Americans repeat as I-Cup champs

Flag football in the Cayman Islands quietly staged one of its trademark offseason tournaments.

The Cayman Islands Flag Football Association recently put on its annual Caribbean Regional Cup tournament, often called the I-Cup. Ed Bush field in West Bay served as the venue last weekend.

Association public relations officer Perry Levy states a pair of squads came out on top.

“The Caribbean Regional happens every year and we saw the same stuff as in years past,” Levy said. “The Team USA men won, led by Brendon Malice and Chris Lucas, while the Jamaica women won, who had a number of players on the Burger King Wolverines team in the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association like Antoinette Lewis.

“Both men and women played in the tournament, on Cayman East and West, World, Jamaica and the US. For the men, Leslie Harvey and Phil Brown were among those on Cayman West. The World team had guys like Baron Solomon, Kevin Solomon and Will Peguero Jr while Cayman East had guys like Shawn Pitterson and David ‘Baggy’ Taylor.

“For the women, Cayman had the likes of Cassandra Bodden, Scimone Campbell and Malaqui Awe and the US were led by Jessica Pawlik.”

The US men emerged as repeat champs while Jamaica beat out World, the 2011 winners. In years past, the I-Cup strictly featured residents in Cayman representing their country of origin. These days, team rosters are more flexible.

As usual, the I-Cup was dominated by male players in the Cayman Islands association’s 2012 Digicel summer league. The female participants came from the Grand Cayman association’s Dart women’s league.

Levy admits the biggest change this year was the low spectator turnout.

“We didn’t have the figures of years past, due to field usage. Ed Bush was being used for football and we had to push the I-Cup back. That impacted the numbers. The interest was not as high but it still went well.

“This year, we did a eight-man eligible system with linemen being eligible receivers. It was a little twist and people enjoyed the format. It was kind of fun.”

News of the I-Cup comes after the Cayman Islands association failed to stage an eight-on-eight tournament and single elimination knockout cup in early November. The sport is slated to be on holiday break until January.

Levy states the November event will not materialize.

“The knockout cup never happened. It’s not the right time for it at the moment.”

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