Flag football in the Cayman Islands recently capped off its summer leagues and is now chasing international props this week.
Cayman is competing in the third annual Caribbean Regional Cup, taking place 14-16 October in Nassau, Bahamas. In all 13 teams are expected to play, with eight men’s squads and five ladies sides, from locales like New Providence, Freeport and Grand Bahama island.
A number of teams will be heading out from Cayman put together by the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association and the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. Among those making the trip is Phil Brown, the current president of Cayman Islands group and the star linebacker for the six-time champions dms Hellcats.
“The team heading out under our association will have 22 guys and 11 women,” Brown said. “I’m going as player/coach for the men’s team. Leslie Harvey will be the coach for the women.”
The final rosters for both sides are slated to be set this week. In spite of the line-ups not being sorted yet, Grand Cayman group cofounder Christine Bisnauth (who played in the Dart Women’s League for the Lone Star Jager Monsters) states she is confident.
“The association is sending out two teams to the Bahamas,” Bisnauth said. “We raised funds for those teams at the tailgate party over the weekend. We’re leaving the Island on Wednesday, 13 October and returning on Monday, 17 October.
“Our rosters are nearly set. We will have a very strong squad and I’m confident in our abilities.”
The last international event Cayman competed in was the US Flag and Touch League national flag football championships back in January. That competition took place in Kissimmee, Florida and featured hundreds of teams from the US. Cayman, which was represented by a women’s squad, played three matches and won one game to end up ninth out of 12 clubs in their group. The star of that team was Cassandra Bodden (who served as referee for this year’s local men’s competition called the Island Air Flag Football League).
Over in Nassau, preparations for the Cup tournament are being done by the Bahamas Flag Football Association. The organization is just in its third year of existence and ran a national league of its own this summer.
League director Jayson Clarke expressed excitement over this weekend’s event (which falls over a national holiday in the Bahamas).
”We’re expecting a really good display of competition while building stronger ties and relationships with other leagues that compete in the sport of flag football,” Clarke said. “We are thrilled to see Freeport return to the event again this year and proud to announce that teams representing both Cayman leagues are coming all the way to Nassau to participate.
“Since our inaugural season in 2009, the league and the sport itself has grown significantly. We’ve had three intense local seasons, tournaments both here and in Freeport, as well as teams travelling to the Cayman Islands to compete in their regional tourney.
”We are in the final planning stages and with the support of a number of corporate sponsors we are really looking forward to some good competition and a friendly environment over the long holiday weekend.”