It was a sequence that needed to be
broken and they did it with aplomb.
The Spin 94.9FM Hellcats finally
shattered the unwelcome sequence of winning flag championships in alternative
years since 2003, beating the Burger King Panthers 12-0 with touchdowns from
Clay Coleman and Frecko Ebanks at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay on Saturday.
Burger King were the unexpected
finalists but were never going to be a tasty dish for the Hellcats after the
way the Brendon Malice-coached side had surprisingly overcome second seed
Calabash Soldiers the previous week.
Hellcats captain Phil Brown said:
“This is my fifth victory and my biggest. I knew we could win but I knew it was
going to be a tough battle. Burger King
are a good team and they’ve come a long way. We weren’t expecting them to be in
the final, so much love to them for that. We’ve beaten them twice this year,
but we knew Brendon would have them ready to go. He’s a good coach as well as
Brown feels Hellcats retained their championship because they practiced harder
than before and drafted in some new members who added fresh impetus. “We
brought in players we knew would blend and we took it from there. Next year
we’re going to be even better. Perry ‘The Boy Wonder’ Levy will be back and
we’ll be even stronger and going for six.”
Clay Coleman paved the way for the
Hellcats victory. The veteran all rounder is also regular keeper for George
Town Football Club and at 40 has no intention of slowing down. “This was my
fifth championship as well, and it’s up there with the most satisfying. Doing
it back to back at this age is great. It’s always satisfying to come here and
win. It never gets old.
“I think we can retain it next year
because we know what it takes to get to a championship and win it. Until
somebody knocks us off our perch, we’ll be right here. I put Burger King right
up there now with Calabash who are a very good team. It was unfortunate the way
Calabash lost, but I can’t worry about that. I just worry about what I can
control. Now it’s time to go and celebrate.”
Coach George ‘Teddy’ Hydes said:
“It really was a great victory for Hellcats. We’ve been doubted this year, but
our most valuable people stuck together as a team. And that’s what wins
football games, good teamwork. We were focused and also we brought in players
who hadn’t won it yet and they brought in that energy and hunger.
“We also wanted to do it to cement
our dynasty. We’ll be the target team again next year like every year but we’ll
just bring it back again. We’ll find more energy and more desire. We’re looking
for a three-peat this time.” Getting traditionally drenched by his team was
worth it for the victory, he smiled. Hydes has been known to have sleepless
nights on the rare occasions that his side has lost. At least he got a good
night’s sleep on Saturday.
Malice was philosophical after.
“Hopefully, we’ll stick together, continue learning and come back out hungry
next year,” he said. “A lot of guys are only in their first or second year of
playing but we’re getting better. We just got away from our game plan offensively
and fell behind. The wind was a big factor and we tried to force the ball in
spots that we shouldn’t have. We tried to play catch up all game.”
With wife Lisa a quarterback with
the Ace Paints Panthers, there is little time to follow any other sport. “I
love football, man,” American Brendon said. “It’s my passion. Lisa loves it
too. It’s awesome that we have this league down here and we can all enjoy
playing it. Having so many people come out and enjoy it is awesome.”