AAA and have since added to a strong core of returning players who have dedicated themselves to improving upon last year’s performance. “We look to build off our momentum from last year’s AAA playoff run and hope to improve on our regular season record.“, commented Mike Arguin, the Clippers General Manager. The continuing realignment and expansion affords the team less travel with many games just over an hour away.
Founded in 2004, by team president, owner and CEO Jim Gatenby, the Clippers are now entering their eigth season of existence. The Clippers have reached the playoffs in five of the previous six years, winning back-to-back NEFL AA Conference Championships in 2007 and 2008, a semi-final NEFL A Division berth in 2010 and a quarter-final NEFL AAA berth in 2011.
The team advanced to the elite AAA Division in 2009 but finished with a loosing record after suffering a number of setbacks, including the untimely loss of their Head Coach, the late Anthony “Butch” Fermino. The season ended and and the team subsequently lost a number of key players to retirement, and other opportunities.
In 2010 the Clippers were forced to regroup. Founder, Jim Gatenby stepped aside due to personal reasons and left the team in the care of Mike Arguin as the new General Manager. The 2010 Clippers took to the field with a relatively new group of young and untested players who came together as a team, practiced hard and steadily improved. The team made it to the playoffs and defeated the Woonsocket Wardogs and Southern Connecticut Sting, before falling to the eventual Division Champion Connecticut Panthers.