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STUNNERZ BRING THUNDER IN WIN OVER RUSSIAN FOOTBALL TEAM

Despite a steady downpour over Eagles Field in Mangilao, two teams of tough women went to battle on the gridiron. A traveling club all the way from Russia played against a Guam team mainly consisting of the Island Stunnerz of the Guam Women’s Tackle Football League. Despite being undermanned, the Russian team showed tremendous heart and skill, eventually losing by a final score of 22-6.

By John Wesley

Despite a steady downpour over Eagles Field in Mangilao, two teams of tough women went to battle on the gridiron. A traveling club all the way from Russia played against a Guam team mainly consisting of the Island Stunnerz of the Guam Women’s Tackle Football League. Despite being undermanned, the Russian team showed tremendous heart and skill, eventually losing by a final score of 22-6.

The Stunnerz were led by TJ Rodriguez’s two rushing touchdowns and two two-point conversions by Deniece Hoya. Lani Chaco also added a rushing touchdown to put the game out of reach.

The Cobras played well despite losing their quarterback to injury. Without a backup available, they had to make due. Their persistence paid off as they managed to get in a score in the fourth quarter. Svetlana Miroshnichenko intercepted a Guam pass and took the ball into the red zone. Several plays later Miroshnichenko would take a handoff and find pay dirt when she outsprinted the defense and crossed the goal line untouched.

The Cobras are one of seven Russian football teams and this was their first friendly match with the GWTFL. The game was the first of what will hopefully turn into an annual gathering according to local organizer Linda Salas and Cobra Coach Tasha Poduska.

“We want to do this every year. Next year will probably combine with Vladivostok and bring a bigger team,” said Poduska. In yesterday’s game the Cobras only suited 17 players due to the cost of travel.

“The timezone is good, the climate is good. My girls love the beaches.”

The Cobras will play one more game while on island. Next week they face a team consisting of Team Legacy of the GWTFL and several players from the Tokyo Blazecats of Japan. They will have two practices during the week with Guam coaches helping them refine their game. The goal of the Cobras is to teach their players enough of skills to eventually become coaches and grow the sport in Russia.

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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