Minnesota Vixen to Open Their 2019 Season in Kansas City
The Minnesota Vixen had a truly magical 2018 season in the Women’s Football Alliance. The team finished with a regular season record of seven wins and a single loss and capped it with a trip to the WFA Division II National Championship game against the New York Sharks. Unfortunately, the high powered offense and hard hitting defense of the Vixen fell by six points in what many would consider to be the best game of championship weekend.
But that was last year, and things that happened yesterday should be remembered then moved on from.
It is a new year, and the Vixen have been quite busy with their time off. With a mostly new coaching staff and a large group of rookie players, it would be easy to write off 2019 as a “rebuilding year” for the longest continuously running women’s tackle football team in the nation, but that is not the attitude around the team. Since the strength and conditioning camp prior to Christmas, the players and coaches of the Vixen have had the loss on their mind and are fully prepared to do the work to get back to the top of Division II of the WFA.
With his youthful exuberance and patient demeanor, Head Coach Ryan McCauley has brought an offensive scheme to the Vixen that will test defenses around the league. The Vixen defense will be coordinated by RJ Speidel. The only returning coaches from the 2018 season are Jason Cornelison (Defensive Backs), Bruce Brevitz (Offensive Line), Laura Brown (Defensive Line), and Jake Potter (Wide Receivers). Joining the staff are Shaun Mattson (Quarterbacks), Matt O’Keefe (Running Backs), and three former Vixen players: Michele Braun (Offensive Line), Jessica Giesemann (Linebackers), and Emilie Sundberg (Wide Receivers). The staff has really come together and gotten the team on the same page.
“The players have really bought in,” says O-line coach Bruce Brevitz. With returning offensive leaders Emily Evans, Jeanie“Tank” Nelson, and Maria Beck on the offense and Jodi Rehlander, Cynthia “Red” Bryant, and Anne Theissen on the defense, there are high expectations for this Vixen team.
While there is a big influx of rookie players, there is no shortage of athletic talent and heart. One could say the rookies are “young, scrappy, and hungry and not throwing away [their] shot” in the words of “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Vixen rookies have had a lot to learn but have risen to the challenge put forth by Coach McCauley and his staff. Look for players, both rookie and veteran alike, to make big, impactful plays for the Vixen this season.
This Saturday, April 6th, the Vixen head back to Kansas City to face the only team to hand them a regular season loss in 2018. There is no love lost between the Vixen and the Titans, as they have faced one another five times in two years. The Vixen look to resume their winning way while the Titans look to rebound from their loss in the 2018 WFA Division I Playoffs.
For those wishing to attend, the game will be at Truman High School in Independence, Missouri and will have a 7PM Central Time kick off. The game will also be broadcast live on Town Square Television and on the Vixen’s website, MNVixen.com.