The St. Louis SLAM women’s tackle football franchise makes their long-awaited return to familiar turf as they present their home opener this weekend.
The SLAM (1-1) hosts Derby City Dynamite (1-1) Saturday night at St. Mary’s High School (4701 S. Grand Blvd.). Tickets for the 7 pm kickoff are $15 while children 10 and under get in free.
The Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) showdown marks the SLAM’s reappearance to local stomping grounds since July 2019.
“We are so excited to be back in St. Louis playing football,” said SLAM wide receiver Danielle Price. “Some of us have had major life changes and it is amazing to show our family and friends how hard we have been working.”
After claiming a season opening win over Columbus Chaos three weekends ago, St. Louis suffered a 41-6 road setback to the Minnesota Vixen in WFA Pro play on April 16 that evened their record.
In the contest, the SLAM claimed an early 6-0 edge with Price’s 86-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Jaime Gaal in the first quarter. But the Vixen, last year’s WFA Pro championship runner-up, utilized a strong running game that propelled them to victory.
That loss stung but the SLAM is primed to effectively clear the slate and approach Saturday’s game with newfound vigor.
“Coming off of a loss is always tough, but our expectations are still the same,” said Price of the team’s mentality. “We shake it off, work on fixing mistakes, and prepare for the next battle.”
Through two games, the four-time WFA national champions are optimistic about a Saturday win based on the moxie of returning players and the fast-work implemented by the newcomers.
“The most impressive thing of this season thus far is the grit and resiliency of our team,” said Price. “We lost a ton of vets during the pandemic, and we are a skeleton crew with 14 rookies. Those rookies are the heart of our team right now.”
Statistically, Taylor Hay paces the backfield with 180 yards rushing yards with a pair of touchdowns while Gaal currently leads WFA Pro quarterbacks in completions (25) and ranks second in yardage (337).
Defensively, Myah LaFlore, Jasmine Yandell and Raven Williams occupy the top three WFA Pro positions in tackles made while Jamie Skinner and Alisha Straws are currently supplanted within the top ten.
Saturday’s SLAM opponents are also hungry for the battle. Louisville, Kentucky-based Derby City Dynamite is the defending WFA Division 3 national champions and that success pushed them up into Division 2 classification in 2022.
The Dynamite edged Divisional rivals Columbus 24-22 last Saturday to even their record. Standouts include quarterback Essence Buckner, running back Pep Furman, wide receiver Kaycee Harris and linebacker Victoria Kennedy.
They would love nothing more than to spoil the SLAM’s home opener and notch their second straight win.
“Derby City is a team that comes well coached, strong, and experienced with vets that know football,” assessed the SLAM’s Price. “We have to continue to improve and work on limiting mistakes against their experience.”
A SLAM triumph will make their homecoming so much sweeter as they attempt to retain traction in the highly-competitive WFA Pro standings.
For more information on the SLAM, visit their official website.
Arch City Media will have a recap of Saturday’s game early Sunday morning.
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is an announcer and digital content producer for St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby. Also a webcast announcer for post-season roller derby tournaments on wftda.tv. Yep, this Illinoisan primarily writes about derby, covering Arch Rival, the St. Chux Derby Chix and the STL GateKeepers men's league. He also writes about St. Louis SLAM Women's Football, St. Louis Lions women's soccer and other sports topics.