St. Paul Pioneers 

St. Paul Pioneers: Early Start to Gridiron Glory

Find out all there is to know about the St. Paul Pioneers in this article.


  • Created in 2002 and initiated by Adam Gold and Ryan Venturine.
  • An GDFL member.
  • Headquartered at 10 River Park Plaza, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Who are the St. Paul Pioneers?

The number one adult developmental football team based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the St. Paul Pioneers. They’re a gritty and dedicated team that plays in the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL).

This team offers players of all experience levels a chance to stay involved in the sport they love. The St. Paul Pioneers have been around for a long time. They have a rich history of success. Even boasting two national championships and numerous league titles. Read on to get a closer look at who they are.

St. Paul Pioneers


A group of dedicated individuals in St. Paul, Minnesota, planted the seeds of this football team. These individuals became inspired by a shared love and a desire to provide a platform for players beyond high school or college. In 2002, they started the team in the Minnesota Football League (MFL).

The early days were tough. Playing in the Minnesota Football League, the Pioneers faced established teams with seasoned players. However, the St. Paul Pioneers built a foundation based on discipline, teamwork, and a strong running attack. As such, they soon culminated in their first championship win in 2003.

This adult developmental football team continued its dominance in the MFL. They went as far as claiming five consecutive league titles. In 2009, they made a bold move, joining the National Arena Football League (NAFL).

The NAFL proved to be a different beast. Despite reaching the playoffs consistently, the St. Paul Pioneers faced stiff competition and fell short of the ultimate prize in later seasons.

In 2016, they made another pivotal decision, joining the Northern Elite Football League (NEFL). It proved to be a perfect fit for them. Soon enough, the Pioneers returned to their winning ways, claiming three consecutive NEFL championships from 2017 to 2019.

The pandemic forced the NEFL to cancel the 2021 season, but the St. Paul Pioneers stayed active, working on their skills and preparing for the next challenge. In 2023, they embarked on a new journey, joining the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL).

Season-by-season Wins of the St. Paul Pioneers 

Here’s a glimpse at the seasonal records of the St. Paul Pioneer team, which showcase their growth in the different leagues they’ve partnered with over the years.

St. Paul Pioneers 

NAFL Era (2009-2015):

  • 2009: NAFL Champions (4-2 record, one playoff win).
  • 2010: NAFL Elite Eight (7-3 record, two playoff wins).
  • 2011: NAFL Semifinals (8-2 record, three playoff wins).
  • 2012: NAFL Champions (8-2 record, three playoff wins).
  • 2013: No playoffs (6-4 record).
  • 2014: NAFL Semifinals (7-3 record, two playoff wins).
  • 2015: NAFL Quarterfinals (6-4 record, one playoff win).

NEFL Dominance (2017-2020):

  • 2017: NEFL Champions (8-2 record, three playoff wins).
  • 2018: NEFL Champions (8-1 record, three playoff wins).
  • 2019: NEFL Champions (7-2 record, three playoff wins).
  • 2020: Season cut short due to pandemic (2-1 record).

New Horizons in GDFL (2023):

  • 2023: Current season in progress; record as of January 17th is 3-2.

St. Paul Pioneers Awards and Achievements

Not only has this adult football team gained several wins since its inception, they’ve amassed notable awards also. They’re?

National Championships:

They have proudly claimed two national titles: one in the NAFL (2012) and one in the GDFL (2023, ongoing).

League Domination:

The St. Paul Pioneer football team has conquered various leagues, securing eight NEFL championships (2017–2019) and five MFL championships (2003, 2005–2007).

So far, the St. Paul Pioneers have remained committed to their community. They actively volunteer, host youth football camps, and participate in charitable events.

The St. Paul Pioneers are more than just a football team; they are ambassadors for St. Paul, inspiring the next generation and fostering a sense of community pride.

Related: About The Huntsville Rockets Football Team.

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