The Subway Stingers are new, to put it quite simply. This is their first year as a member of the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association and they are looking to take the women’s flag community by storm.
The Stingers sport a roster jam-packed of exciting young players, in fact the majority of the team are rookies and the veterans, such as Kathy Miller, have the job of guiding and moulding all the team into a championship calibre squad. According to Miller, their team is going to turn a lot of heads.
“Man our team is stacked full of talent,” Miller stated emphatically. “I think the battle for rookie of the year is going to take place on our own squad. The rookie of the year is on this team, it’s just a matter of picking which one it’s going to be.”
The Stingers undoubtedly have a team full of talent, with the likes of two-way standout Latoya Cover and quarterback Christina Pineda. The question is how good that talent can really become. There is no saying how good they can be, but Miller thinks that they are more than just a team of rookies.
“The thing is, not only do the rookies on our team have amazing physical ability, but they’re all smart too. It’s a killer combination. The Stingers are definitely going to surprise people this year.
“Winning a championship is definitely realistic. Our team is gelling really well and it’s still early, we’re going to be very successful going forward.”
Subway have not been a landmark success early on. Prior to last Saturday’s week five contests, the Stingers were at the bottom of the league table at 0-3-1. Subway allowed a league-worst 94 points while scoring a league-low six points.
Another veteran on the squad who is blessed with the opportunity of mentoring the rookies is safety and wide receiver Dionne Anglin and she shares the same enthusiasm as Miller.
“Well, we’ve lost all three games so far, but I’m very encouraged by what I see,” Anglin said. “We’ve played really well, especially for a new team and we’re definitely improving week-to-week despite the losses.
“Our defence is coming along very nicely and our offence is starting to gel too so things look good.”
The Stingers, like some squads, have an interesting dynamic on the sidelines. Their head coach, Frankie Brathwaite, is also a major player in the men’s flag football league, officially called the Digicel Summer League put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. He plays for the Hurricanes, now sponsored by Cayman Power Sports and Marine, thus leaving him incapable of attending all the Subway practices and official games.
In fact, the next match takes place this Saturday, 7 July, against the Maples Bliss. Maples are another rookie side that have struggled, failing to mention a win in the first four weeks of play.
In spite of the coaching obstacle, Anglin remains cautiously optimistic.
“Not having our head coach all the time is definitely not good, it leaves a sense of uncertainty when it comes to execution and our confidence. But we’re a tough team, we’ve got a boat load of talent and we all work very hard each time we go out.
“Our success this year is going to come down to four things: Practicing, execution, gaining experience and our coach.”
The Stingers do have the potential to embark on a deep playoff run, sporting talents such as rookie wide receiver Nikki Ebanks, rookie pass rusher and speed demon Timisha Edwards and the talented Melanie Bastos. All these ladies play both sides of the football and excel in their positions.
Subway have the confidence, but their season will boil down to coming together and maintaining success, not just reaching their peak and coming back down. For Miller, Anglin and company, only time and experience will dictate how far the rookie Stingers will get this year.