Maples confident in playoff berth

The Maples Packers are in the middle of a roller coaster campaign.

After an 0-2 start, the team rattled off five straight victories in the Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. Now the squad has lost two consecutive matches at the Ed Bush field in West Bay.

Will Peguero Jr serves as one of Maples’ team captains and states his Packers remain focused on the postseason.

“What we’re doing now is preparing players for the playoffs,” Peguero Jr said. “The mentality changed to develop a championship mentality. We have the chemistry and personnel in practice and we’re working on execution.

“I’m confident in that we have a team to make the playoffs. The team is to be reckoned with.”

Maples currently sit third in the league at 5-4. The Packers have three games left before the playoffs start on 22 September. Up first are the 0-9 PWC Renegades, who sit at the bottom of the standings, this Saturday, 1 September, at 1.30pm in West Bay.

From there, Maples contend with the 3-6 Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes next Saturday, 8 September, before ending the season against the 7-3 Club House Bulldogs, who sit in second place, on 15 September.

Rupert Whittaker is a veteran wide receiver for Maples and states the mood within the Packers is upbeat.

“I’ve been playing eight years in flag and even though I’m not playing a big part like last year, I’m still happy,” Whittaker said. “In general, the veterans are teaching the young guys and they are catching on quick.”

Aside from the Maples-PWC contest, this Saturday offers up two other matches as the league-leading 9-1 dms West Bay Hellcats battle the 5-4 Burger King Panthers at 2.45pm with the 4-6 Cox Colts facing the Hurricanes at 4pm.

The Hellcats, behind talents like Renford Barnes, will be eager to show last week’s controversial forfeit victory over Junior McField and the Hurricanes was a fluke. West Bay could have lost that game 12-7 if two Hurricane players were not ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. Brendon Malice’s Panthers meanwhile are fresh off a 13-7 win over the Packers.

Jeff Wight’s Colts will be looking to shake off a 21-0 pounding by the Bulldogs last Saturday.

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