IFL Spotlight: Iowa Barnstormers
Our next spotlight covers the Iowa Barnstormers who are among the longest tenured franchises in arena and indoor football.
Founded in 1995, the team started in the Arena Football League playing a Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The team is credited for launching the career of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner.
Warner in 1996 and 1997, led the Barnstormers to back to back ArenaBowl berths catapulting him to Indoor Football stardom and paved the way for his tenure on the St. Louis Rams.
In 2001, the Barnstormers migrated to the AF2 which stood as the AFL’s developmental league before they ceased operations. They returned to the AF2 in 2008 and moved to the Wells Fargo Arena where they play today.
In 2015, Iowa’s only professional team left the Arena Football League for good, joining the Indoor Football League where they have remained up to now.
The move paid off for the legendary team when they won the IFL championship in 2018 and have constantly been in contention.
The team’s current head coach Ameer Ismail, won NAL Coach Of The Year as leader of the Massachusetts Pirates team.
The Barnstormers Coach is excited to face off against his former team.
“It should be a lot of fun and it should be a lot of energy,” Ismail told masspiratesfootball.com. “Anybody that gets a chance to play against their former team, you definitely wanna win.”
Ismail said his gratitude to the Jawad and the rest of the Yatim family.
“I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they have given me and my experience there was great,” Ismail said. “It should be very exciting and I know Jawad put together a good team and roster so I know that the players of high caliber and talent.”
Ismail went ahead and talked up his team and how they are motivated and ready.
“My guys are gonna be young, hungry, and passionate players ready and very physical,” Ismail said. “Should be nothing short of a very close, hard-fought physical game.”
Pirates’ co-owner and founder Jawad Yatim had nothing but great things to say about the storied franchise.
“Obviously a storied franchise, great ownership who’s done it for a long time. Very successful on and off the field,” Yatim said. “Everyone knows about Kurt Warner kick-starting his career with them and they’ve had such a tremendous impact on the sport throughout the years. Certainly a model franchise in the game and nothing but respect for them from our corner.” Yatim said.
Competing against a squad like Iowa as well as his team’s first head coach is almost certainly a blast from the past that brings a smile to Yatim’s face.
“It’ll be fun to compete against Iowa as our first head coach, Ameer Ismail, is currently their head coach so it certainly adds a twist to what we hope is a nice rivalry moving forward,” Yatim said. “One of the more recognizable organizations in all of indoor and arena football. Definitely glad to have them as partners moving forward in 2021!”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single-game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook via Facebook.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard