Sophia Dilbert and Brendon Malice are the heads of parallel flag football bodies in Cayman. The two will be working together once again this weekend.
Dilbert is the cofounder of the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association, which hosts the Dart Women’s League finals on Saturday, 1 October. She plays for the Andro Killa-Panthers, who face the Lone Star Jager Monsters in the consolation game at 10am. Coaching her will be Brendon Malice, a noted player and the vice president of the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association.
Dilbert states the dynamic of having a male coach in the women’s competition is a necessary one.
“It comes down to the experience and knowledge the men bring to the league,” Dilbert said. “They have been playing the sport a lot longer than the ladies. This league has worked out exceptionally well, the women enjoyed it. There is lots of support from the men and the men’s league (officially called the Island Air Flag Football League).
“I’d also say that the women’s league has benefitted greatly from the support of Dart Cayman Islands. Through that partnership we can look at a youth league, which is a fantastic opportunity for us.”
Interestingly all of the women’s league teams are headed by men. In the championship contest at 11am, basketball mind Andrew Wisdom coaches the defending champions Hammerheads Lady Sharks while Renford Barnes, Oliver Parker and Rex Whittaker lead the Domino’s Pizza Wolverines. Lone Star meanwhile are under Darrell Porter (the Pythons, who did not make the playoffs, were coached by Shawn Pitterson and Rupert Whittaker).
Dilbert states Malice and Porter use vastly different coaching styles.
“Their styles are totally opposite. Brendon is a more vocal coach than Darrell. He’s very passionate while Darrell is more laid-back as he‘ll give instructions and let the ladies sort it out. “Our game comes down to which of us wants to win more. We’re on par on offence and defence. They’re a fairly deep defensive team and we are too. We drew the first game and lost the second in overtime. I’m hoping this time that we’ll win.”