Who has heard of Hmong Flag Football? The verdict should be one-sided, as flag football has dominated the scenes in Fresno compared to its predecessor, soccer. As this sport migrated along the west to meet east, we’ve seen an unprecedented landslide of upcoming female footballers. To a degree of absurdity, many of these young adult female players, I would later discover, has not even seen a professional football game ever, but had seen their older brothers and/or husbands partake in this physical sport that they would later embrace, in addition, to become the player, as opposed to being a spectator.
V3, a rookie team in development, but contrary to this notion, they’ve already put themselves on the map as one of the hardest female HFF team in Wisconsin. With an interrogational schematic in mind, I was able to make contact with the team to discuss about the basics and the strictly need to know of the team. Here are the tidbits that these ladies would share to me on this little query.
Jerry: What initially prompted you ladies to start playing such a physical sport?
V3: It was toward the middle of summer and Lori and I, Pakue, was working together at work and came up with the idea of forming a Women’s Flag Football Team and so we made our first appearance to this year’s Big Dance, the great Hmong Flag Football Tournament on July 4, 2009 in Saint Paul.
It doesn’t really matter if the sport is physical; we just know that we like to play something that has been in the Hmong community for couple years now, and to prove people that any women out there can play any kind of sport that a man can play.
Jerry: Would you say this is just a trend because of the popularity of the sport in the Hmong community; a fad that you ladies are just getting into, or are you ladies out there trying to prove us guys that you ladies can do it better?
V3: It’s something that v3 will stick to it, because it’s a sports that all the ladies love! We aren’t just playing because it’s a sport that Hmong people are getting into, but a sport that can be played and watched.
To be better, you just have to be a better team, and don’t doubt yourself that you are going to lose against a team that have played longer, experience more, and won more games.
Everyone just needs to communicate. Communication is the key to being a better team!
Jerry: V3, don’t tell me it stands for the “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” the classical words made popular by way of Julius Caesar which translates to: I came, I saw, I conquered!?” Or, did I overstate and does it mean something totally different? And if so, what’s V3 stand for?
V3: Yes, actually you are right with the meaning of “Veni, Vidi, Vici” – “I came, I saw, I conquered!”
Jerry: Is it a hyperbole to say that your team would then conquer all other female teams, and how do you ladies plan on doing this?
V3: I would say that since this was our first year playing, we still have the skills of a rookie team. Therefore, we will work harder, train harder, and help one another to become a better player and to make the team a better team. To conquer all other female teams, well as long as we play our part as a team, I believe that one day we can beat the other female teams. They, of course, have more experience, played longer, and played the best female teams already. We are working our way from the bottom to the top. And I have noticed that V3 has done a really great job out during our last outing; playing their hardest and wanting to defeat every team that they played in their first year.
Jerry: What would you say your team exemplifies best that would set you apart from all the other Hmong female flag football teams?
V3: V3 was built on the basis that whoever played would be willing to “train hard and be patient” because in the very beginning, our players ranged from people who knew little about flag football to players who lacked any knowledge about football. The one thing that sets V3 apart from all other Hmong female flag football teams is that we are players who play for the love of flag football, and we don’t play for show. “We came, we saw, we conquered,” is the driving force behind our strength on the field. Each player is expected to bring their best, and only their best each and every time we play.
Jerry: What’s a typical practice day like when being a V3 player?
V3: A typical practice day for a V3 player consists of two laps around the baseball diamond at Field of Dreams, including intense foot drills, running drills, deflagging drills, and then finally, training for the offense and defense. On days that most of our girls can make it to practice, we scrimmage with each other. On days that half of our team can make it, we train ourselves to catch better, run faster, and play smarter. We make sure that all of our girls understand the plays that we have; no matter what position they may play.
Jerry: Name and tell me all players and what position(s) they play?
V3: Coaches are:
Andy Vang – Coach
Kashia Xiong – Asst. Coach
Lori Yang – Quarterback
Pa Kou Lee – Runningback
Pakue Lee – Right Guard
Mai Der Chang – Safety
Offensive Players are:
Chong Lee – Tight End
Annie Chang – Center
Lynda Yang – Center/Blocker/Right/Left Guard
Flower Vang – Center/Blocker/Right/Left Guard
Tina Lee – Tight End/Fullback
Mary Pa Lee – Wide Receiver
Crystal Lee- Left Guard
Naomi Vang – Wide Receiver
Cindy Lee – Tight End
Sally Chang – Wide Receiver/Cornerback
Wendy Chang – Blocker/Right/Left Guard
Defensive Players are:
Kao Ong Chang – Linebacker
Jessica Lee – Right Guard
Ivy Lee – Right Guard
Jennifer Lee – Linebacker
Crystal Lee – Linebacker
Olivia Lee – Linebacker
Gaosheng Chang – Linebacker
Flower Vang – Linebacker
Samantha Yang – Linebacker
Xiao Vang – Cornerback
Jerry: Team captain or coach: When falling behind, when the morale of the team’s at a low, how do you, as a captain or coach, help deploy a strategic game plan to boosting the morale of the team?
V3: As captains, when we start to notice that the team is lacking energy or is starting to lose hope, we remind everyone how hard we’ve worked to get to where we are. We started out as complete strangers on the field and now we’ve come to maintain a continual friendship outside of tournaments and games. The strength we gain each time we overcome our opponents helps us to realize what great team chemistry we have built together.
Jerry: Are you ladies a run first or pass first offense and why?
V3: We are definitely a run first offense. When we start out with a running play, it allows us to observe how the defensive players of our opposing team play together. You want to understand how the other team works together first before we even attempt to run our best plays.
Jerry: Any last parting thoughts that you ladies would like to share with our viewers? This is when you ladies give shout-outs, words of wisdom, or just plain gibberish talk that comes to mind that you’d like to share to us and our viewers.
V3: Thanks everyone for being part of V3! That means all you Ladies! Coach Andy and Assistant Coach Kashia, without you two, our team wouldn’t have gotten this far. So big thanks!
Jerry: Thanks team V3 for participating! I would love to see you guys school some of these older cats on the field and educate them who’s the real novice in the game.
For all you other teams who want to tell their tales, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] Peace!