Monday, 19 May 2014

Valkyries in the news


Here’s a Valkyries primer as season draws near
By Kevin Mitchell, SP Sports Editor  May 9, 2014
 
 
Women’s tackle football digs itself ever-deeper into Saskatoon’s sports scene, thanks to the Valkyries and their stubborn refusal to yield ground.
The Saskatoon Valkyries — who have won the Western Women’s Canadian Football League title during each of its three seasons — kick off their fourth campaign Sunday against the visiting Manitoba Fearless. Game time is 1 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium.
Here’s seven things — a touchdown and convert — to know about the Valkyries as the season arrives:
1. The Valkyries’ all-time record, both playoffs and regular season, is 18-1. Their only loss was a 15-7 setback against the host Regina Riot during a 2013 regular-season matchup.
2. The Valkyries have endured minimal drama while winning the league title each of the last three years. They thrashed Edmonton 35-7 back in 2011, and followed it with 64-21 and 27-13 championship victories over Lethbridge each of the next two seasons.
3. Eighty-six women have played tackle football for the Valkyries since the team’s inception. Ten members of the original squad are playing this year.
4. The team includes Beth Thompson and Beth Thomson. Both are original Valkyries, both have been on Team Canada, both are teachers, and both have brothers named Paul. Thomson is a linebacker; Thompson an offensive lineman who switched to coaching the o-line this season.
5. Two Valkyries face long commutes this season; Mel Harris and Nicole Richards will drive from Outlook three times per week, twice for practice and once for a game, throughout the campaign.
6. The WWCFL includes the Valkyries, Regina Riot, Winnipeg Wolf Pack and Manitoba Fearless in the Prairie Conference. The Western Conference features the Edmonton Storm, Calgary Rage, Lethbridge Steel and Grande Prairie Northern Anarchy.
7. The Valkyries will play four regular-season games this season, with the playoffs slated to begin June 15. The conference final goes June 22 and the league final is July 5 in Saskatoon.
kmitchell@thestarphoenix.com