The dms West Bay Hellcats face legitimate doubts about repeating as champions.
Cayman’s flag football dynasty have looked far from invincible over the last four weeks at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay. Dms now head into the playoffs of the Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, with an unprecedented three losses to their name.
Some players, like star Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy, state the recent performances do not diminish from the Hellcats’ mystique.
“We got to respect our opponents and when the Hellcats are focused, we can’t be beat,” Levy said. “When we come with our A game, we’re still the best team in the league.”
The Hellcats ended the regular season 8-3 with two straight losses this month. The Burger King Panthers would take down the six-time champions 9-6 before the Club House Bulldogs ended dms’ campaign with a 6-0 victory on 8 September.
West Bay should have been on a three-game losing streak after trailing the Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes 12-7 in the waning moments of their 25 August encounter. The association would eventually rule the contest abandoned, with neither team getting credit for the win, after two Hurricane players were ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Prior to that match, the Hurricanes gave West Bay their only loss of the season, via a 13-12 score on 7 July. In both cases, dms had problems containing quarterback Glenn Duran Jr and weapons like Neville Morgan.
For players like Hellcats lineman Adrean ‘Big Sexy’ Russell, those showings mean nothing come playoff time.
“That’s why you play the game, anything can happen,” Russell said. “The team metal shows in the playoffs. In the playoffs, we will treat all the teams the same.”
While the seeding remains to be decided, the Hellcats do know they will be joined in the postseason by the Bulldogs, Panthers and Maples Packers. All will be in action this Saturday, 22 September, with single elimination matches taking place at 1.30pm and 2.45pm. West Bay’s opponents all represent different and difficult obstacles to a seventh title.
Club House have balance as their offensive firepower and defensive pressure make them a major test. Luigi Moxam has excelled as a role player with Chris Spigner leading the charge at quarterback while Todd Hazlewood and Dillon Claassens have engineered the defence.
Burger King are a gritty team that can mix it up on offence and defence. Chris Lucas excels in and out of the pocket with talents like David Taylor, Taj Haye and Jonathan Carter starring on both sides of the ball. Maples have a high-flying attack behind hurler Barrett Edri with a defence that can be equally dynamic featuring Will Peguero Jr and Christopher Bennett.
Out of that group, both Levy and Russell state Maples present the most intrigue.
“Maples have veterans like Leslie Harvey, Andrew Graham and George Bustillo and we have the utmost respect for them,” Levy said. “Offensively, you see how explosive they can be. I anticipate meeting them.”
“I wouldn’t say they are the second best team but they have the second-best offence,” Russell said. “They beat all of the other contenders except for us. Anything can happen. What’s for certain is the number two team will go up against the third-best team in the league and number one faces number four.”