PORTLAND, MAINE – Members of the New Hampshire Rebellion women’s tackle football team, some of whom reside in Massachusetts, made the drive up to Portland, Maine, for their final game of the season.
Rain fell at various times in both New Hampshire and Maine Saturday. By the time the game started at 5 p.m., the skies had cleared. This was their first game since May 20, where they played at home in the rain. The team had a bye on May 27, and the June 3 game against the Central New York Hellcats was canceled.
The game was held at Memorial Stadium adjacent to Deering High School in Portland. The home crowd was loud in support of the home team, the Maine Mayhem. A face-painting area had been set aside for children. A group of local dancers gave a performance at halftime. In many respects, the game resembled a contest of professional athletes.
The Mayhem scored early and often in what would turn out to be a one-sided affair. They jumped up by 19-0 at the end of the first quarter. They would add on another touchdown to increase their lead to 25 at halftime. The final score ended up being Maine Mayhem 45, New Hampshire Rebellion 0.
Despite the lopsided score, members of the Rebellion never lost heart and continued to play hard. Selina Collins was once again a star for the team, breaking off long runs in addition to making plays on defense and special teams. She played running back, linebacker, and punt returner. Her commitment never wavered, nor did any that of any other player on the Rebellion.
Emily and Chloe Brzycki for the Mayhem were often making plays on both sides of the ball. Emily had a receiving touchdown in the first quarter, and a running touchdown in the second. Chloe Brzycki was often making plays on defense. The MVP of the game, in the words of Mayhem head coach Bryant Oja, was quarterback Maggie Schofield.
“She threw for four touchdown passes,” Oja said. “That’s the first time since I have been here that we’ve even come close to that.”
In the fourth quarter, as the game was winding down, center Rachel McManmon went down with a serious injury. She could not move, and did not attempt to get up. The game stopped as an ambulance drove out onto the field. EMTs loaded her out onto a stretcher and transported her to a nearby hospital. She is believed to have suffered a stinger.
The game ended with the Rebellion on the field and making a drive toward the end zone as time expired. The mood on the sidelines was one of mixed emotions as the Rebellion gathered to hear Coach Rich Dube proclaim that this game would be his last coaching the Rebellion. Family and work commitments prevent him from returning.
“In the last two years,” Dube said, “I’ve gotten to know all you guys. I wouldn’t trade you for any other football team. I’ve enjoyed it. I guess I go out as the last Ruckus head coach and the first Rebellion head coach. I wish you guys the best of luck next season.”
A great deal of work lies ahead for the team in the offseason. In addition to finding a new head coach, the team will also be looking for sponsors and recruiting new players in October. The team has yet to find an indoor facility for the winter so they can continue practicing in anticipation of the preseason starting in April 2024. In the words of Selina Collins, the team only has two weeks off, and then work begins again.
“I want you all back here and I want you working soon with us in the offseason,” Collins said to the team. “You guys are my sisters, and I expect you back here shortly.”