Owner Messay Hailemariam Looks Back on the Maniacs First Season
By Jake Russell
Approaching the 2009 season, not much was expected of the Maryland Maniacs. After all, they were an inaugural team.
For first-year owner Messay Hailemariam, there were plenty of questions and unknowns going forward with this venture considering he had no previous experience owning a professional football team. Despite the unfamiliarity in this field, goals were already set in place with high expectations.
“Heading into the season, I was hoping we were going to be competitive in the IFL. I knew, based on the resumes of the players that the front office and coaches put together, we would be okay,” Hailemariam said in regards to his expectations in his first season as an IFL owner.
It appeared that the Maniacs were headed for trouble, beginning the season 0-2. The team opened the year at home with a 42-24 loss to the RiverCity Rage, the current United Conference Champions. It didn’t get any easier after the team suffered a disheartening 72-41 loss to the Fairbanks Grizzlies on the first of a two-game road trip to Alaska.
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