Photography by Dana Sparling
In the days leading up to this year's national celebrations of Canada Day on Saturday, July 1st, and U.S. Independence Day on Tuesday, July 4th, a heated battle took place on the grounds of McCleod Stadium in Langley, British Columbia, between combatants from these two countries. On Friday, June 30th, football teams from the U.S.A. and Canada went head-to-head in the Gold Medal Round of the IFAF Women's World Championship (WWC) Tackle Football Tournament. The WWC was held on June 24th - 30th at McCleod Stadium and included American style, full-contact football teams from Australia, Canada, Finland, Great Britain, Mexico and the United States. The WCC, first held in 2009, takes place once every four years with the inaugural 2009 games held in Stockholm, Sweden, and the 2013 games in Vantaa, Finland. Team U.S.A. entered the 2017 tournament as the reigning World Champions having captured the Gold in both the 2009 and 2013 contests. They wouldn't disappoint in 2017.
The U.S.A. took home the Gold Medal for the third straight time. Photo Credit: Dana Sparling
Team U.S.A. put on a dominating performance throughout the tournament defeating Mexico in a first round shutout by the score of 29-0. The Americans faced off against the reigning European Champions from Finland in round two, once again winning by a shutout score of 48-0. The Gold Medal game against Team Canada presented a greater challenge with the Canadians having achieved dominant wins over Australia and Great Britain in rounds one and two, but the Americans still prevailed claiming the World Championship title by a score of 41-16.
The 45 member U.S. National Women's Football Team included 42 players drawn from the highly competitive Women's Football Alliance (WFA) League and included two members of the New York Sharks on the starting lineup and three Sharks selected as alternates. Among the WFA's 65 teams, those having players selected for the U.S. National Women's Football Team included the Atlanta Phoenix, Baltimore Nighthawks, Boston Renegades, Carolina Phoenix, Central California War Angels, Chicago Force, Cleveland Fusion, Dallas Elite, D.C. Divas, Kansas City Titans, Minnesota Machine, New York Sharks, Philadelphia Phantomz, Pittsburgh Passion, San Diego Surge, Seattle Majestics, West Michigan Mayhem, Austin Yellow Jackets, and the North Country Stars. It's clear to see that in every major American football market with an NFL or major college football team, there is also a competitive women's tackle football team of the WFA. This is entertaining, fan-friendly, football that should not be missed.
Contributing to the U.S. National Team's winning efforts were N.Y. Sharks cornerback, Jewelle "TJ" Grimsley (#23 pictured at right) and tight end Brilynn Fields (#25 pictured at right). Named as alternates to the U.S. team were N.Y. Sharks quarterback Karen Mulligan, defensive linebacker Brooklyn Fields, and linebacker Gabriella Farrell.
At right: T.J.Grimsley and Brilynn Fields with Gold Medals.
Photo Credit: Dana Sparling
The season is not yet over for teams and players of the Women's Football Alliance as they are scheduled to head into the League Championships on July 21-22 at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.
Brilynn Fields (#25) above. Photo Credit: Geoff White courtesy of Football Canada
Jewelle T.J. Grimsley, #23 above. Photo Credit: David Zuskind courtesy of Football Canada
Team U.S.A. Celebrates. Photo Credit: Dana Sparling
For more coverage of the New York Sharks, see the article in our July-August issue of MetroSports Magazine available free and online at www.MetroSportsMag.com or through the "Home" menu selection at the top of this page.
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