08/29/2018 4:40 AM -
By Mick Moninghoff
Massachusetts Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett has been named the Most Valuable Player in the National Arena League for 2018.
The 6-1, 205 lb. signal caller from Brooklyn, CT led the league in four offensive categories while leading the team to a regular season first place finish with an 11-5 record.
“It’s a blessing,” Brackett said. “The first thing I told (team president) Jawad Yatim when I signed was that I was going to be the MVP of the league. It was a very big goal, but this is really a team award. I have a lot of gratitude for all the help from everyone in the organization, from the ownership with Hassan Yatim and Jawad, the coaching staff and my teammates who were great the entire year. It’s definitely a blessing and I’m glad to win it,” he added.
Brackett completed 259 of 419 passes (61.8 %) for 3,170 yards, 74 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He also ran 25 times for 111 yards and scored four touchdowns. He also had a pair of two point conversions, including one that sealed an overtime win over the Maine Mammoths. He knew from day one that the Pirates were going to be something special.
“Even from the first game, the team and the players that we had, especially on offense, we’re set up for success. Coach AP (Anthony Payton) gave us great opportunities to succeed and we took advantage of that.”
The man who convinced Brackett to join the expansion Pirates, President Jawad Yatim, was impressed with his signal caller’s consistency and poise all year long.
“Sean came in here and took control of the locker room from day one. He has a certain confidence and poise about himself that I believe all great players have and it’s most evident late in a game or when things might not be going exactly as anticipated. It rubs off on the rest of the team in bleak moments and those intangibles directly correlate to winning. He’s got a great work ethic and conducts himself like a true professional. Those traits accompanied by a full understanding of the arena game and the timing associated with playing indoors, experience, accuracy, a quick release, sound fundamentals, great mobility, clean footwork, ability to digest and process information quickly, and most importantly being a competitor and competing day in and day out, is why our guy is MVP. He told me he was going to do it and he sure did it. Couldn’t be happier for Sean he deserves it.”
A former Ivy Leaguer at Columbia, Brackett was a four year starter and an All-Ivy first team selection in 2010. He admitted there were challenges as the season wore on.
“It’s a long year,” Brackett said. “From March 7 to now, it’s a grind. You have to put in the work every single day. Mentally, going to the gym to get your body right and doing all of the little things both on and off the field. I love the game of football and when you’re in it you don’t really notice all of the time you put into it. The entire team put in that commitment this year and that led to our success.”
After college Brackett had stops in the Arena Football League with Las Vegas, Jacksonville and Washington and he played a six game season in China with the Qingdao Clipper. He said by far, this season was his most enjoyable.
“This is my fourth year playing and this is the most fun I’ve had playing football professionally. Obviously winning has a lot to do with that. When Hassan and Jawad (Yatim) said they were bringing a team to Massachusetts and I had an opportunity to play in front of family and friends every week, it was a great thing for me personally. Family could travel 30 minutes to see me play and not jump on a plane and fly to Vegas, Florida or to China, so it was good to be home and have that support all year long.” he said.
Brackett missed two regular season games due to a tryout with Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League and another due to an injured left ankle suffered in the first half against Jacksonville in the next to last regular season contest. Brackett was on the sideline for the season finale against Lehigh Valley and could not play in the playoffs against Columbus. Still he led the NAL in total offense with 234.4 yards per game, 7.4 yards per play, 226.4 passing yards per game and 7.6 yards per passing attempt.
His message to the Pirates faithful and the rest of the league is, “I’m feeling good and the ankle is getting better. I’m doing my rehab work and I’ll be good to go.”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019 season will be on sale in September. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $149.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Kara Mancini at 508-929-0125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.