By Rob Disario
I was very fortunate to meet with Massachusetts Pirates Head Coach, Ameer Ismail and discuss the team's only loss to date. On April 21 the Pirates lost to the Carolina Cobras in enemy territory. The morning of that match-up news broke from arenafootballtalk.com that the Pirates lost Quarterback Sean Brackett and star receiver Orlandus Harris Sr. to the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders mini-camp. I asked Coach Ismail how he dealt with that loss. “We had two and half days (with a) new quarterback...Robert Kent and Danny Southwick just got off the plane” Ismail remembered. “Trying to get the timing right…” he added. We went on to say the fill-in quarterbacks came through for them on such short notice and he appreciated their hard work.
I asked if the missing offensive stars were the reason for the loss against Carolina and Coach Ismail said it was more than that. “There were a lot of factors.” For those that remember, during the game tensions became so high Coach Ismail was ejected from the game. “I’m not gonna complain about the refs,” Coach said. “But we got a couple bad calls and then when they didn’t call a cut [block] I got upset” he retold. “I have to protect my players; Bill Vavue was cut down!”
Upon exiting the field after ejected and making his way to the locker room, Coach Ismail hugged-it-out with Massachusetts Pirates team owner, Mr. Jawad Yatim and then vanished into the Greensboro backstage. I asked what the young owner said to him? Coach Ismail smiled and replied “He said he loved the intensity...and we’re gonna get this win for you!” Coach Ismail went to say how Mr. Jawad Yatim supports him and encourages his coaching style, “It’s great to work with an owner who's so knowledgeable of the game and supports me!”
After their win against the Lions and again against the Mammoths, the Massachusetts Pirates are well on their way to becoming the team to beat in the National Arena League. They meet with the Carolina Cobras this Saturday May 19th at 7pm, for a rematch of their only loss. This is their opportunity to make right what once went wrong! Arena Football Talk wishes Coach Ameer Ismail and the Massachusetts Pirates good luck on Saturday and the rest of the season.