First season prep with U of R women’s flag football

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Literally could not make it any simpler. Canva image manipulated by Holly Funk

Head coach Wilchynski and player Metz talk prep, practice, and potential opportunities

A lot of readers may not know that the University of Regina has a women’s club flag football team. This league is just starting up across Canada, and they are putting forward a team to play a championship in May. This week, we did an interview with one of the coaches, Cole Wilchynski, and one of the players, Brenna Metz. First up, Wilchynski!

What was your history with football before coaching with this team?

I grew up in the football community, and after high school I started working for Football Saskatchewan. Being a part of Football Saskatchewan gave me the opportunity to work for the Regina Youth Flag Football league ran by Mike Thomas, the Regina Adult Flag Football League ran by Brenden Bennett, and finally the Regina Girls High School Flag League. I also have had the opportunity to coach at all those levels, and at the National level with women.

What position did you play?

I was a linebacker as a player, so naturally I like watching the defensive side of the game but flag football is such an explosive and exciting game to watch, and big plays can happen on either side of the ball at any time.

How many coaches are involved in your team and how many players?

Currently there are three coaches involved. I am the head coach. Payton Kuster will be taking lead with our second team and Drew Hamilton will be assistant coaching and helping will skill development on both teams.

How does the season typically look for student-athletes?

As a brand-new program, we just started up this year. Steph Buehler, our team manager, and Megan Donnelly, our player representative started putting things together at the start of the school year.  We just started our evaluations and will practice a couple times a week leading up the Regina Adult Flag Football (RAFF) season at the start of January. We are going to utilize that league and weekly practices as our preparation for the National championship at the East-West Bowl in May. Along the way, we may set up some mini competitions with fellow universities if they are ready to compete prior to the championship.

What are your goals for the team this season?

As a coach, I obviously want to see us come home with a national championship. I also believe we have the players and experience at the national level to do so.  Bu most importantly, I want to see us set up the groundwork for a program that can continue to grow and gain traction. It is a new sport at the university level so it is important for us to continue the work of growing the game, and with the players involved, I believe [we] will.

Are there any main rules that are different between flag football and tackle football?

Well flag football is a five versus five league, and does not include any elements of tackling. The sport has allowed for athletes from all different sports to be able to succeed.  We see a lot of athletes from other Cougar programs participate in flag football in our city.

Next, lets see how Metz feels about the beginning of this season!

How long have you been playing flag football?

I have been playing for six years now. I started in the [Regina Youth Flag Football League], then played on the provincial team for two years as well as my high school team. I then continued playing in the RAFF.

How difficult are your practices on a scale of one to ten, and can you explain why?

Typically, practices are a six on a scale of one to tenbecause the motion can get repetitive, and involves a lot of running.

What is your position, and what are you mainly good at in that position?

I play receiver, and I’m good at receiving a strong pass and running really fast up field. I also play and really enjoy defence, and I am good at anticipating where [players] are going to try and intercept.

What is the hardest part of playing football?

The hardest part of playing flag football ball would be flag pulling, because if you miss it can sometime be hard to recover, and good hand eye coordination [is required] to pull the flags.

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