Home Editor's Picks St. Louis SLAM Set For Saturday’s Seasonal Opener At Home

St. Louis SLAM Set For Saturday’s Seasonal Opener At Home

by Brian Ledford

The St. Louis SLAM professional women’s tackle football franchise launches the 2023 campaign at home Saturday night with a tussle against a long-time rival and national championship runner-up.

The SLAM hosts the Minnesota Vixen at St. Mary’s High School (4701 South Grand, St. Louis). Kickoff is at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 while children 10 and under are free.

“Oh, it’s long overdue,” said SLAM veteran captain Taylor Hay. “Saturday will make 11 months since the SLAM has played together. Redemption is in full effect.”

And by redemption, the running back means that the SLAM’s goal is to quickly re-establish themselves as prime players within the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). Their 2022 output was positive but the quest for a potential fifth national championship was thwarted after the final snap of the regular season.

Last summer, the SLAM finished with a respectable 4-2 record. However, the team found itself in a newly-configured WFA Pro complexion and failed to qualify for post-season play. No fault of their own, as the slots were thin for the trophy rounds due to calculated rankings.

“We understand everything is based off of numbers in a very intricate math equation, but we’re ANGRY, we’ve been working and we’re ready” Hay said.

And that SLAM “anger” can turn into “danger” for the opponents in the squad’s six game docket, considering the wealth of experienced talent on both sides of the ball.

Alongside Hay (140 carries, 650 yards, 6 TDs), returning quarterback Jaime Gaal (72 completions, 1,030 yards, 14 TDs) and wide receivers Jaime Skinner and Keyonna Smith (2 TDs each) are featured while being anchored by a seasoned line of personnel that helped the SLAM average over 26 points per game in 2022.

On the defensive side, plenty of familiar faces return as Raven Williams (LB), Mary Altepeter (LB),  Myah LeFlore (DL), Jasmine Yandell (LB) and a host of others look the maintain the pressure.

As with any new season, a new crop of SLAM rookies makes their respective debuts this weekend, which marks the team’s 20th anniversary.

“This year we have a smaller rookie class, however we have the same expectations for their success!” said Hay. “Be on the lookout for a few to obtain starting spots.”

And the SLAM did not hesitate to start the season with a tough foe. Minnesota fell to the Boston Renegades in last July’s WFA Pro national trophy tilt the Vixen’s first appearance in the finale – and finished 6-3 overall, which included a split against St. Louis.

“We are not new to the rivalry games and the weight they hold,” said Hay. “We actually thrive in that environment.”

The Vixen’s offense is paced by returning quarterback Erin Kelley (1,033 yards, 12 TDs), receiver Jackie Radford (586 yards, 9 TDs) and running back Tasheanna Washington-Ware (5 TDs).

Right out of the gates, Saturday’s showdown already has plenty on the line for both teams. For Minnesota, they want to prove to those that follow WFA Pro that can are perennial championship-level contenders.

And for the SLAM, who covets a fifth WFA national trophy, they want to prove that they can successfully vex the Vixen and make an immediate impact in a very competitive division.

For more information on season tickets, go to the SLAM’s official website.



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By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is a writer for Arch City Media, dating back to February 2014. Emphasis is on featuring and promoting local women's sports, but will cover anything that is not reported by traditional media outlets. Also a contributor to local concert reviews.

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