The dms West Bay Hellcats had a shocking start to their season.
Dms would lose to Barrett Edri’s Maples Dolphins, 6-2, in the opening regular season games in the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association 2013 Digicel Summer League last Saturday at the Ed Bush Sports Centre in West Bay.
Rather than focusing on the defeat, Hellcat veteran Nikolai “Nino” Hill addressed the improvements the team has made.
“As usual, we’re super confident,” Hill said. “We upgraded our offensive and defensive lines, for example, we got Raymond Barnes in the offseason from the Cox Colts. We always had the most skilled players, but the ‘O’ and ‘D’ lines were a problem. During that whole losing streak last season, we couldn’t beat anyone on the line or keep guys away from Jacob ‘Frecko’ Ebanks.
“Craig ‘Festa’ Frederick is coming back on defence to join Al Nixon and Damian Barboram on the line. Barry Bush is back and Jeremy Miller is a replacement for us on both sides of the ball. We bolstered the trenches and we needed to.
“As for Oliver Parker, our running back, he’s about 70 per cent confident after his injury and we need him late in the season. He’ll be back at some point. We can win without him early on.”
The Hellcats now tangle with a Colts team coming off a 20-6 victory in its season debut against the WestStar Saints, a rookie club under Joe Byrd. Quarterback Kevin Solomon steadies a Cox team that has undergone major changes with vets Dave Nielsen and Jonny McLaughlin joining new faces like Mark Chisholm. Dms and Cox do battle this Saturday, 8 June, at 11am in West Bay.
The regular season lasts 12 weeks with the playoffs beginning on 31 August, so there is plenty of time for the Hellcats to improve. At stake for Cayman’s most dominant flag football dynasty is a chance at a fifth consecutive championship, which would be the franchise’s eighth title during the past decade.
Dms, meanwhile, can take note of last Saturday’s other results in the Men’s Premier League. Simon Rivers’ Burger King Panthers clipped Joe Pirone’s Lone Star Mustangs, 7-6, and Glenn Duran Jr.’s Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes edged Brad Conolly’s KPMG Sharks, 6-0.
All will be in action this Saturday at Ed Bush as Lone Star face KPMG at 12.15pm, WestStar challenge Maples at 3.30pm and Burger King tackle the Hurricanes at 4.45pm.
In addition to the men, the competition features a ladies segment – the Women’s Premier League – which features players who previously participated in the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association Dart Women’s League, with Alexandria Saintvil’s Wolverines emerging the 2012 champs.
Behind model Treveen Stewart, the Wolverines would edge the Lynx, 9-8, last Saturday. Monique Roberts’ CrossFit 7-Mile Scorpions defeated Androgroup Killa Panthers, 6-0, Joanne Remillard’s Killa Bzzz crushed the Maples Storm, 15-0, Scimone Campbell’s Lady Sharks beat the Zulu Warriors, 9-6, and Star Athletic Club clobbered the Lady Saints, 26-0.
This Saturday, Lynx face Zulu at 1.30pm, while Androgroup tackle Lady Sharks. At 2.30pm, Lady Saints challenge Maples, while Killa Bzzz battle Star Athletic. At 5.45pm, Scorpions square off with Wolverines.