MANCHESTER, NH – Members of the New Hampshire Rebellion, a female football team with a home stadium in Manchester, gathered at their regular practice field in Tyngsborough, Mass., this past Saturday for the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) National Open Tryout Day. Fresh and familiar faces were in attendance. Absent from the field were ducks and turkeys that sometimes wander in from a nearby forest.
However, the team’s new head coach, Arasi Chau, was in attendance. Chau had spent his spring as a coach for an independent football team called the Boston Omegas. Now, with Coach Dube having resigned his position over the summer, Chau has stepped in.
As daylight waned, the team practiced hitting pads, did passing drills, and worked on many other things. New to the team was Chau’s rule that no one walked on the field. Returning to the team were All-Americans Selina Collins and Kim Bourque, as well as regulars Ashleigh Nagy, Missy Mahoney, Rachel McManmon, and Marina Dickey.
“We have a handful of new players joining us, which is nice,” Dickey said. “I’m good. I spent my summer with Kassia [Swanson]. We practice with Granite State Destroyers men’s team. They were nice enough to let us practice and work on our skills there. All of us have been working. Some of us played softball, some girls did flag, but we all stayed pretty busy this summer, keeping in shape.”
The Rebellion’s open enrollment period will end in March, at which time the team will begin preparing for the upcoming season which begins with two preseason games in April. In the intervening months, the team plans to hold workouts on a regular basis to prepare for the season. A regular season schedule consists of six games from the end of April until the middle of June. Last year, the Rebellion could only play five games, as one of the teams on their schedule disbanded.
“We have a great group of ladies who are eager to learn,” Chau said. “I’m excited to teach them. I love teaching, that’s the best thing. I’m looking forward to the next coming season and getting these ladies on the right track. We gotta keep going forward and keep working hard every single day.”