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St. Louis SLAM Set For Saturday’s Road Showdown With Minnesota

After Season-Opening Win, Aims To Stay Undefeated In Tussle With WFA Rival Vixen

by Brian Ledford

After claiming a dominant victory at their season opener last weekend, the St. Louis SLAM embarks on a road trip to challenge an archrival with plans to stay unbeaten in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA).

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

The SLAM faces the Minnesota Vixen Saturday at 6 p.m. at Kuhlman Field in Edina, Minnesota.

Early bragging rights are at stake in the WFA Pro American Conference tussle that could potentially provide glimpses of how both teams’ respective seasons might progress.

St. Louis (1-0) easily claimed a 65-3 home victory over Columbus Chaos last Saturday at St. Mary’s High School that highlighted WFA Week 1.

In fact, the winning points were recorded during the opening kickoff as the SLAM’s Danielle Price, who returned to the team after a one-year sabbatical, took it “to the house” with an 87-yard touchdown return.

This launched St. Louis’ 28-0 first-quarter rally as the locals possessed a 49-3 lead at intermission and inevitably cruised to a 62-point triumph.

In the seven-team Pro American conference, the SLAM currently sits atop the standings heading into WFA Week 2.

“It was a great start to the season,” reflected offensive lineman Tamikka Brents of the team’s opening-night performance. “For the first time ever, at least in my career, we have depth and we got to see that depth in action. Overall takeaway is the St. Louis SLAM is a problem for any football team in the WFA!”

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

With minimal practices in the ledger prior to their first snap, the team was firing on all cylinders in their duke over Columbus, a WFA Division 2 team.

“You don’t know how things are going to translate from practice to games, but I’m really impressed with the (number) of playmakers we have,” said SLAM defensive back Jamie Skinner. “Our group is extremely athletic and it’s evident that we have a lot of weapons we can deploy in all areas including special teams, which has been a focus for us.”

Wide receiver Kerri McMahan scored three touchdowns on the night. Two were from touchdown catches thrown by Jaime Gaal and when the second year SLAMmer replaced Gaal at quarterback in the third quarter, she romped for a 51-yard keeper. McMahan had 128 all-purpose yards in the game.

Running back Jada Humphrey recorded six carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns and rookie Sydney Bloch also collected a pair of scores via a 12-yard reception combined with a 42-yard punt return.

Christy Burkett posted her first SLAM touchdown run with a 45-yard scamper deep in the contest. Place kicker Kaylee Neutzling was perfect with PATs (8-8).

St. Louis’ offense was anchored by the starting line consisting of Brents, Pamela Green, Marion Ball, Caitlin Erickson and Kinnaudy Daniels. They collectively set the narrative in the trenches.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

“Our philosophy is that no one touches our quarterback, and we impose our will from the first whistle to the last,” said Brents of the team’s gatekeepers. “I think I can speak for everyone on the O-line when I say, we take protecting our backfield very seriously. Just like last year, our goal is to make Buick-sized holes for our running backs and to ensure ‘QB1’s’ jersey is in pristine condition the whole season.”

On the defensive side, Skinner alongside Neutzling, Myah LeFlore, Raven Williams, Jasmine Yandell, Brooklyn Devitt, Tay Johnson, Mary Altepeter, Keyonna Smith, Stephanie Moore, Alisha Straws, Cherie Moore, Emily Pilla and a host of others didn’t surrender a Chaos touchdown on the turf.

“We are fortunate to have most of our core defense returning and we’re even more fortunate to have Raven and Myah back this year,” said Skinner directly of the pair that returned Saturday after both were out with injuries last season. “They are integral components that we are beyond excited to have back.

“It’s also great to have more depth with a larger roster. We have the opportunity to plug people in, conserve energy, and highlight strengths.”

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

Sixteen newcomers are a part of the SLAM’s charter this season. Many got important reps at the home opener at St. Mary’s.

“I think it’s great that our rookies got to cut their teeth last week,” said Skinner. “They were able to work out a lot of nerves, so now they can settle in. Hopefully, things will continue to click each game.”

Last Saturday’s overwhelming outcome was honestly projected, considering that it was a match-up between a WFA Pro team that is a four-time national champion against a WFA Division 2 up-and-comer.

That won’t be the case this weekend as the opponent is comparable in WFA classification and overall talent.

The Minnesota Vixen (0-0) finished 2023 with a record of 5-3 and their trifecta of losses were against the SLAM, which included their 44-27 ousting by St. Louis at last June’s WFA Pro American Conference finale.

No doubt, the Vixen’s setback stung because they were in the 2022 WFA Pro National Championship game and craved a return.

Their offensive output last season was certainly top-notch. Receiver Jackie Radford had five touchdown catches to lead the team while Nicki Hiber had a solo snare but will have extra reps this season to help supplement.

Overall, the Vixen have a plethora of athletes that were added to this year’s charter and the line-up that they bring to the SLAM Saturday will be fresh and rejuvenated.

A highly-touted newcomer added to Minnesota this season is fullback Johanna Vermöhlen, a prior member of German national team American Football Verband Deutschland.

Despite losing four straight previous contests to St. Louis, the Vixen has been the lone team in WFA Pro American to play the locals perpetually tight.

As a result, St. Louis is very respectful and cautious of the adversaries heading in.

“They bring their best every time we meet,” said Skinner. “We’re excited to go up against tough competition, it’s good to be tested and that’s what we expect. We will need to play a clean game with minimal mistakes and execute from the very first whistle.”

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

“The Vixen are always going to bring everything they have,” added Brents. “It’s a rivalry that we love to rise to the occasion for. They’re well coached, they’re a good team and they have a lot of support. That being said…we don’t care what everyone else has or what they do.“

On paper, there might be a slight edge given to the SLAM, as they already have one game in hand compared to the Vixen, who are taking their first snaps Saturday.

“(One) can look at it from two sides,” assessed Brents. “On one hand, they have an extra week to prepare, and they probably watched our game live, so they have (footage) on us.

“On the other, we got the first game jitters out of the way for the team as a whole.  As well as the first-game EVER jitters out of the way for our rookies, and we showed what we are capable of with our starters and our reserves. Either way, we’ll be ready.”

“I think it gives us a slight advantage, but it’s also tough going on the road,” projected Skinner. (Minnesota) being at home in front of their fans will be a positive for them.”

The primary goal of the SLAM is to make a return trip to July’s WFA Pro trophy tilt at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, the complex located adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

With four national championships – their last in 2019 – in their history book, a SLAM winning result at Saturday’s scrap provides momentum for the potential “fifth ‘ship” that they desire.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

“We know us, we know what we need to do to make it back to Canton and we plan on doing just that,” said Brents.

“We have the upmost confidence in our preparation and skill, so we’re looking forward to the business trip,” said Skinner.

And if the SLAM remains undefeated after Saturday’s final whistle, then business will be most-certainly profitable.

For more information on the SLAM, go to their official website.

Arch City Media will have a full recap posted Sunday.


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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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