Storm setting the standard

MWFL: All-Decade Team features 10 members of Saint John Storm

As the most recent dynasty in the Maritime Women’s Football League, the Saint John Storm has set the standard. With the budding league celebrating its tenth anniversary, part of the celebrations include naming an All-Decade Team.

Having had ten players named to the team (second most among all teams in the league), it is a recognition and celebration of their contributions in helping transform Saint John into one of the league’s signature franchises.

Michelle Young-Mather (in the player’s category) and Jim Mather (in the coaches’ category) represented the only husband and wife combination named to the celebrated All-Decade team. As a five-time MWFL All-Star, Young-Mather is not only one of the most decorated players in the league’s history, but one of its most versatile.

Having been named a league All-Star on defense three times (2007, 09, 11) while earning two nods on offense (2008, 10), it only scratches the surface of her storied career. In addition to three SupHer Bowl championships, Young-Mather added some hardware to her trophy case. The Most Outstanding Defensive Back Award would be claimed twice by Young-Mather, with her first win coming in 2006 and the latter in 2008. For 2007, she was recognized as the league’s Most Outstanding Player.

Part of the first class of players named MWFL All-Stars in 2005; Kara Fillmore was the only Storm player from that class to be named to the All-Decade Team. Earning All-Star nods in 2010 and 2011, her biggest prize was being recognized as the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2008.

Kendra Jones would also grab her own award during the storied 2008 season. Having the Most Outstanding Running Back award bestowed upon her, she would also grab All-Star nods in 2010 and 2012. One of the key figures of the Storm’s high octane offense during its dynasty, this reliable running back would enjoy an All-Decade honour.

Teammates on the 2013 Canadian National Women’s Football Team, Trina Graves and Lori Boyles were both part of the All-Decade team. Both key factors in the three championship crowns earned by Saint John, this dynamic duo hold a seven combined MWFL All-Star selections.

Over the last few seasons, the Storm defense has been one of the most dominant and punishing in the MWFL. A titanic trio headlined the defense corps; Jaclyn Brewer, Ashlee Clements and Jill Cox. Brewer and Cox are both three-time MWFL All-Star selections, while Clements earned her first nod in 2012.

An emotional leader for the Storm, Lisa Rogers (known affectionately as Grandma) also earned recognition to the All-Decade Team. Despite being one of the older players, Rogers played with a jubilant enthusiasm that set the tone for many triumphs.

When the Storm would grab their first league title, Rogers was certainly one of the most deserving recipients. Along with Young-Mather and Lisa Harlow, they would proudly represent the Storm franchise in competing at the inaugural 2010 IFAF World Women’s Football Championships.

One of the coaches named to the All-Decade Team, Larry Harlow has seen the Saint John franchise develop into a league power. Along with his daughter Lisa, they were the second father-daughter pair named to the All-Decade Team. Moncton Vipers coach Gilles Lavoie and his daughter, quarterback Jenny Miller were the other pair named to the team. Being selected is validation of his hard work and commitment.

“Wow, 10 years! It is hard to believe and even more astonishing to have been part of the growth and see the league grow to this level of play.

I am truly honored to have been named to the coaching staff of the MWFL All-Decade Team, as there have been some key people throughout the league who have contributed to the success and it is exciting to share this moment with them.”

Lisa Harlow, a seven-time MWFL All-Star (tied with Alex Black for most All-Star selections) was one of the most accomplished players to be named to the All-Decade Team. Also serving as the President of Football New Brunswick, she is an integral part of helping to build women’s football in Atlantic Canada.

“It is truly an honour to be named to the MWFL All Decade team. The MWFL has had amazing dedicated players over the last decade and everyone deserves to be honoured; if it was not for them, our league would not be where it is today. I am excited to see what the next 10 year journey of the MWFL holds…”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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