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Setting the Stage for the Ultimate Competition in Women’s Tackle Football

texas elite spartans
The Texas Elite Spartans

It’s been a long time coming for the WNFC, but on August 6, the gates will open to the first IX Cup Championship event since 2019. The Texas Elite Spartans, hoping to cap off an undefeated season, face a San Diego Rebellion team that has proven to be a disruptor all season.

Among dozens of great storylines, this game will pit the #1-ranked defense from the Pacific League against the #1-ranked Atlantic League defensive unit. Both defenses feature aggressive, ball-hawking players who find ways to shut down offenses.

Texas Elite Spartans COO and Head Coach believes her offense has more than enough weapons to deal with the San Diego defense.

“I think our team is going to do what they have been training to do and that’s score points,” Jenkins said. “I would be very shocked to see some sort of ground it out, three yards in a cloud of dust, battle. That’s just not what has ever happened.”

While that may sound like a boast of overconfidence, the Spartans back up their owner’s words with on-the-field action. The only points scored against the team all season came in the final round of the Atlantic League playoffs in a game the Spartans won 27-10. It was the closest score of the season.

San Diego Rebellion Co-owner and starting Quarterback Knengi Martin thinks her team has what it is going to take to shut down an offense that outscored opponents 312-0 in the regular season.

“I am a firm believer in ‘Defenses win Championships’,” Martin said. “Mercedes (Tyler) has caused a fumble in almost every single game. Stephanie Lopez has just been a force to be reckoned with in tackles for loss and fumble recoveries. Our defense is hungry to get to the ball, so that makes them really dangerous.”

The Spartans have a habit of putting the ball on the ground, an issue the Rebellion hope to exploit. Jenkins said that protecting the ball has been something the coaches have been stressing to the players on both sides of the ball.

“The turnovers that we’ve seen are all things we can control,” Jenkins said. “No one has snatched the ball away from us, there’s no scheme that we’ve seen that makes us struggle to hold onto the ball.”

One X-Factor that Texas may have in the IX Cup game is the advantage of playing before the home crowd in North Texas.

Playing in an unfriendly stadium won’t be a challenge for her players, Martin said. The Rebellion played all their home games in 2021 at different fields due to Covid-19 restrictions. Their most recent victory came against a Utah team playing before their home crowd on a field the team had never set foot on before.

“Yes, they have home field advantage, but going into hostile territory is nothing new for us,” Martin said. She is confident that the Rebellion will rise to the challenge against the Texas Elite Spartans for the National Title.

The IX Cup weekend aims to introduce fans to women’s tackle football. Considered the fastest growing sport in the US, the WNFC hopes to empower girls and women to tackle life on and off the field.

“Our business not only fills a critical gap in the most popular sport in the world, but we are also inspiring women and girls to dream big, build big, and hit hard. We are building a sports entertainment, apparel, and lifestyle company that will change the way the world sees women,” reads the About us section of the WNFC mission statement.

The game will be played Aug 7 at UNT Apogee Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 local time.

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