As the 2015 Cayman Islands Flag Football season’s final weekend of regular play approaches on Saturday, the playoff picture has taken shape and it is going to be a contest of will and endurance to dramatically alter things.
The reigning champions Kensington Hellcats have their work cut out at the Ed Bush stadium in West Bay as they take on the powerful Island Heritage Predators in the match of the day.
The Hellcats, who are the league’s most dominant ever side, will be once again rely on their talented duo of wide receiver Perry “Boy Wonder” Levy and quarterback Jacob “Frecko” Ebanks for victory.
With stalwarts such as Kevin Maxwell, Oliver “Dark Star” Parker, Clay Coleman and Nigel Solomon on the offence and Damian Barboram, Renford Barnes, Phil Brown and Nate Narcisse on the defense, the champions are confident in their ability to repeat.
The Predators, however, have consistently shown that they are a team to be treated with respect thanks to their versatility.
Chris Bennett, Jordan Cacho, Avery Ebanks, Josh Parsons and Baron Solomon continue to be targets of choice for quarterbacks Jordan Stubblefield and Barrett Edri as they go out and make spectacular plays weekly on the field and seem almost impossible to stop.
The workhorse defense of Peter Whittaker, Smarnell Thomas, Jordan Powery and Josh Parsons continue to stress and impress opponents’ offense lineups.
This game will be the highlight men’s match of the day as both teams have something to prove. It starts at 1 p.m.
The other team in contention for the top spot, the Burger King Panthers, will take on the Maples Knights.
The Panthers under Glenn Duran at QB and Brendon Malice have been meticulous in their drive for the championship this season.
Jon Pump, Rashad Rankin and Jonathan Carter continue to be stellar on the offense, and key players like Matthew Bone, Andrew Fredrick and Nichols Roberts continue to keep the secondary in check while the defensive line of Chip Whitney, Jermaine Sharpe, Greg Miller, Steve Ebanks and Andre Morgan continue to frustrate their opponents
The Knights continue to struggle but hats must be tipped in respect for them for coming out every week.
The team is loaded with talent such as Neville Morgan, Chester Hurlston and Richard “Stiffla” Campbell, but have never seemed to be able to get it together throughout the season.
They are the deal spoilers for the Panthers as an upset will see the Knights secure their first win for the season and will slide the Panthers into second place. The game starts at 4:15 p.m.
The team on a bye week is Maples Dolphins who have secured the fourth place playoff position.
The youngest team and loaded with natural talent will be taking aim at whoever is in the top position when the playoffs begin, as they have battled both the Hellcats and Panthers to down-to-the-wire finishes this season.
Under the coaching of Shawn Pitterson, players like Fabio Gall, Davanni James and Larue Nixon have emerged as stand outs on their team, fearless in their attacks and tenacious in defense.
The women’s side of the regular season also wraps up. First up, HSM take on Maples.
Maples, although without a win this season, have never given up or backed down from any of their opponents. Loaded with young women who have never participated in the sport, they continue to improve weekly. Annique Holness, Yolanda Manzanares, Anya Rankin and Regina Walton continue to show steady improvement.
The top seed – and unbeaten – HSM have secured the top spot in the women’s division, with only seven points conceded to date.
With QB duties being split between Lisa Malice and Dionne Whittaker, the passing running attack has been equally distributed and seems to be a winning formula for the team.
Jennifer Cotarelo, Alicia Dixon, Shenel Gall and Shamar Ennis continue to shine on the offence while the defense of Glenita Logan, Stephanie Watler, Cassandra Ebanks and Joanne Ziegler are all key players. The match-up between these two teams is slated to take place at noon.
The CrossFit 7Mile Scorpions have their eyes set on the Star 92.7 Sharks this weekend as the Scorpions are looking to solidify their second place position in the standings. Quarterback Keisha Solomon will be looking for her targets of Cassandra Bodden, Erica Bosch, Maggie Ebanks and Camille Solomon to close out the game, while the defense of Tracy Seymour, Diandria Ebanks, Keisha Solomon and Erica Bosch will look to shut down any defensive push by the Sharks.
The Sharks have an uphill battle to make the playoffs and there would have to be a combination of events to make it happen, but there is always hope.
Scimone Chin, Bobeth O’Garro, Marleena Smith and QB Anna Nyaundi will be laying it all out on Saturday while Ivanna Powery, Serena Yates, Krystle Barrett and Jordyn Williams will be looking to lock down their opponents’ offensive drives. It starts at 2:15 p.m.
The final women’s game of the day will see the Anytime Fitness Wolverines go up against the sometimes underestimated Island Taste Killa B’zzz.
The B’zzz have upset teams in the past and come from behind to win or tie games.
Though most of their players have returned to university overseas, they are still a force. With Ellen Downey at the helm, the B’zzz offence of Amaris Smith, Tonia Ebanks, Latoya Cover and Robyn Downey-Sanderson tend to keep the defense of their opponents busy.
Jaime Richards and Kathy Miller are the pivotal points of the B’zzz defense.
The former champions Wolverines are currently in third place. QB duties are up in the air at the moment with injured starting quarterback Antoinette Lewis uncertain for this weekend’s start.
Jahzenia Thomas and Nekita Saintvil have traditionally shared QB duties, so may be the choice for the weekend. Agueda Blake, Carrie Carter, Tajae Gray and Renee Thompson are going to have to make the plays happen. Shinette Rhoden, Amber Watson and Alexandria Saintvil in defense will contribute to the direction of the overall day. The game is at 3:15 p.m.