The dog days of summer are upon us once again and that means it is flag football season.
The 2009 season gets underway today and sees a number of changes.
For starters games will now have two venues. In addition to the Camana Bay Sports Field, games will be played at Ed Bush Field in West Bay.
Both the men’s and the women’s leagues see new teams and fresh faces on the scene. Moreover many players have switched sides which should add to the competitiveness.
Rumour has it that this season will be an intense since neither league has an undisputed favourite at this time.
Granted the Caybrew farm Soldiers overcame the odds last year to win the men’s title over Dog House. But both teams have suffered key losses and their fortunes are subject to the play of their new additions.
Meanwhile for the women the Hammerhead lady Pirates won last year’s title in a huge upset over the then-undefeated Walkers Wonders.
Both clubs have lost players (and in the case of the Lady Pirates coaches) during the off-season and any team can win.
Proof of the players bringing early intensity could be seen last week at the opening Jamboree.
The Ed Bush Field was supposed to be a sight of a relaxed day at the pitch with families taking in the sport in addition to refreshments.
However with numerous sporting events on during the day the crowd was far from expected and the play on the field was anything but relaxed.
Teams in both leagues turned out in force and were quick to show they mean business this season.
The women came out and played hard. From quarterback sneaks to diving catches there was nothing the ladies did not do.
From there the men took the field and went to work showing blitzes, open-field tackles and skilful running that looked more in tune with a regular season contest.
Many a quarterback would have to scramble outside of the pocket and ultimately struggle to rack up yardage.
Among the notable faces on the field was Jonathan Mitchell for team Maples. Mitchell, a basketball star for George Town Sports Club, was quarterback on the day and showed the kind of running ability that would serve him well in any sport.
Defending champions Caybrew came out and drew much attention. For starters the team boasted a new second-string QB from the US who looks every bit like a natural athlete.
From there the team looked solid on the field, with every aspect of the team from the linemen on both sides of the ball to the receivers acting in synch.
Last year’s runner-up Dog House also attracted interest. They had a number of new faces that held their own on the field and even tried out a new quarterback in Joe Ferruzzi.
Ferruzzi did not look too bad under centre and was not afraid to throw the ball over the middle.
By day’s end the players were a tired but happy bunch. Many expressed an eagerness to play this weekend and put their all on the field. A few, like Caybrew player Tito Solomon, went home with battle scars for their efforts.