Calgary Rage confident about their title hopes for 2013

One of the most improved teams in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League in 2013, the Calgary Rage are working towards a championship. While the Rage have to compete with the likes of the Edmonton Storm and the Lethbridge Steel (the defending conference champions), a respect for their opponent complemented by a desire to win may serve as the building blocks towards a pinnacle of victory.

Linebacker Kait DiNunzio headlines a defense that looks to be the finest in the Western Conference this season. Her assessment of the team’s championship hopes are based on the off-season commitment that all members of the Rage organization have undertaken.

“A strong sense of confidence (not entitlement), team work, commitment and change agility. We are off to a fantastic start – the changes that I’ve noted this season so far as tremendous. Our Executive has done a fantastic job of player engagement during the off-season and pre-season, which has lent itself to strong team camaraderie.”

As the team’s quarterback, Erin Walton is one of the undisputed leaders on the Rage. A member of the first Canadian contingent that competed at the 2010 Women’s Tackle Football Championships, Walton’s experience is essential to the Rage’s title hopes. In discussing what it will take to win the title in 2013, Walton analyzes it from more than one perspective:

“This is both an “easy” and “tough” question! I think the “easy” answer is that of team cohesion, unity, effort, and great execution and understanding of our game plan! Our goal every season is to help create a winning team that has everyone from the coaching staff to veteran players to our new players, all on the “same page” from the very beginning. That “same page” is successfully delivering and imbedding the message that we are ALL part of our success and each has a very important part on the team, regardless of role, experience or position.”

“The “tough” aspect comes into play into exactly how we are able to bring it all together to create the team that is championship worthy. Our team has a dedicated group of veteran players who know what it takes to win, and we have a great group of rookies who are willing to put the work in to learn the game and how to play it.”

Having been named to the reserve squad for the 2013 Canadian National Team (along with Walton), Susan Childress brings enthusiasm to the Rage. A versatile player that is able to contribute on either side of the ball, Childress extols all the qualities of leadership. “It will take teamwork, passion, hard work, and determination. This year’s team has all of these key pieces to bring home the hardware! Go Rage Go!”

With the Rage looking to make an impact on Calgary’s sporting landscape, DiNunzio approaches it with great maturity. As one of the two-sport stars on the Rage, DiNuznio is also a competitive bodybuilder. The self-discipline and perseverance that she employs is a key component in her personal success. She is confident that if everyone on the team is willing to put in the extra effort, it can yield remarkable results.

“If we continue to build on this (team camaraderie), communicate and work through the normal formations of a team (form, storm, and norm) we’ll be at a point where no one will be able to outperform us. That can take time – but it also takes the commitment of everyone on the team to be willing to have the dedication, willingness and ability to come, ready and AMPED to get it on. If we can achieve this … we’ll be unstoppable!”

While the talent across the league is improving, Walton believes in the talent that comprises the Rage’s roster. Led by head coach Rob Perry, Walton credits the coaching staff with working towards injecting a positive attitude on the roster.

“We are very fortunate to have coaches who want to see us succeed, learn and excel at the game and play together as a team to reach our goals. So what will it take for us to win the WWCFL title? It will take a lot of team work, dedication, cohesion, execution and hard work!”

“All of those things are imbedded in our passion for the game. The respect for each other and our opponents and the positive attitudes we bring to the field each and every time we step on it! This league is full of talented teams and extremely gifted players and I believe the Rage has the potential and ability to compete with the best of them! So, let the games begin!!”

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