By Kyle Wescott, Senior Writer for MyWSports.com
Special Contributor for the Women’s Football Alliance
Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania will be the host to an amazing weekend of football, July 21st and 22nd, as the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) will crown three national champions. This year, the championship weekend has many great stories in all three divisions.
This will be a weekend that no football fan will want to miss.
W Bowl II – Boston Renegades vs. Dallas Elite
The top ranked team in Division 1 is the Boston Renegades, who defeated the Chicago Force on July 8th, 47-33, to win the Division 1 National Conference title. The Renegades played a demanding schedule this year and now have to beat Dallas to win their fourth national championship in franchise history.
The Renegades defense is recognized for creating turnovers, such as the four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in their last two playoff games. Boston also has a dynamic offense that scores through the air but can also control the pace of the game on the ground.
“We have to shut them down because they’re a great team,” said Boston’s defensive powerhouse Allie Genereaux. “We definitely think we’re going to win this game.”
That said, Dallas will be a tough opponent, and the Renegades are preparing.
“It’s been a lot of hours of game film, staying up all night,” said Renegades Linebacker Vicky Eddy (Team USA profile.)
And the Dallas Elite is also a great defensive team. Making their third consecutive appearance, Dallas defeated the San Diego Surge on July 8, 63-7, to make the championship game. In that game, the Elite defense gave up its first points of the season.
The Elite lost in 2016 and 2015 to the D.C Divas by four points and two points, respectively. With the Divas out of the picture, the Elite are hoping to dominate the Renegades the way they have dominated every other team this season. Dallas enters the championship undefeated and has averaged 64 points per game this season.
“We are going into this game like we go into all our games – and like any game, it’s just an opponent,” said Linebacker Angellica Grayson (Team USA profile,) downplaying the gravity of the Elite’s third trip to the championship. “We are going to do what has made us successful and adjust as the game happens.”
With a dangerous defense and an explosive offense, the Elite could be primed for their day of glory at the W Bowl II. Or, perhaps the game will be a shootout where the last team to score will win the championship.
Whether you believe that Boston has been tested more, or that Dallas is primed to continue their dominating ways, this game will be entertaining from kickoff.
Division 2 National Championship – Tampa Bay Inferno vs. St. Louis Slam
In 2016, the St. Louis Slam won the Division 2 National Championship, 38-7, over the Tampa Bay Inferno and, this year, fans will get to see a rematch of that game.
Inferno Running Back Denasha Mondy didn’t play in the 2016 championship game and could be the difference in the upcoming game. Mondy scored three touchdowns, picked off an interception and recovered a fumble in Inferno’s 58-26 victory over the Montreal Blitz in the July 8 conference championship game.
“I’m happy I’m able to be there with the team and able to produce and help out,” Mondy said, playing coy with the team’s strategy against the Slam. “You never know with Coach Green — whether it’s going to be pass or run — but we just need to produce whatever it is he calls.”
The St. Louis Slam challenged early by the Mile High Blaze in the conference championship game, but the Slam was able to pull away with the 43-21 victory.
“We came out slow offensively for the first three quarters, and I put a lot of that on me,” said Slam Running Back Taylor Hay. ”Once we got it going, our defense made some great plays and that’s when we pulled away.”
The team will not get such an opportunity from Tampa Bay, however. The Slam are 9-1 and undefeated against Division 2 competition this season. Look for them to control the ball with their running game.
The Inferno proved they have made large strides from last year and after defeating Montreal, they have the confidence to reverse their fate from 2016.
“We’re hungry, we want it, we have something to fight for,” Mondy said. “It’s not just another game, we want to bring the championship back to Tampa.”
Division 3 National Championship – Arkansas Wildcats vs. Orlando Anarchy
The Division 3 matchup is one of tragedy, heart, and redemption. Both teams have suffered personal losses and both teams are fighting to win a national championship in the name of their fallen teammates.
The Orlando Anarchy beat the top seeded Toledo Reign 27-20 in the championship game on July 8th. The team’s tragedy made national news and has driven them to turn their 0-8 record in the 2016 season into this year’s national championship bid.
The Wildcats travelled across the country and defeated the Southern Oregon Lady Renegades, 38-21, to win the American Conference Championship. Similar to the Anarchy, the Arkansas Wildcats are fighting for a fallen teammate, Kelsey Goode, who was killed in a car accident.
The Arkansas Wildcats did not field a WFA team in 2016 but are clearly back with a mission and that is to win a national title. Even still, the team has the smallest roster in the WFA with only 12 active players which means that the Wildcats play both sides of the ball for a full 60 minutes.
“The game plan is the same as every game, play our game and play a full game” said Alexander.