As summer turns to fall, the New England Insanity appears as the new franchise in the AIHL’s strong New England Division. The team emerges from the ashes of the now defunct Rhode Island Mulissha. “Communication with the Halpins dropped off when the season ended,” offered John Ryder, who last year coached the minor team to a second place finish in their division.
“Our guys on the minor team wanted a chance to continue to play. This summer I sat down with minor team captain Christian Iacobellis, who asked me to coach last year, and told him ‘if he was in, I was too.’ We felt that we could run our own franchise, and that’s what we have done.”
Essentially the minor team from last year has partnered with Kerry Shea and members of the longtime NARCh team Massachussetts Fusion. “Meeting Kerry dramatically changed the direction of our franchise and gave it shape. Kerry brings a strong work ethic and a history of
leading successful tournament teams.” Kerry was instrumental in convincing league MVP and US bronze medal team member Johnny Pinheiro to stay close to home and help build the team.
According to Shea, he was “looking for a new challenge.” Ryder says “We look to Kerry to help build our program, and Johnny to lead our elite team. Both are dynamic players and strong personalities, we are fortunate to have both these guys involved. But our minor team, lead this year by Justin Zarella, remains the core of the program.”
The team has elected not to conduct an open try-out this first year. “Because we are building something new, from the ground up, we are looking for guys we can count on to play and to pay. How better to find character guys than to take referals?” Coach Ryder asks. He goes on to explain “There are many good players in the area, and we are not looking to exclude guys, as much as identify players that our guys want to play with.”
The name INSANITY was chosen after a lengthy process. “I think of our team as a cast of characters;” says Ryder “The idea we have of playing ‘defense first’ in a wide open, offensive game is a little crazy… So, yeah, I think the name suits us.” The team will wear a red,silver and black color scheme and will again play home games at Teamworks, centrally located in Rhode Island.