Mack rises to next level

Flag football has a strong following among Americans and Canadians here and most of the quarterbacks hail from that territory.

One of them is John Mack, playmaker for Next Level Nitemares.

The Canadian is one reason why they reached the final last year, losing closely to AL Thompson and why Next Level believes it can make the final again when the play-offs begin in Grand Cayman in two Sundays’ time.

Next Level is probably the third best team on current form of the eight in the two division league, behind undefeated Margaritaville West Bay Hellcats, leaders of the West Division and Digicel, East Division champs.

Mack is confident his side can upset the form book.

It beat PricewaterhouseCoopers 14-0 on Saturday to finish second behind Hellcats with seven wins in 10 matches. He won’t be intimidated by the mighty Hellcats if they meet.

‘Hellcats have a history of being undefeated in the regular season and losing their way in the play-offs, so I’m not too worried about them,’ Mack said. ‘Digicel are a great team too but we have arguably the best defence in the league and our offence knows how to eat up the clock with five and six minute drives, we know how to grind down the opposition.

‘In the first round of the play-offs we’ve got WestTel. We’ve beaten them twice this season but only 6-0 last time so we’re not going to take them lightly and will be fired up for that. We’ve got a week to think about it and get over a few injuries. I think we’ve got the winner of Hellcats and PricewaterhouseCoopers.’

Mack, 33 last week, has lived in Grand Cayman for three years. He is the manager of Next Level nightclub so theoretically can never be dropped! ‘I loved playing (American) football in Ontario at university and this is a nice way to continue in the sport and maybe have a few beers after the match with a good bunch of guys.’

Mack is generally seen as one of the best QBs in the league alongside Hellcats’ Frecko Ebanks and Digicel’s Luigi Moxam. ‘To be mentioned in the same breath as those guys makes me happy.’ An all-round sportsman despite his nocturnal existence, he also enjoys baseball, basketball and beach volleyball.

‘Flag football is part of the community. I know this is a British territory but the media here is consumed in American sport, partly because of its proximity to the States. And this sport is ideal for everybody, whether they’re big or fast. It can also be played all year round, unlike Canada where the weather doesn’t allow that.

‘Next Level is happy to be sponsoring flag football because the impression of nightclubs when they are in the media is usual in a negative light. We donate a lot to charities too.’

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