With only four spots per league eligible for the playoffs, the stage is now set for the last two games of the flag football season.
At the Ed Bush stadium in West Bay on Saturday the No. 1 seeded women’s team HSM Vipers take on the fourth-seeded Maples Lynx in a rematch of last year’s finals where the Lynx took the title in a controversial game. The Vipers – formerly the Kill-Panthers – have made it through the season without losing any games and giving up only seven points.
Under the coaching of Brendon Malice and Andrew Frederick, the Vipers have dominated the women’s league in all the games they have played so far, and are playing with a fierce determination to take back what they believe is their championship.
HSM is loaded with explosive talent on both sides of the ball. Oliver “Dark Star” Parker and Renford Barnes coach the Lynx and are looking for back-to-back wins for their team.
The duo has spearheaded several teams to championships before, so this is familiar territory for them. It is no fluke that they are back in the playoffs.
The Lynx are looking to eliminate any argument that they deserved to be crowned last season’s champions.
With multi-sports athletes on their roster, Lynx are not to be underestimated. This match-up takes place at 1 p.m. and promises to be intense from the starting whistle. In the men’s games, the No. 1 seeded BK Panthers take on the fourth-seeded Maples Dolphins.
The Panthers will readily admit they have played roller coaster football this season. Although they have victories in 10 of 12 games, they were close to losing at times after mental lapses on both sides of the ball nearly cost them key victories.
Field general for the Panthers, Brendon Malice, is looking at the complete elimination of these mistakes as it will be key in the match. At least they have the assurance of an explosive running quarterback, Glenn Duran, and a defense that is stingy and intense.
The Dolphins have rookie players with raw natural talent and are intent on an upset. Under coach Shawn Pitterson the team has gone from zero wins last season to making the playoffs this year.
Pitterson has a knack for finding talent and coaching them up to national team caliber players year after year. Quarterback Chris LeBeau will rely on this talent pool to pull in amazing receptions for the day from 2 p.m.
The second-seeded Anytime Fitness Wolverines will face third seeds CrossFit 7Mile Scorpions in the day’s third match-up. The former champs Wolverines are attempting to make it back to their former spot on top of the women’s league.
Coach Phil Brown has been pushing his team to get the best out of them every week and is continuously looking to instill his “all or nothing” mentality in them.
At times underrated due to some lackluster performances in the past, the Wolverines are looking to retake their spot atop the women’s league.
The Scorpions are coached by Josh Pawlick. His steady and methodical dissection of opponents is not reflected in the team’s current standing. With players on his team who are able to play both sides of the ball and translate it into game-changing plays, the Scorpions are one of the sleeper teams to watch and the only side in the playoffs this season that has yet to win a championship. The game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.
The final game will see a rematch of last week’s game between second-place reigning champions Kensington Hellcats and third-place Island Heritage Predators.
The Hellcats are looking to not only secure their spot in the finals, but also payback for a humiliating defeat to the Predators last weekend.
Coach Teddy Hydes’s squad is out to prove that they are still the most dominant team in the league regardless of any losses suffered.
The Hellcats traditionally have been most dangerous when they have suffered a loss or when underestimated.
The Predators are an efficient side under coach Clayton Lopez. They beat the Hellcats last week – the catalyst they need going into this weekend after suffering loses to the Hellcats twice earlier in the season. This game will be the highlight men’s match of the day; it starts at 4:15 p.m.
The teams that did not make it to the playoffs this year nevertheless played intensely all season and should be recognized for that.
The Maples Knights, the Star 92.7 Sharks, the Island Taste Killa B’zzz and Maples, although not featured in the playoffs, have contributed greatly to the league and its progress.
The organizers said they look forward to seeing what these teams will bring to the 2016 season, and any new teams that are willing to form.