Boston Renegades seeking to win their 5th straight Pro Division Women’s Football Alliance title

The Women’s Football Alliance 2023 Championships are set to kick off Friday, July 21 and this year the games are a mix of the old and the new.

In the Pro Division, the old are the Boston Renegades vying for their 5th WFA title facing the St. Louis Slam who have also won four league titles (in Division II). The Division II title game features an Oklahoma Lady Force team looking for its second title in a row against first time final entrant, the New York Wolves. In Division III, the new features two first year teams, the West Palm Beach Coyotes who play the likewise first year New Mexico Banitas.

The finals therefore will be a nice mix of the old and new for the WFA.

Saturday, July 22

Pro Division – Boston Renegades vs St. Louis Slam

Superstar quarterback Allison Cahill leads the undefeated Renegades into the WFA Championships to be held on July 28-29 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Under the direction of the 20 year veteran Cahill, the WFA’s top offense will face the St. Louis Slam that features the league’s top defense.

Both teams enter the game undefeated. The 7-0 Renegades defeated the Alabama Fire to earn their slot in the championship. Aside from Cahill, Boston is led by a committee of running backs that includes international players Tytti Kuusinen (Finland), Ruth Matta (UK), Heather Marini (Australia), who join homegrown Katherine Falkowski and Latoya Salters. Chante Bonds, who earned the 2022 Division I championship game MVP award when she filled in at QB for an injured Cahill, leads the receiving corps that also includes Stephanie Pascual, Khadijah Ellison, and Adrienne Smith. Linebacker Lisa Vincent, the WFA’s fourth leading tackler anchors a stingy defense that has only given up 49 points all season.

Allison Cahill rears back to throw a pass in a game against the Tampa Bay Inferno on July 10, 2021. © Meg Kelly.

The Slam are no strangers to championship games either. They have won four championships between 2009 and 2019 in Division II. St. Louis quarterback Jaime Gaal threw for 15 touchdowns without an interception in 2023. The ground attack features Jada Humphrey and Taylor Hay, who combined for 5 TDs.

St. Louis Slam RB Taylor Hay #12

Kerri McMahan led receivers with 21 catches for 338 yards and 4 scores. Linebacker Jasmine Yandell paced the Slam defense that throttled opposing offenses, and gave up only 47 points during the season, and 27 of those came in their playoff victory over last year’s second place Minnesota Vixen.

With a victory, the Renegades will edge closer to the Toledo Troopers (7 championships) as the women’s football team with the most championships.

ESPN 2 will carry the game starting at 1PM EST.

Friday, July 21

Division II – Oklahoma City Lady Force vs New York Wolves

The 8-0 Oklahoma City Lady Force seek to repeat their 2023 championship performance in Division III against a New York team that is the successor to the New York Sharks, who were WFA Division II champions in 2018. The Lady Force come into the game with top league ratings in both offense and defense. The Wolves are number 3 in offense, and have the second rated defense.

The Lady Force are a ground oriented team, and with good reason. Running back Elizabeth Jones leads the division with 1,033 on 121 carries, and has scored 14 touchdowns. Sabrina Slaton directs the team at quarterback, and has thrown for 3 scores. Her favorite receiver is Dominique Hammond, who has caught 3 of those. Sade Roberts, Chelsea Taylor, and Justine McSwain anchor the top rated defense that has allowed only 46 points. Roberts is also the division’s leading tackler.

Oklahoma Lady Force RB Elizabeth Jones #2 Photo: Kevin Franklin, KMG Photos

The likewise 8-0 Wolves are led by quarterback Karen Mulligan who threw for 583 yards and 6 TDs in the regular season. Mattique Jones paces the rushing attack and has added 5 more scores. Gina Capardi leads the Wolves receivers with 24 receptions for 357 yards and 5 trips to the end zone. Kim Rose leads the defense with 58 tackles, Ashley Moody-Astwood has sacked opposing quarterbacks 6.5 times, and Nhandi Brown deflected 11 passes. Before joining the WFA, the Lady Force played in the Xtreme Football league that featured 8-on-8 matches between teams in Kansas and Oklahoma. They had won 4 championships there, and they won the WFA Division III title last year, so Wolves will have their work cut out for them.

Division III – New Mexico Banitas vs Palm Beach Coyotes

The 5-2 Banitas are a new team and making it to the championship in their first season is a signal accomplishment. Hailing mostly from Albuquerque and Las Cruces, the offense relies heavily on running back Wyshana Brooks who has carried the ball for 874 yards, second best in the division, and 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Mariah Bartlett added 4 scores through the air, and Brooks caught 2 of them. She was joined in the TD catching ranks by Mia Melchor who also hauled in a pair of scoring passes. Cornerback Tatiana Pannell covers the entire field and she leads in both tackling and interceptions. They rank at number 7 in the division in both categories.

New Mexico Banitas RB Wyshana Brooks #13

The 7-1 Coyotes are also new to the WFA this season. They ranked number 2 on offense, and number 3 on defense. Three players tied with 4 TDs on the season. Running backs Daundrianique Greenland and Lasondrya Williams each rushed for their scores, and Patrice Collie passed for hers. Tight end Regine Turner caught 2 touchdowns to lead the receiving corps. Lasondrya Williams and Dametria Gibson led the team in tackles, and Williams came up with 4 fumble recoveries.

Whichever team comes out on top, they will be one-for-one – one season and one championship.

Russ Crawford is an Associate Professor of History at Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH. He has published three books: Women’s American Football: Breaking Barriers On and Off the Field (2022), Le Football: The History of American Football in