Bulldogs not as fierce as usual

Have the Dog House Bulldogs lost
their bite? Results suggest that the team that is always in the top three in
the Cayman Islands Flag Football may be too long in the tooth now. But Todd
Hazlewood, player, one of the co-founders of the team and recent president of
the association, thinks not. The Bulldogs are always in the mix at the sharp
end of the season, competing with the Hellcats and Calabash Soldiers from
supremacy. But a shaky start has inspired other teams that maybe they are ready
to be ousted.

“The team is in third place at 4-3,
which is not where we hoped we would be after seven games, especially after
only losing three regular season games in the last two years combined,”
admitted Hazlewood. “But we play the three teams that beat us in the next three
games, so we have a chance to redeem those losses as well as make up some
ground in the standings. Our goal is to be one of the four teams to make the
playoffs, where anything can happen.”

The players who have made the most
impact so far for the offense are veteran quarterback John Mack and his two
star wide receivers, Jon Pump and Joe Ferruzzi. Mack is again leading the
league in touchdown passes and QB rating, while Pump and Ferruzzi have been on
the receiving end of most of his passes. On the defensive side, reigning
Defensive Player of the Year Justin Bodden has recovered from a slow start and
is leading the league in interceptions while being the anchor for the defence.
Rookie Kevin Zimmer is leading the league in sacks and putting on a strong campaign
for Rookie of the Year.

Despite the inconsistent start,
Hazlewood is confident they can make the playoffs. “This team definitely has
the capability of winning the championship; it’s just a matter of putting
together two good games in a row come playoff time. We have shown in the past
we have the ability to put ourselves in the position to claim the title. Our
next step is closing out that final game.”

Hazlewood did an admirable job as
the association’s president, raising flag’s profile and player involvement to
unprecedented levels.

“Last year when I was president, I
was very proud of what CIFFA was able to accomplish with the standard men and
women’s summer league bolstered by a successful youth league, an extremely popular
co-ed league and the first in the annual Caribbean Regional Cup tournament,
bringing the Bahamas national team to the island. A foundation was built that
should allow the current administration to continue to grow the sport in the
Cayman Islands and I hope they are able to do that.”


Dog House Bulldogs. Back row, from left, Nelson Daniels, Todd Hazlewood, Tyler Corbett, Roger Freeman, Jason Moir, Walker Romanica, Jon Pump, Joe Ferruzzi, Justin Bodden. Front, from left, Chip Whitney, Scott Gossen, Kevin Zimmer, Chris Smith, Phil O’Connor, John Mack, Benjie Bodden, Dave Velez. Not pictured: Jeff Alban, Carl Brenton, Leif Ristimaki, McCarron McLaughlin, Tyrone Rojas.
Photo: Ron Shillingford