At the start of the flag football season, anyone who predicted that the only team with an unblemished record after six games would be the Goldfield West Bay Hellcats, would have been laughed off the field.
Yet the mercurial side have regrouped and with only a few changes in personnel have bounced back after looking in terminal decline last year.
The Hellcats have been the dominant side since flag began and in 2007 boasted a perfect record of no defeats.
But last term complacency and lack of focus meant they did not even make it to the finals. Caybrew Farm Soldiers claimed the championship against the Dog House Bulldogs as the Hellcats looked on in envy.
Was the Hellcats dynasty over? Head coach George ‘Teddy’ Hydes and the rest of the West Bay side definitely thought not.
‘This season, everyone’s coming to practice and we’re more focused,’ Hydes said. ‘Our attitude now is to get prepared for each game because each one is so competitive.
‘In the past we’ve just turned up and let the other side worry about us but standards have improved so much that now we look at their strengths and weaknesses and prepare for them accordingly. We’ve also added a couple of players who have given us a little more energy.’
Jacob ‘Frecko’ Ebanks is still at the helm as quarterback. He had some wobbly games last year but like his team-mates, Frecko is working harder at his game and it’s paid off.
As well as the celebrated Hellcats offense that includes Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy, Hydes praises the defense.
‘If not for our defense, we might have lost three or four games already. Barry Bush at offensive lineman has been awesome. So too Craig ‘Festa’ Frederick, Chester Hurlstone, Nate Narcisse, Al Nixon, James Collins, Perry, Phil Browne, Donnie Rivers and Clay Coleman.
‘Quarterback is probably the hardest position in football and Frecko has shown he’s still got what it takes.
‘We beat Maples 19-18 in overtime on Saturday. That was the first time this season that we’ve given up more than one score but it also shows how competitive each game is. There is no such thing as an easy match anymore.
‘The only team we haven’t beaten so far is Burger King Panthers. We’ve got a bye this week and Burger King after that.’