Cayman’s National Flag Football squads took the field Saturday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, just a few week away from the United States Flag and Touch League Championships. Maggie Ebanks says the women’s side have something to prove.
“The year before last we won the tournament, this past year we got knocked out going into the semi-finals. We moved up a division last year so we were playing the best of the best in the US. It was good we feel that we obviously competed, we showed we should be there. Years ago, we used to go there and leave 0-2, so it was good to show we have a presence and that we deserve to be at the tournament.”
With a mix of both core veterans and newer players with some international experience, Ebanks says the women’s team is hoping some can duplicate past performances.
“For me one of those players would be Ashley Frederick. She came into the national team her first year in the league, which is the year we won. She had one of the biggest plays of the tournament, helping us win one of the games we won, and continues to improve every year. I’m excited to see what she does this year as well.”
Frederick says the team is on track to deliver just that.
“Even when we come together we gel together as a team as if we play together all year round, and we don’t, we play on opposite teams. So going into this year’s national team, I’m very confident in the squad we have, even with the new faces we have out.”
On the men’s side, Head Coach and CIFFA President Adrean Russell says increased participation in domestic plays has left his squad with many choices.
“Flag interest is getting up again on the island, so as a result we had a lot of young blood in the league this year. We had a lot of young blood wanting to be involved in overseas tournaments.”
Just two years ago, the men’s team made the semi-finals. Russell knows this year wont be easy.
“It’s a different game up there, much more physical. I think we have our best turn out in two years and I think it will result in a good team.”
The USFTL National Championships take place in Lakewood Ranch, Florida starting 12th January.