Saint John Storm History
Where it all began - in 2004 the Seagals played 8 man football in a 6 game home and home - which was evenly split with 3 wins a piece with Fredericton Gladiators. Saint John won the first ever Judy Upward Trophy on their home field in Grand Bay
2005 season saw two teams from SJ and one from Fredericton. Moncton also joined to make it a 4 team league. Midway through the season both SJ teams (Seagals and Longhorns) were short of players and they formed a new team called the Buccaneers to finish the season at 2-2.
The Vipers took a bye as the Gladiators travelled to Simonds field ( now the Mike and Judy Upward field) to face the Bucs in the semifinal. SJ won 22-0.
Aug 14,2005 was an overcast and humid day with the odd sprinkle of rain when the Bucs travelled to the Vipers for the championship with only 17 players, 2 of whom were injured.
This is a recant of that championship:
The Vipers took the opening kickoff to their own 40 yardline. Their opening drive took them all the way to the Bucs 3 yardline where the Bucs defense held and took them 4 and out. The game from there became a defensive battle with teams
swapping 4 and outs throughout a scoreless first quarter.
The Vipers scored midway through the second on a long sweep around the left side but missed their convert. On the ensuing kickoff the Bucs drove on the ground to the Vipers 5 yardline. With one play left in the half Jaclyn Bettle hit Jenny Zwicker on a quick in pass for a touchdown. Cassie Comeau converted to give the Bucs an 8-6 lead at half. The defenses went back to work in the second half and
there was no scoring in the third quarter.
With 6:23 left in the game the Vipers again took the lead on another long run and converted for a 14-8 lead. On the ensuing kick off QB Bettle broke her finger and the Bucs needed to alter their offense moving RB Lisa Harlow to QB and Cassie Comeau into the
backfield as tailback. The Bucs scratched their way up to mid field with 3 minutes left. After a time out the Bucs lined up on the right hash mark and ran Comeau on a sweep right to the short side of the field where she received the blocking she needed to run 54 yards for the tieing tochdown and converted the convert for a go ahead 16-14 with 2 minutes left. The Vipers not about to give up moved to the Bucs side of half but then the Bucs defense held them on fourth down around their own 35 yardline. The Bucs ran the play that had just scored
for them and when Comeau was in the clear a late whistle declared her out of bounds on the sideline. The Bucs ran left and then came back to the right pitch again and this time comeau went for a 49 yard romp and converted to win 24-14. It was an amazing game. Every player played with their heart and soul leaving nothing within themselves.
In 2006 The Bucs needed to start rebuilding and the league grew by one, the Halifax Xplosion. The 2 and 4 Bucs played in the runner up game against the Vipers,as the Glads and the Xplosion went to Supher Bowl III. The score was 20 - 8 for the Gladiators.
Here is the 2006 All star team:
Most Outstanding Player- Jessica Marin Capital Area Lady Gladiators
Most Outstanding Player- Offence Alex Black Capital Area Lady Gladiators
Most Outstanding Player- Defence Jenna MacDonald Saint John Buccaneers
Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Christa Simonds Moncton Vipers
Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman Katie Archibald Halifax Xplosion
Most Outstanding Running Back Mandy Mallais Moncton Vipers
Most Outstanding Receiver Jackie Campion Moncton Vipers
Most Outstanding Defensive Back Michelle Young Saint John Buccaneers
Most Outstanding Rookie Amy Robichaud Saint John Buccaneers
Most Sportsmanlike Player Kelly Martel Halifax Xplosion
Unsung Hero Award Sara Gofton Halifax Xplosion
Volunteer of the Year Team Executive Halifax Xplosion
Offence: Lisa Harlow, Mandy Mallais, Meagan Smith, Jessica Marin, Amanda Craine, Jenny Miller, Jennifer Hitchcock, Alex Black, Cassie Comeau, Jackie Campion, Amy Mitchell, Lindsay Anderson, Tina Hetherington, Leah Jackson, Robynn Neill.
Defence: Mary Greer, Heather LeBlanc, Katie Archibald, Courtney Hallet, Stephanie Powers, Kristen Nicholson, Erin Cooke, Natasha Canning, Kate Robinson, Lucy LeBlanc, Sara Gofton, Julia Coleman, Sabrina Jeffrey, Tiffany Doucette, Michelle McLeod, Bianca Roy.
2007 the Saint John team became the Storm. That year many new rookies appeared Alanna Waberski, Nicole Richard, Leanna Hickman, Sue Moore, France Goguen, Trina Graves and the legendary Momma Sally – Lisa Rogers.Adding these players the Storm still finished 1-5 and went to another Friendship Bowl. That year Halifax was also in the Friendship Bowl and without enough players SJ loaned them players and played touch football. Look carefully in the picture and you will see Storm players in Xplosion jerseys.League awards were still in use back in 07 and the following Storm players won awards:
Most Outstanding Player : Michelle Young Mather
Most Outstanding O Line : Nicole (Wide-hole) Richard
Unsung Hero : Leanna Hickman
Offense: Lisa (Oscar) Harlow,Amy Robichaud, Jenny Zwicker, Lisa (Momma Sally) Rogers Defense:Sue Moore, Stephanie Powers, Michelle Young Mather, Stephanie Duplusis
The Championship went to the Fredericton Gladiators 15-14 in a wild 15 point comeback over the Moncton Vipers. On the way home it was decided, we have the players, we need to teach a new style of skills.
2008 the Storm built on skills and went undefeated to meet the Moncton Gladiators in SUPher Bowl V in Halifax. Coach Jim Mather joined the team and became offensive co ordinator.The defense only gave up 14 points all season while the offense scored 192 points. Storm reign supreme. Saint John captures Maritime Women's Football League title with win over Moncton.
Published July 21, 2008
HALIFAX - The third time was the sweetest for Lisa Harlow, who quarterbacked the Saint John Storm to the Maritime SupHer Bowl championship Saturday.Harlow's team topped the Moncton Vipers 24-14 in Halifax to win the Judy Upward Trophy as Maritime Women's Football League champions. It's the third championship for Harlow, one of just two veterans remaining from the 2004 Simonds Seagals and 2005 Saint John Buccaneers."We clicked together on and off the field, they're part of your family and this is definitely the best win I've had out of the five years I've played," said Harlow. "Our (offensive) line dominated, opened holes for our running backs, it was absolutely amazing. Everybody just did their job and it was hard to stop us." Saint John fell behind in the first quarter, as Moncton's Pam LeClaire capped a long drive with a touchdown run. But Harlow hit Michelle Young-Mather for a 30-yard TD pass in the second quarter and Terri Shannon kicked the two-point convert to make it 8-6 at the break.
Kendra Jones added a 12-yard TD run in the second half, converted by Shannon. After a four-yard touchdown run by LeClaire with seven minutes to go, Saint John held a slim 16-14 lead. But Harlow scored on a sneak and Shannon kicked the convert for the final score.LeClaire was named player of the game, while Storm linebacker Alanna Waberski was defensive player of the game. Moncton turned the ball over on downs twice on the one-yard line, once in each half. Other Saint John defensive highlights included a fumble caused by Amanda Craine and recovered by Heidi McMillan, and an interception by Young-Mather.
Harlow's father, coach Larry Harlow, said it was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Storm, who had 12 rookies among their 22 players. The team ended up outscoring opponents 192-14 in a 5-0-1 regular season, and 43-21 in two playoff wins."They were a group that just wanted to learn everything they could about thegame of football," said Larry Harlow. "There's nobody in the league that could really touch us. Moncton played a good first quarter, but the girls just did their jobs"¦ We just wore them down." One of those rookies, Kendra Jones, was honoured as the league's outstanding running back.
"I'm a little sore, but it was well worth it," said Jones. "At halftime, Larry was talking to us about how, by the end, our gas tanks should be empty. At halftime, I thought I still had about three-quarters of a tank and told myself I needed to get into the game a little bit more. When I came out in the third quarter, I hit pretty hard on quite a few people so I knew I was going to be on empty by the end of the game."And I think Moncton knew it too. Meanwhile, Kara Fillmore, the other veteran left over from 2004, got the nod as the league's top offensive lineman. Fillmore also said the third title was the best.
"We had a very good team, and we gelled more, we all got along, everyone was part of the team and everyone made us win a championship," said Fillmore.She said she was surprised to receive an individual award for her play on the line."We have five (offensive linemen) who are just as good. To pick one is really hard," she said.Lisa Harlow said the championship feeling is tough to put into words."I told the girls Thursday night at practice that I'd been there before, but I couldn't describe the feeling because it's indescribable," she said. "On the way home, some of the girls were saying, 'I have that feeling that you had.'"
Shannon and Young-Mather also won individual honours, with the kicker taking the sportsmanship award, while Young-Mather grabbed outstanding defensive back and unsung hero. Jones, Harlow, Young-Mather and running back Tammy Saunders were offensive all-stars, while Waberski, Craine, Jaclyn Brewer and Lisa Rogers were defensive all-stars.For Moncton, LeClaire was named outstanding offensive player, Kristen Nicolson was the outstanding defensive lineman and McIntyre was the top receiver.
2009 was setting up to be another great year as the Storm went 5-1, however after getting to the final on their home field Moncton came anfd played the perfect game.
Michelle Young-Mather of Saint John Storm chases down Tina Heatherington of the Moncton Vipers during the Maritime Women's Football League final Saturday at Millidgeville field. The Vipers captured the league title with a 30-24 win for SUPher Bowl VI.
Moncton claims women's gridiron championship
By Jon MacNeill
Published in the
Telegraph-Journal on Saturday July 25, 2009
SAINT JOHN - The Moncton Vipers captured the Maritime Women's Football League SupHer Bowl VI after downing the Saint John Storm 30-24 Saturday at Millidgeville field.It was the Vipers first championship after three previous efforts, including two title loses to the Storm in 2008 and 2005."We worked so hard all season to prepare for this and today we really came together as a team and were able to come out on top," Justine Barter, a third-year Viper, said. The running back led her squad to the win with two touchdowns."For a lot of our girls, it's their last year playing, so it's a big win,Barter said.Tara Keohan put Moncton on the board early in the second quarter after receiving a pass from quarterback Jenny Miller and driving to the Storm's doorstep. She was tackled by Lori Boyles, but punched it in the following play. Darby Thibodeau had the convert for two points and an 8-0 lead. The Storm answered with two minutes left in the half thanks to and interception by centre back Sherry Rowe at the Vipers' 35-yard line. Boyles broke loose from the scrimmage line and reeled in a pass from quarterback Lisa Harlow, evading three defenders for a 30-yard touchdown run. Terri Shannon kicked the conversion.The Vipers weren't long regaining the lead, though, with Jillian Forbes recovering her own team's kick off after the pigskin bounced off a defender's chest. Barter ran it 25 yards to the end zone, then charged through the middle on the next play for her first touchdown of the game with 20 seconds remaining in the half. Thibodeau's kick was blocked by defensive end Trina Graves for a 14-8 Vipers advantage.
"We're always slow off the start," Storm coach Larry Harlow said, "but they pushed us into some poor field position right off the draw." "It really came down to a couple of key plays," Harlow said.
The Storm stole the lead momentarily in the third quarter when Lisa Harlow punched it in following an eight-play drive. Shannon nailed the convert for a 16-14 game.But Moncton had another late-quarter score as Miller found Tina Heatherington all alone at the Storm's 37-yard line for an easy touchdown sprint. Thibodeau's kick was good.
Saint John rallied in a seven-play offensive but was stone-walled by the Vipers defence just six inches shy of a first down at mid-field.The Metro squad widened the gap in their next series, using a 10-yard dash from Barter and conversion by Thibodeau to make it 30-16.Michelle Young-Mather returned the kick at her own 35-yard line to start an impressive and hard fought 13-play series that resulted in a touchdown from running back Kendra Jones with nine seconds left in the game."They were coming back strong, with a little more time on the clock they maybe could have hung in there," Gilles Lavoie, the Vipers coach, said."We didn't mind that they were driving the ball, and they made some really great plays but it was also eating the clock which was in our favour."We figured we could hold them off, they might score one touchdown but they weren't going to score two on us, that was our mindset," Lavoie said.And so it went, the clock running out to clear way for the Vipers emotional celebration at mid-field. Several girls collapsed with joy to the soggy turf as their teammates formed a circle around them, cheering and jumping in the air. After the medals ceremony, coach Lavoie and his Vipers proudly hoisted the long-sought Judy Upward Trophy to the sky.Earlier Saturday, the Fredericton Gladiators captured the Friendship Bowl after defeating the Halifax Xplosion 18-0 at Millidgeville Field.
In 2010 the first ever worlds for women's tackle football happened in Stockholm Sweden and the Storm put 14 players and 3 coaches on the silver winning team, then came home to finish their MWFL season 5-1. the loss was for a forfeit during the worlds.In SUPher Bowl VII the Storm took revenge on the Vipers and won 26-6.
In 2011 the Storm again went 5-1 and went to SUPher Bowl VIII looking for their 5th crown. The heat was staggering in Moncton as temps on the field reached 35 degrees plus, the Storm gathered strength and defeated the Fredericton Gladiators 31 - 8.
2012 was a rebuilding year for the Storm and despite being able to win during the regular season they lost in the semi finals to Fredericton. The Storm won the Friendship Bowl.
2013 is going to be an exciting year. It is the 10th Anniversary of the MWFL SUPher Bowl and it will be hosted in Saint John. Saint John lost to Fredericton in a great game. The Storm played without some of their starters who were injured. The Storm put on a huge banquet for the MWFL and honored Don Daley as their Fan of the Year.
Saint John Storm took to the field with many rookies. The team gelled and became very dominate with a perfect season record and went on to win the supHER Bowl over the Fredericton Lady Gladiators 21-0.
Saint John Storm went undefeated to win supHER Bowl XII over the Fredericton Lady Gladiators 28-11.
Saint John Storm went through a perfect season to win supHER Bowl XIII over the Fredericton Lady Glads 27-0.