As 2013 gets under way, flag football in the Cayman Islands will look for more props in Florida.
The year’s first tournament figures to be the 42nd annual US Flag and Touch League National Flag Football Championships. Games will take place in Kissimmee, Florida on 18-20 January.
The Cayman Islands Flag Football Association intends to send competing teams, with association public relations officer Perry Levy stating more events are on the agenda.
“We’re sending mens and womens teams to Florida in January,” Levy said. “Our beach tournament usually happens in January but that will probably be pushed back to February. Things change so nothing is set in stone.
“After that, we’ll get into the kids and co-ed leagues in mid-February, at around the same time.”
Locals have participated in the Kissimmee event for years. In 2012, male and female teams represented the Cayman Islands association and the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association.
The official results showed the ladies had the best showing. The seven-man screen flag side placed fifth out of seven teams while the eight-man eligible unit finished ninth out of 18 squads. The men were ninth out of 12 teams in the nine-man ineligible category.
In all, there were some 292 teams in 23 groups from Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and the US. All played at the Austin Tindall Sports Complex in Kissimmee, a manicured field used especially for flag football. The national championships were backed by entities like the Central Florida Sports Commission and the Florida Sports Foundation.
On the men’s side, Cayman was represented by Alex Angel, Damian Barboram, Matthew Bone, Phil Brown, Clay Coleman, Glenn Duran Jr, Steve Ebanks, Andrew Frederick, Taj Haye, Todd Hazlewood, Levy, Brendon Malice, Rohan Marshall, Josh Merren, Nate Narcisse, Josh Parsons, Shawn Pitterson, Nicholas Roberts, Adrean Russell, Jermaine Sharp, Baron Solomon, David Taylor and Andrew Wisdom.
The women consisted of Jennifer Allen, Christine Bisnauth, Agueda Blake (nee Broderick), Cassandra Bodden, Erica Bosch-Bone, Scimone Campbell, Lilia Conolly, Sophia Dilbert, Anne-Marie Douglas, Maggie Ebanks, Vanessa Ebanks, Tonia Ebanks-McLaughlin, Antoinette Lewis, Lisa Malice, Erin Marshall, Michelle McTaggart, Kathy Miller, Shinette Rhoden, Antonia Roberts, Gillian Roffey, Heather Roffey, Alexandria Saintvil, Saneata Smith, Camille Solomon, Keisha Solomon, Renee Thompson, Stephanie Watler, Zonief Walker, Dionne Whittaker and Marline Williams.
News of the Kissimmee competition comes after the Cayman Islands association staged its annual Caribbean Regional Cup tournament, often called the I-Cup, last month. Ed Bush field in West Bay would see the US mens team win for the second straight year, behind Chris Lucas, while the Jamaican women were victorious behind Antoinette Lewis.
For some flag football stalwarts, like former Cayman Islands association vice president Brad Conolly, the big talking point in 2013 will be on unity within the sport.
“The format of the I-Cup was that everyone represented their country,” Conolly said. “The next thing to think about are the kids and co-ed leagues around February/March.
“As a player, seeing as the women are keen on being part of the Cayman Islands association again, I’m looking forward to both associations being under one umbrella again in 2013. It makes more sense to play at the same venue on the same day so I hope it happens.”