Monsters aim to go one better

Women’s flag football has come on leaps and bounds in the brief time it’s existed in the Cayman Islands and that is no more apparent than in the rapid rise in Michelle McTaggart’s case of going from spectator to quarterback.  

She plays for the  

Lone Star Jager Monsters, losing finalists in last season’s championship game to the Lady Sharks. They hope to go one better this time, although every one of the five teams is getting used to seven-member sides instead of the previous five.  

The Monsters lost to their nemesis the Lady Sharks again on Saturday, 30-6, but early season form is pretty irrelevant. The Monsters started last season slowly and built up from there.  

Women’s matches are played every Saturday from 10am at the Cayman International School field in Camana Bay. The men’s flag games are from 1pm at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay.  

McTaggart is co-captain of the Monsters with Christine Bisnauth. McTaggart is also the starting quarterback this year for the first time, having been a center and receiver for the past three years. 

“Preseason preparations went fairly well,” she says. “We had to learn new rules and new positions with the change from five on five to sevens. It’s been a challenge to coordinate practices to get the numbers necessary to practice a full sevens game. The first few games of the season will be learning experiences for all of us, including the referees. 

“Darrell Porter is our one and only coach. He has played flag football in the men’s league and also has experience with the sevens game, having been one of the coaches for the national team that went away for a tournament in Florida in January. Darrell brings not only experience but a positive attitude to our team.”  

With the change to seven-a-side, there are new rules to learn, some of which are very similar to the five rules. The most notable change is the one-yard rush from defence along with the offensive screens and blocking. With the one-yard rush, the game is a much faster paced game. The quarterback is forced to make a quick play.” 

The Monsters are missing former quarterback Ali Amos who has returned to Canada but they are optimistic about the chances. “I expect to have an overall winning season, along with a lot of fun,” says McTaggart. “We have a great group of talented athletes who will become comfortable in their new positions as the season progresses. Quite a few of our players are new to flag football. 

“At this time, with only one game under our belts, it’s hard to say who our main rivals will be. The sevens game and rules make it more difficult for one person to be a star. Each team seems to have a well balanced roster with experienced and inexperienced players.” 

The women are playing separately to the men for the first time this season and they would appreciate some encouragement. “Our games are on Saturdays at 10am and 11am at Camana Bay’s playing field and all are welcome to come out to watch and support the ladies. Flag football is a great way to meet new people, to have fun, and to stay active.”  

monsters team

The Monsters are bound to be in the playoffs. Back, front left, Darrell Porter (coach), Erin Marshall, Christina Hefner, Renee Thompson, Melanie Lewis, Melissa Whittaker, Tricia Bell, Tricia Miller, Erica Bosch-Bone. Front, Erin Brady, Kayleigh Jennings, Christine Bisnauth, Christina Ravdas, Kristin Kipp, Michelle McTaggart, Marline Williams. Missing from picture: Kirsten Sullivan-Grell, Melissa Bernard, Janycee Parchment. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD