The Hammerheads Lady Sharks are menacing the newly formed women’s flag football scene again. They sunk their teeth into the Lone Star Jager Monsters in the first game of the season on Saturday, beating them 30-6 at the Cayman International School field in Camana Bay.
Versatile player Kathy Miller can be found as a wide receiver, snapping, blocking or on defence. She is typical of the Hammerheads Lady Sharks players, captained by the fleet-footed Scimone Campbell and coached by Andrew Wisdom, in that they can play in any position.
“Having players rotate in positions gives us an advantage as our rivals don’t necessarily know what to expect,” Miller says. “We have many athletes that are skilled and able to adapt to playing more than one set position.
“Andrew brings a lot of patience to the team because he has a lot of divas to deal with. He has coached us for three years now and he knows most of us pretty well. He brings balance, gives direction, but at the same time, he is open to suggestion.”
Moving up to seven-a-side from fives has not been easy for any of the five women’s teams.
“Definitely, lots of new rules and I think one rule that a lot of players will have difficulty digesting is regarding shadow blocking behind the line of scrimmage and rushing.
“Of course, there are new plays to learn because you have two more people on the field and a lot more going on. The quarterback has more receivers, but is rushed from only one yard, as opposed to 10 yards in fives, so the quarterback needs to think and act quicker than before.
“More players on the field means that the receivers need to be tuned in to their teammates’ ability and speed. You need to know people’s routes so you don’t collide and so on. But all of that just adds up to more excitement.”
Miller has no doubt they will retain their crown this season. “We’re all about winning with the Hammerheads Lady Sharks.
We expect to do well as we have a core group of us that have played together for the past four years and we have great chemistry.
“We are looking at the newly formed Wolverines to be our main rivals as their head coach is Oliver Parker who was our head coach for the past three years, so he knows us and how we play.”
The women play from 10am every Saturday in Camana Bay and the men’s games are at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay from 1pm. Miller feels the division is okay.
“We need to focus on the development of women in flag football and the association is adapting an NFL high school football programme to the youth.
Anyway, Camana Bay is central and more convenient for most players.
“It may seem as though the women’s league downsized a bit from last year, but in reality, there are still over 75 women playing as teams have grown with the introduction of sevens.
“Last year, most teams had an average of 10-12 players and most teams have 18 players on their roster this year. It’s great to see how the women’s league has grown, not only in the number of females coming out to play, but also in the format of football being played. It’s getting more technical and closer to “real” football.”