Before the start of the 2022 Women’s National Football Conference season, Texas Elite Spartans quarterback Brittany Bushman told head coach Odessa Jenkins that she had two goals — reduce the number of turnovers she commits and be named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Just before the IX Cup Championship game in June, the league announced that Bushman had earned the coveted accolade as the Leagues Most Valuable Player for 2022. Her 17 touchdowns against three interceptions on the season led the league, while she also compiled a league-leading 1081 yards passing, exceeding her numbers from 2021.
“I was nominated for [League MVP] in 2021 and I was a little disappointed that it didn’t happen,” Bushman said in an interview with The Dallas Express. “I knew we had the entire offensive line returning, and adding [Rosan] Gore and [Brittany] Satterwhite, I knew that I was surrounded by greatness.”
To put into perspective how dominant Bushman was throughout the season, she compiled more yards in her Week 4 performance against Mississippi (258) than half of the quarterbacks in the league managed throughout the season. Bushman said that the game against the Lady Panthers was one of the defining moments of 2022 for her.
“We scored quick with that pass to Satterwhite, but after that we struggled,” Bushman said. “We kind of reset at halftime. When we came back out, I was trusting my line and stepping up and we scored five touchdowns in the second half.”
The Elite Spartans, and Bushman in particular, have a target on them every game. Texas, a founding member of the WNFC, has never lost a game in three seasons of competition. In 2021, the team not only went undefeated during the season, they also prevented opponents from scoring even one point.
This season, the competition was much more challenging both as a result of being “the team everyone wants to beat” and due to the team’s travel schedule.
Bushman said that she had gone into the 2022 season with her mind practically made up that it would be her last in the league. She has been selected to play for the Women’s Tackle Football National Team in a competition that begins at the end of July, and she said that she had imagined it would be her last hurrah.
Instead, Bushman said that she will come back for at least one more season in an attempt to bring the IX Cup home to Dallas for a fourth-consecutive time.
“There are a lot of us coming back and I feel like I am just hitting my stride,” Bushman said. “After taking five years off with my ACL injury, I feel like it has been a rebirth and I don’t think I could be satisfied just giving it up right now.”
Once Team USA finishes competition in Finland this summer, Bushman will get a chance to regroup. WNFC teams are just announcing dates for the 2023 season, starting with tryouts that begin in October. Texas may get an opportunity to face the league’s newest club next season when the Tennesee Trojans debut as members of the Atlantic Conference.