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Panthers will stalk their prey
May 31, 2012, 10:59 am

 

The Burger King Panthers had a successful season last year, getting all the way to the quarter-finals and just being edged out by the Cox Colts in the final minutes of the game.

The loss left a bitter taste in the Panther mouths and this year they want nothing short of a finals appearance. Jermaine Sharpe, a defensive star for the Panthers last year, commented on the end of last season’s campaign.

“We want a championship this year,” Sharpe stated emphatically, “Getting as far as we did last year only to lose hurts, but this year we’ve added new pieces, most significantly quarterback Chris Lucas and we want to take the championship.”

The Panthers have a different look this year, adding new players along with key position changes. Also they added new head coach Josh Pawlik. “Being a player last season with the Panthers, making the transition to coach has been pretty easy,” Pawlik explained, “I know these guys, I know what they’re capable of and I know what they can do, calling the plays instead of running them is going to be interesting but I’m definitely enjoying it so far.”

Pawlik’s new position on the team hasn’t fazed him a bit, “The only difference I’ve seen so far is just that I’m calling the plays instead of running them,” he explained.

The Panthers seem to have new life this year, adding new players and young, exciting athletes, “We’re rejuvenated this year,” Pawlik said, “There’s a lot of excitement at practices, we have a new look on offense and our defence is a lot stronger.”

The Panthers have had a very successful offseason, making the necessary changes and improving their squad. The championship hopeful Panthers definitely seem to have set high expectations for themselves with all this new-found talent.

“The league looks different this year,“ Sharpe added, “There are new dynamics, teams have changed and everyone has improved.”

Each team in the league has made their adjustments and improvements from last year, so goals have changed. The Panthers have a different view of their goals this year, not just your typical ‘finals or bust’ attitude, but they have short-term and long-term watermarks.

Obviously, they’ve set their sights on being two steps further than they were last year (a finals appearance) but they’ve set their own regular season goals too.

“We want to win more than half our games and grab a first-round bye in the playoffs,” stated Jermaine, “Then move onto the finals from there.”

Former Pirates quarterback and second-year player Chris Lucas has been put at the helm of the offense this season.

“We look good this year, the guys are working really hard.” Lucas said. “We’re definitely poised to win a bunch of games this season and a playoff berth is in our sights, a finals appearance is definitely realistic.”

Lucas also commented on switching teams over the offseason, “I love those guys over there, they’re all great and I had a lot of fun playing with them last season, I just felt like the Panthers were a better fit for me.

It’s a new, different scene, new guys, I’m looking forward to the fresh start on a fresh team.”

Star and all-purpose player Simon Rivers shares the same optimism with the rest of the team, “Getting knocked out in the playoffs hurt last year, our defence was our biggest issue but we’ve addressed that this offseason,” he explained, “Our offense looks good and with the new personnel, the sky is the limit for this team.”

The Panthers have undoubtedly made significant changes during the offseason, adding players across the board and addressing the issues that led to their downfall last season. 2012 has brought a different Panthers team, and only time will tell whether or not they are good enough to give the rest of the league a run for their money.


Hellcats hungry for more glory
May 31, 2012, 10:58 am

With the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association 2012 season just days away from getting started, teams are preparing for a gruelling campaign.  

Eight squads are in the hunt for the title this year and the defending champion Hellcats seem to have a target on their back with the rest of the league gathering ammunition.  

This season will feature a few rule changes with players being allowed to stiff-arm on offence and downfield blocking being legalised on interceptions and kickoffs. Also, teams are now given the option to kick field goals and extra points after touchdowns. Games will be held at West Bay’s Ed Bush Field and the Annex in George Town on Saturdays, starting at 1pm on 2 June. 

The Hellcats are a flag football dynasty, winning the last three championships and collecting six finals trophies in nine years. In a word? Domination. But what’s next for the team? Staying motivated, fighting as hard as they can every game and playing with heart seems like a tall task when they’ve already achieved dominance as a dynasty.  

Nevertheless, they remain hungry for another championship. “We’re still hungry,” states star player Phil Brown. “The competition has gotten better, and we’re out to prove we’re still the best. We want to win our fourth in a row.”  

The Hellcats have no shortage of stars. Brown plays both sides of the ball and quarterback Jacob ‘Frecko’ Ebanks is coming off a Most Valuable Player season. Already with a three-peat underneath their belt, they still have a chip on their shoulder and their eyes on a fourth consecutive title.  

“We’ve kept the same core players, added a couple new guys here and there, but our team is still the same.” says Brown. Not necessarily the best of news for the rest of the league. It may be a new year, a chance at a clean slate for all the teams who can renew their championship aspirations, but they still have the same dominating Hellcats to dethrone. Easier said than done.  

“What’s the sense of playing if you’re not playing to win?” Frecko said. “I’m not going to play for second place, me and the team want another championship. 

“We’ve added some talent on defence. Guys who played for a different team last year but, for some reason or another, didn’t stay with them have now come over to our squad and our defence is a lot stronger.”  

Not only do the Hellcats still have a high-powered offence, but they’ll be even more difficult to keep up with now that they’re defence has been bolstered.  

“We’re still confident despite the coaching change,” Frecko continued, “Our coach retired last year but now we have an ex-player coaching us and we’re all still on the same page.”  

Frecko is speaking about coach George ‘Teddy’ Hydes retiring after the 2011 championship campaign and being replaced with Jayson ‘Papi’ Gonzalez and Jamal Young. However, the quarterback sounded very confident in the change as ‘Papi’ and Jamal are very capable coaches. Both Brown and Frecko sounded more than confident about the Hellcats’ chances at a title this year.  

“Beware of the Hellcats!” warned Frecko. They show no signs of slowing down. 


Flag Jamboree set for Saturday
May 31, 2012, 10:57 am

Flag football returns to Cayman’s male populace.

The Cayman Islands Flag Football Association would like to announce that its 2012 Digicel Summer League will start this weekend. The annual Jamboree is slated for Saturday, 2 June, at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay. Cayman’s national men’s competition will then see league games commence on 16 June. There are currently eight teams registered in the West Bay Hellcats, Cox Lumber Colts, Calabash Soldiers, Club House Bulldogs, Burger King Panthers, Hammerheads Pirates, Maples Packers and PWC Ironmen. The Hellcats are the resident dynasty with six championships in the last decade, thanks to talents like Oliver Parker and Clay Coleman. Last year, the side defeated the rookie Colts, who featured stars like Kevin Solomon and Andrew Frederick, in the finals. Four other squads joined the Hellcats and Colts in the playoffs. Calabash had talents like Glenn Duran Jr and Leslie Harvey, Bulldogs were led by Todd Hazlewood and Dave Velez, Panthers featured Ryan Smith and Simon Rivers while the Pirates were guided by Nigel Solomon and Chris Lucas.

The association is looking for persons interested in officiating, stat-keeping and clock managing for the summer league. Officials, stat-keepers and clock managers will be paid for their assistance. For more information, e-mail ciffaky@ymail.com


2012 CIFFA Digicel Summer League Information
May 20, 2012, 12:54 pm

Dear CIFFA Members,

As we previously announced, the 2012 Digicel Summer League kicks off with our Jamboree on June 2nd at the Ed Bush field (more details to be provided shortly) and follows with the official start of the season on June 16th. At this point all team captains/coaches have been provided with registration forms and notification of all rule changes. As the registration deadline is fast approaching, we encourage all teams to have their registration forms submitted to the board before the May 26th deadline to avoid any late registration fees. Registration forms can be submitted to any of the CIFFA board members or e-mailed to ciffaky@ymail.com directly.

For those members who are not familiar with the rule changes, they can be found under the "League Info" section on the website. Please take the time to get familiar with the new rules prior to the start of the season.

Once the May 26th deadline has passed and all teams have been registered, the league schedule will be sent to all members and also posted on the website. If you haven't already done so, please sign up as a member of the website by creating a user account. This will enable you to chat/post messages in our forum.

If you or anyone you know is interested in joining a team, officiating, stat keeping, clock managing, etc., please contact us using the "Contact Us" option on the website or by e-mailing ciffaky@ymail.com. Officials, stat keepers and clock managers will be paid for their assistance. Please contact us for more information.

Regards,
CIFFA


CIFFA 2012 Season
Apr 21, 2012, 11:16 pm

We are pleased to advise you that the 2012 CIFFA Season kicks with our
jamboree on Saturday June 2nd & on Saturday June 16th the season official
begins for 9-man format for the men & 7-men format for the ladies. We
will be sending out the updated rules, code of conduct & registration forms
in the next few days to you all.


We have some new things in the works for you that we hope will not only
better prepare us for international competition, but will make the season more
fun & entertaining for all of us.


If there any new teams that you are aware of looking to enter the league
please pass on my email to them. If you have any question please do not hesitate
to contact any member of the board who can answer your questions.


Jermaine Sharpe
2012 CIFFA President


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