The sun will not set on Cayman’s reigning flag football dynasty any time soon.
After collecting a fourth straight national championship this month, the seventh triumph in nine years, the dms West Bay Hellcats are gearing up to boast 10 titles by 2016.
Hellcats head coach Jayson ‘Papi-Rican’ Gonzalez states his troops have many championship runs left.
“I don’t want to sound like LeBron James but I’d definitely say we got three or four more in us,” Gonzalez said. “We know the teams are getting harder and the league is getting harder in terms of teams. Every team has good players. But, we’re still the best team for the next three to four years.
“We’re here for a long time. Every year, the team gets older but we have a lot of heart. There are teams that are more talented but at the end of the day, it’s about who wants it more.”
The Hellcats claimed the crown for the 2012 Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, in dramatic fashion. Dms beat the Club House Bulldogs 6-0 in overtime at the Ed Bush field in West Bay. A defensive struggle throughout, both teams missed field goals in the waning moments of regulation.
Renford ‘X-Factor’ Barnes was the hero, getting the match’s first touchdown and the game-winning interception in extra time. Barnes states winning never gets old.
“It feels good to win again,” Barnes said. “We had to go back to the top. Club House goes hard to beat you but we stuck together and pulled it through. We didn’t fall apart.
“Club House brings it every game. They play us tough and bring the best out of us. With them, it all comes down to execution and heart. It’s amazing.
“This is my third straight with West Bay and I had one championship with the Calabash Farm Soldiers. It’s been four straight for the Hellcats yet everyone is special. To do the double and then the triple was special. But coming out on top was still our number one concern.”
The victory allowed the Hellcats, who had unsung talents like Nicholas ‘Assassin’ Bush and Jeremy ‘Buff’ Miller, to overcome a surprising regular season campaign that saw the champs finish second at 8-4. Club House, behind Luigi Moxam and Chris Spigner, were 9-3 and went into the playoffs as the number one seed after winning six straight regular season games.
Going forward, the Hellcats have the pieces for more glory. Their veteran cast, including quarterback Jacob ‘Frecko’ Ebanks, Damian ‘Beast’ Barboram and Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy, shows little signs of slowing down.
While the long-term health of offensive lineman Barry ‘Jus B’ Bush and running back Oliver ‘Dark Star’ Parker is a question mark, the Hellcats have proven resourceful in adding talents like Tito ‘Show Stopper’ Solomon and Jamaal ‘Local Beef’ Anderson.
Nikolai ‘Nino’ Hill has been part of five titles with the Hellcats and states the future looks bright for the champs.
“When it comes down to it, we play Hellcat football,” Hill said. “The record speaks for itself. We’ll continue to play Hellcat football next year, the year after and years down the road.”