Impressionable Rage rookie

Rage rookie Hong reflects on her inaugural season in the WWCFL

Having never played football before, Esther Estairia Hong was not able to anticipate what to expect. What she found was a group of unique yet determined women that welcomed her with open arms. While the transition to football resulted in many bruises, jammed fingers and a few stitches, the friendships that she made with the members of the Rage roster was invaluable.

Competing primarily on the offense, she shared running back duties with Kora-Lea Hooker (a member of the 2010 Canadian National Team) and Lisa Gomes. The experience provided by the veteran running backs was of great influence for the first year player.

“I have many words I can say about each vet on the Rage team. Yet, there are a few that stand out because I have worked the most with them; Lisa Gomes (#12) and Kora-Lea Hooker (#5), my fellow running backs! They were my backbone on the field. Without them standing beside me, I would feel lost and broken.”

In addition to the support of her fellow running backs, there were two other members of the team that provided an emotional lift. Annie Tremblay and Erin Walton showed why they are not just leaders, but members of the 2013 Canadian National Team. Their acumen and maturity provided remarkable presence on the field, and motivation for Hong.

“Annie Tremblay (#13), I do not know what I would do without this girl. She always knew what to say to lift my spirits or to give me that edge to push harder and be better! Erin Walton (#21), a natural leader and teacher, she was my heart on the field.”

Once Hong becomes a veteran on the team, there will likely be a group of rookies that admire her for the perseverance and dedication she brings to the gridiron. After a stellar rookie season, Hong’s team-first approach during the season truly embodied the club’s motto: Together we are stronger!

While her season ended one win short of qualifying for the Western Conference final, the friendships and camaraderie that emerged in that first season with the Rage will provide a lifetime of memories. As much as she admires and respects all her teammates, there were a group of veterans that Hong looked up to and learned a lot from. She wanted to acknowledge their contributions to her rookie season:

* Connie Fekete: Her enthusiasm and love of the game is contagious

* Sue Childress: My fellow token, her words of wisdom always struck home with me, never fails to put a smile on my face

* Alanna Doyle: Her strength and aggression always struck me with awe

* Jeri Flamont: She made everything in football look easy

* Whitney Issik: Always encouraging and a guiding hand on the field

* Ferne Lavers: Always so happy just to be playing football

* Crystal Pellerin: Never one you want on your bad side, she was the apple of my eye on the field

* Janet Naclia: A practice would never be complete without hearing her awesome laugh

* Jolene Goulard: So young and so talented, no one can take her down

* Kait Dinunzio: A head full of wisdom on and off the field

* Terri Eklund: Always so nice but don’t let that fool you on the field

* Venessa Stuppard: A powerhouse on the line

* Amanda McKenna: Determined and persistent

* Jamie Borthwick: Nothing fazes her

* Cindy Barnett: Great things come in small packages

* Tatrina (T) Medvescek-Valentine: A concentrate package of kick ass!

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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