Kevin Maxwell is currently at the pinnacle of two sports.
After claiming his first national basketball championship this June, the West Bay resident would earn his second flag football title this month with the dms West Bay Hellcats.
Maxwell, in his 30s, states it was extra special to reach those heights with team-mate Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy.
“It was very special with Perry, he and I have been through everything,” Maxwell said. “We took our licks, it goes way back and it’s our time to give the licks. He’s a great team-mate and leader, I really look up to him. In basketball, he doesn’t lose his head, even when we’re down and can’t win the game.
“It really means a lot to me, the Hellcats are a great team. No other team has done what they have done before. For me, going off a basketball championship, I’m part of another dynasty and it’s a great honour. I really prepared for it, got in shape and had the mind-set to do it. It paid off, very much so.”
Maxwell, whose nickname is ‘Star Boy,’ saw the Hellcats win the 2012 Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. West Bay’s fourth straight championship would complete a run of seven titles in nine years.
Falling to dms in the final would be the Club House Bulldogs. At the helm would be quarterback Luigi Moxam, whose Dominos Warriors basketball club lost to Maxwell’s Esso Blazers this summer.
Maxwell, who has Jamaican roots, states beating Moxam again was not a major feat.
“I know Luigi is a great player but, to be honest, I was not looking at that. We, as a team, just had to defend the championship. The last couple of games, before the playoffs, we were shaky but we came out on top and I’m grateful for that.”
Interestingly, the Hellcats claimed their 2012 crown after a surprising 8-4 record regular season, that included a three-game losing streak heading into the playoffs. In contrast, Moxam’s Bulldogs were 9-3 and the number one seed after winning six straight regular season games.
This year marked Maxwell’s second championship run with dms in as many seasons. With Esso, he had been a team captain for about eight years before winning his first national title.
For Hellcat veterans like Nikolai ‘Nino’ Hill, what stands out most about Maxwell is his impact with limited minutes.
“This is my fifth championship with the Hellcats and my third in a row,” Hill said. “I’ve been with dms six years and I only remember losing once. It’s special, it means hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
“Having to go to practice and see the playing time players got, there are a lot of talented players on our team that are good enough to be starters on other teams; like Damian ‘Beast’ Barboram, Renford ‘X-Factor’ Barnes and Kevin. There were a lot of sacrifices for team success. There was great team chemistry, I’m glad we won and the guys are glad we won.”
Going forward, the Hellcats have the pieces for more glory. Their veteran cast, including quarterback Jacob ‘Frecko’ Ebanks, Barboram and Nathan ‘Nate Dawg’ Narcisse, 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.
Hill states the Hellcats are still primed for more championships.
“Barry has to think about and consider retirement. I cannot say for sure about Oliver, I think he will definitely come back if healthy. There’s always a spot for Hellcat guys like Ike Bush or guys like Antonio Hanna or James ‘Cadillac’ Collins, who are still Hellcats at heart.
“The only team that can beat us is ourselves. If all of the players come out, we can’t be beat. In the regular season, Barry and Oliver got hurt and Phil Brown and I were off-island. Mentally, we were already playing for the championship.
“Unfortunately for the other teams, we’re getting interest from a lot of top players in the league. We’re getting a lot of players coming from a lot of the other teams.”
Another ingredient for more Hellcat success is the coaching, with Jayson ‘Papi-Rican’ Gonzalez having a successful first season as head coach. Gonzalez, a former offensive lineman with dms, took over the reigns this year after club president George ‘Teddy’ Hydes stepped aside.
Maxwell states ultimately, more championships will be the result of team chemistry.
“We know each of the teams are coming for us. This is my second year with the Hellcats and everyone is like family. That’s what counts. We can do it again.
“I’m not saying we’ll be like LeBron James. The teams are going to prepare for us and we lost three straight this year. But it’s the final that counts.”