By Boston Renegades Staff
The Boston Renegades are heading to Atlanta to face the Los Angeles Warriors in the Women’s Football Alliance National Championship. This is the second year in a row that Boston will play in the national championship game. The Dallas Elite took the league title last season by a score of 31-21.
The Renegades seek redemption in working toward a different outcome in 2018.
“What happened last year shaped our whole theme, Time to Finish, for this season.” said defensive end Brooke Goodman (#97). “A game like that is something you never forget and it’s certainly something that has motivated us.”
The Renegades’ road to redemption hasn’t been without obstacles, namely longtime rivals in Pittsburgh and D.C., who each denied Boston a victory during the regular season. In the playoffs, however, the Renegades overcame the Pittsburgh Passion 63-26, and the D.C. Divas 34-32, both on the road.
Should Boston prevail in the national championship game, they would be the first team since 2006 to capture a Division I national title by winning three consecutive games away from home. The Atlanta Xplosion did it on the way to winning the IWFL Championship that year. Boston would also become the first team since 2007 to win a Division I national title despite having two losses on their season record since the SoCal Scorpions did it on the way to winning the WPFL title in 2007.
The Los Angeles Warriors are heading to the championship for the first time since being established in 2009, thanks in part to the addition of players from the Central Cal War Angels, who ceased operations in the off-season. The Warriors punched their ticket for the league title match with a 27-14 road win over the Kansas City Titans.
Led by the this year’s American Conference MVP running back Priscilla Gardner, who was the 2017 leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, Los Angeles has been a force on the West Coast in recent years. And the team’s offensive playbook has grown only larger this year with their expanded roster and the vertical throwing ability of former Central Cal quarterback Chantel Niino-Wiggins, a two-time WFA Offensive Player of the Year.
Although Boston has never faced Los Angeles, there is little change to how they prepare.
“It’s watching film — getting an idea of who lines up across from you, how each person works, and knowing what they do in any given situation,” said offensive guard Amanda Alpert (#50). “It doesn’t change the way we practice. The fundamentals are the fundamentals no matter who we play.”
When planning for the Renegades, there is naturally a lot of emphasis on the strong play of veterans like quarterback Allison Cahill (#7), wide receiver Emily Beinecke (#87), and 2018 National Conference MVP Chanté Bonds (#21) but the team’s success is built on the whole team.
“Our roster is full of playmakers, tremendous athletes, and excellent team players,” said Center Ashley Beckham (#80). “When you have a team like that, you can expect to watch one cohesive unit.”
One major addition to Boston’s roster from last season is the three-time champion Alpert, who was sidelined for last year’s championship game due to her pregnancy.
“I was fortunate to be able to be there and coach, but it’s not the same,” Alpert said. “Being able to play side by side with these amazing women in the biggest game of the year is an incredible experience and I can’t wait to do it again.”
For Beckham, this game has always been in focus for the Boston Renegades. “The moment our season ended last year, I knew we would be back at this game ready to prove ourselves. We would never settle for anything less.”