The Hmong 4th of July Sports Festival has come and gone, but not without crowing some new champions. In flag football, Minnesota was well represented as Plaza Boys and Black Widows won the their respective men’s and women’s brackets. Definitely proving that the Minnesota game is up to par with any other state represented in the tournament.
In this article, we’ll focus on the women’s 2010 champions, Black Widows. The team began to form in 2006, but really got the ball rolling in 2007. Team mates have come and gone, but they’ve been able to maintain their core players. Its those core players that kept the team together to go on to win the championship that every team strives for. It proves that when you get into sports, that you may not always see instant success, but with enough hard work and determination, greatness is achievable.
Black Widows is lead not only by a great offense, but a often stingy defense. They are well organized and seem to know how to get the best of of their players. Truly a sign of great leadership, which is a major reason they are champions.
I recently got together with the ladies of Black Widows fresh off their championship win. I was able to get some insight how they feel their championship came together and how they hope to maintain that competitive spirit.
Ryan: I’m here with Black Widows Women’s Flag Football team fresh off their 2010 Hmong Festival Championship win in the Twin Cities. First off ladies, congratulations.
BW: Thank you. We are grateful for this opportunity to be featured on Hmoodle and share our story with the greater community.
Ryan: You have always been a competitive team. Why do you think this year was your year?
BW: We felt that this year was different. We worked really hard and a lot of our girls were really determined. Some of our girls are retiring at the end of this season so they had that added effort into playing their hearts out.
Ryan: Did you guys prepare any differently for this tournament then in years past?
BW: Yes. This year we focused more on where each girl was best suited in their position.
Ryan: What were you toughest match ups along the way to winning the title?
BW: Our teams’ own mentality. To think positive so we don’t get beat in the head all the time.
Ryan: We know you’re champions now, but let’s talk about how you got there. When did this team form and how did you all get your start in flag football?
BW: The idea started in 2006 when flag football just started out for Hmong women in Minnesota. Then in 2007, a handful of Hmong women who shared those ideas gathered and formed Black Widows. Through word of mouth and networking, these core women started recruiting members. Most of the recruits had very little or no knowledge of the sport at all. However, one thing that they did have in common that built the foundation of Black Widows was an eagerness to learn and a desire for fellowship among Hmong Women.
Ryan: Do you still have lots of the same team members remaining on the team since you first started?
BW: The core members are still a part of the team but throughout the years members have left the team for schooling, kids, and to form their own new teams.
Ryan: How have you guys been able to improve as a team since the first day you put on the flags?
BW: Since the very first day we put on the flags, we’ve have had many obstacles as to team improvement but with continuous conditioning both physically and mentally, we as a team have seen that positive shift.
Ryan: Women’s flag football is gaining more and more popularity. How do you think the game itself has improved in the past few years?
BW: Hmong Women Flag football has grown and improved immensely. Since our beginnings, we have seen overall skills improvement of all teams along with increased use of strategic approaches in playing the game and incredible organizing work.
Ryan: Do you for-see the game having the same popularity in say five years?
BW: We cannot foretell the future but we can only hope it will keep its popularity.
Ryan: Now that you’ve won the big game, how do you guys keep that competitive drive to go on a try and repeat next year.
BW: Now that we have won the big game, we have to work even harder. It’s about playing our best and hardest.
Ryan: What else can we expect to see from Black Widows in the future?
BW: While Black Widows’ core activity is providing a forum for our members to play women’s flag football, we can confidently say that we are so much more than that. Black Widows understand our team’s connection to the larger community so we have and will continue to provide our members and our community opportunities for fellowship, sportsmanship, and social interaction through community service work and participation in community events. In the very near future, Black Widows will be hosting an educational/activity booth at the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent’s 9th Annual Hmong Arts and Music Festival in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ryan: Once again, I want to congratulate you guys on your championship win. Is there any last words you’d like to say to our readers?
BW: We would like thank all of our sponsors, our supporters, our boyfriends/husbands, our coaches and trainers and especially our water girl who’s always there for us.
Obviously he ladies of Black Widows plan on continuing to be in the top tier of teams in women’s flag football and will not become complacent with their championship. They will pursue more wins in the hopes of gaining more titles, but at the same time showing that women’s flag football is as competitive as the men’s game.
We at Hmoodle want to congratulate the ladies of Black Widows on their championship, as well as all the 2010 Hmong Sports Festival Champions. We also look forward to seeing the ladies of Black Widows at the CHAT Festival. Go by and show your support.
If you want your team featured on Hmoodle, feel free to contact me at [email protected]