Playoff Bound Mariners Found Unity on the Road and Continuity on the Field
Baltimore, Maryland (June 18, 2009) – As the clock moves past midnight Thursday the Baltimore Mariners’ bus will pull away from the Hampton Inn in Glen Burnie as a cadre of dedicated fans wish them well. As the team embarks on a nearly ten-hour journey to South Carolina, talk of the upcoming game, nearly 48 hours away, will quickly pass. The bus then will become a beehive of electronic activity as the players and coaches listen to their favorite tunes on their iPod or watch a movie on their laptop before dozing off for the night. It has been through road trips like these that team unity has been built and through endless hours of preparation that a team unified on both sides of the ball has succeeded.
Head Coach Chris Simpson noted, “I think players and coaches get to know each other a little better on long trips. We usually leave around midnight so most everyone can get some sort of sleep on the way down. Trips back after games are when a lot of unity is built. After the tough loss in Erie, we had the opportunity to find out where this team was. The coaches and players really came together on that trip home.”
Since the trip back from Erie, after a loss at the hands of the previously winless RiverRats, the Mariners have won four straight games, clinched a playoff berth, and injected themselves into the North Division race. Now as the Mariners play their final regular season road game at the South Carolina Force on Saturday night at 7:00 PM, it appears as if the team has found unity on both sides of the ball. “We have a very balanced offense which is unusual for the indoor game. There are some games where the run sets up the pass and others where it is just the opposite. The continuity on the line and between the quarterback and receivers gets better with every game,” commented Simpson.
Coach Simpson pointed to the outstanding job Offensive Coordinator Mike Moyseenko has done and also acknowledged Defensive Coordinator Steve Gaunt’s major contributions to the Mariners’ success. “On the defensive side of the ball, players have really taken ownership of their individual responsibilities within the schemes that we run. This has given way to a tremendous effort in the second half of the season.”
The Mariners will look for both these units, as well as special teams, to be in top form as they take on the Force, who have built a win streak of their own (three games) and have been impressive in their inaugural season. As they head into their final two games they sit at 6-6 (two games out of the playoffs), and have impressive road wins against the Fayetteville Guard (8-4) and the defending American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) champions, the Florence Phantoms (6-6).
Despite the solid bond that has been built by the team and the cohesiveness built on the field. Coach Simpson still believes the Mariners have room to grow despite their success to date. He explained, “I do not believe we have reached our full potential yet on either side of the ball. Coach Gaunt and Coach Moyseenko have worked very hard so that we can be at our best come the playoffs.” For the Mariners that journey continues on their trip to South Carolina and, if all goes as planned, ends with a championship in AIFA Bowl III.
For more information about the Baltimore Mariners go to www.baltimoremariners.com.