By Edward Henderson
‘You play ball like a girl!’ When Ham Porter dished out this insult in the classic movie ‘The Sandlot’, all of the boys on the baseball diamond fell silent. It was the most diabolical statement a young boy could levy to another during a name calling session. Porter should have been present at the North County Stars’ home opening football game at Fallbrook Warriors Stadium Friday. He would quickly learn that playing ball ‘like a girl’ is something every young boy should aspire to.
The Stars took on their designated rival Carson Bobcats for a matchup of Independent Women’s Football League powers. Before Friday’s matchup, the Stars hadn’t defeated the Bobcats on the gridiron. Standout players Adriana Bush, Knengi Martin and Redd Brinkman let their performance send the message that this game would be different.
The Stars celebrated a 13-6 victory in a hard hitting contest where tempers flared on a few occasions. These two teams have a history of tough play and fierce competition. Bush, the team’s leading rusher last season, eclipsed 100 yards on the ground utilizing her speed and quickness. Martin terrorized the Bobcats on both sides of the ball with hard hitting and her disruptive playmaking ability. And Brinkman scored the deciding touchdown on a quarterback sneak at the end of the first half.
“It feels good to beat a team that we’ve never defeated, especially as our first game of the season,” said Bush. “But honestly that feeling quickly goes away because that was game 1 out of 7. Now it’s time to focus on the future and preparing to beat the Sirens on their home field in Sacramento.”
This was my first IWFL game and it took me back to my playing days in high school. The smell of the grass, the sound of pads leveling into each other made me miss the thrill of competition. What matched that, however, was the fun of yelling form the sideline, talking to other fans in the stands about strategy and seeing how passionate these women are about the game.
If you make the trip up to Fallbrook, you won’t be disappointed.
The Stars next home game is May 6th against the Reno Storm. Visit northcountystars.com for ticket information.