It is not often in sports that extremely talented teams fall short of glory.
Yet that is the case for two of local flag football’s most gifted clubs.
Weeks ago the Maples Packers and Hammerhead Pirates were beaten in the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association playoff semi-finals.
Maples lost to eventual champions and league dynasty Goldfield Hellcats while Hammerheads lost out to the league’s top team statistically in the Doghouse Bulldogs.
With the Caribbean Regional Cup competition this weekend it’s only right to look at some of the big names from both teams who could star in that competition.
One of the outstanding things about Maples, who ended the regular season an impressive 7-5 in fourth place, was their mix of local and expatriate talent.
Players like Michael Wilson (one of Cayman’s best rugby talents), Kevin Solomon and Albert Whittaker really stepped up and propelled Maples to its best season.
All were guided by Johan Moxam (who did a marvellous job as head coach) who made the most of their youth, experience, speed and agility.
Among the stars to look out for in the future is American Adam Regnier.
The Maples quarterback had a tremendously successful year as his arm and mobility opened up the passing game.
Granted he has a lot to learn but surely the North America team would look even more dangerous with him onboard.
From there the undisputed star on the Maples side was receiver Adam Frederick. This year Frederick showed great hands, concentration and footwork that allowed him to break off big play after big play.
The fact that he was a two-way player (he served as a cornerback on many plays) and showed great stamina adds to his allure for the Cayman team.
Meanwhile Hammerheads boast two dynamic guys in quarterback Neil Clements and running back Nikolai Hill.
Clements showed his Canadian roots included ample pigskin action as he was a force on the field.
Whether it was his quick feet, strong arm or savvy decision-making Clements conjured up images of a young Donavan McNabb to this reporter.
The North American team in this weekend’s event is strong but with Clements it could be a much more potent team.
On the other hand Nikolai Hill would be an even greater catch.
Hill, who is originally from the United States, was simply electric this season showing his quickness knows no end.
Many might be quick to say he gets too much publicity but the fact remains there was no one in this year’s league who changed a game quicker than Hill.
All it took was a few blocks here and a running lane there and the speedster could make six points out of a five yard gain.