AIMING TO MAKE HISTORY: Wildcats target fourth straight league title


Tribune Sports Reporter

The Paradise Games Wildcats are aiming to complete an historical feat in The Bahamas Flag Football League (BFFL): winning four straight league titles.

Recently, women have been making waves in not only soccer and football but flag football as well. The Wildcats started the regular season with some lofty goals and have ticked them off their proverbial checklist along the way.

The women’s team – the defending champions – wrapped up the regular season in dominating fashion as the first flag football team in history to remain undefeated in the women’s division. Ultimately, the team capped off the regular season as the pennant winners and, as they continue to break barriers along the way, one goal remains: a four-peat.

The ferocious Wildcats will step onto the Winton Rugby Field for the first time this postseason to take on the Fidelity/Money Maxx Phoenix Fire. Last year, the team’s driving force came behind the passing of the late coach Phillip Rahming. The team dedicated their third title win to the man that had a vision of the Wildcats being more than just a dominant flag football squad in The Bahamas. Now with the “second” season underway, the team is more poised than ever to make flag football history. No team has ever completed four straight title wins in the league.

Dwight Marshall, the team’s general manager, talked about the mindset they have going into this weekend’s flag football showdown.

“The ladies are always confident it's a veteran group and they have been on this stage over and over. Many of them have played in playoffs since they entered the league so they just see it as another challenge…this is just a next step to give themselves a chance to win another championship,” Marshall said.

Marshall added that the name of the game is consistency for his team, and building on things that need to be worked on after every season. Despite the successes of the veteran squad, he acknowledged that every team has strengths and weaknesses but the way the Wildcats prepare, and how they play, is what sets them apart.

Overall, Marshall is proud of the feats his team has accomplished over the years and he was also happy about Wednesday’s announcement of NFL Flag Football expanding to The Bahamas.

“It's big news, it will provide a lot of opportunities for the ladies I am sure . . . it gives them a pathway to make something bigger out of their flag football careers,” he said. “Hopefully it opens some doors for the ladies who have been in the league [and] it's very exciting for younger players who are just getting into flag,” he said.

Despite the numerous milestones achieved by the seasoned women’s team in the BFFL, the late great coach Phillip Rahming had aspirations of his team soaring to heights beyond The Bahamas. The defending champions are accustomed to travelling twice a year to the United States and some of the members have also competed on The Bahamas’ All Star teams in 2017 and 2018.

Following the announcement of the country as the first Caribbean nation to join NFL Flag, Wildcats defensive captain Jayde Knowles talked about the excitement from a team’s perspective.

“We are more than ecstatic that NFL Flag Football Bahamas has established more opportunities for our youth to receive scholarships, but more importantly the possibility of a future Olympic team in the sport that we love is phenomenal and gives us more reason to continue striving to be the best in the region,” Knowles said.

With Sunday’s semifinals looming, Knowles added: “We are continuing to break barriers, reach new heights, and make history when you think of women’s flag football in The Bahamas you will never forget the Wildcats standard.”

Fans can witness the Wildcats’ quest to make history this Sunday at the Winton Rugby Field starting at 1.10pm.

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