Everett Reign seeks to be more successful

  • By Rich Myhre Herald writer
  • Friday, March 21, 2014 11:57pm
  • SportsSports

One year after an encouraging debut, the Everett Reign football team is preparing for its 2014 season with hopes of being even better.

The Reign, 5-7 a year ago, is a member of the Women’s Football Alliance, a 42-team national league that plays full-tackle football. And when first-time spectators show up, “they’re like, ‘Wow, these women can play football. They can really hit,’” said Everett coach Billy Russo, a graduate of Lakewood High School and a former college and semipro player.

Moreover, the team “is using a lot of the same plays that you see teams using in college football and in the NFL,” said Brooklyn Holton of Arlington, who plays wide receiver, safety and outside linebacker. “We’re doing exactly what you’d expect a guys’ team to be doing … and we’re playing at a fast pace.”

The Reign joined the existing WFA last season and had only three players with previous league experience. It could have been a humbling year, but Everett actually surprised a few opponents by winning five games.

“We were all raw,” Russo said. “Some teams probably thought we were a new organization and that we wouldn’t be very good since we were all rookies, but all of a sudden we were beating people. So this year we’re not going to sneak up on anybody.”

Holton is one of 21 returning players for Everett. The team also has 19 new players.

“This year we’re way more athletic (than in 2013),” Russo said. “We’re faster and we’re bigger. And then having half the team returning is huge because now we have some experience.”

“I expect even better things than last year,” Holton said. “We’re not a big team in size, but we have a lot of athleticism. And the girls that came out this year have added to that. … We’re more versatile, and we have more options in our running game and passing game this year.”

The Reign is opening its season with three exhibition games. Everett traveled to face the Las Vegas Showgirlz on March 1 and was defeated 26-0.

The second preseason game will be tonight at Everett Memorial Stadium as the Reign hosts the Utah Falconz at 6 p.m. The regular-season opener will be April 5 against the Tacoma Trauma, also at Everett Memorial Stadium.

The WFA is comprised of two conferences and 12 divisions. Everett plays in the Northwest Division of the American Conference, and the division’s other teams are the Portland Fighting Fillies, the Portland Shockwave, the Seattle Majestics, the Tacoma Trauma and the Utah Blitz.

The goal, Russo said, “is to win the division and get to the playoffs. You have to finish first or second (to reach the playoffs), but we’d like to win the division and secure a higher seed.

“Last year we were right there, even with a lot of injuries,” he said. “If we hadn’t had those (injuries), who knows what might have happened. But this year I think we’ve got a real shot of getting to the playoffs.”

2014 Everett Reign schedule

March 22 Utah Falconz*

March 29 at Utah Jynx*

April 5 Tacoma Trauma

April 12 at Utah Blitz

April 19 at Seattle Majestics

April 27 Portland Fillies **

May 3 Utah Blitz

May 17 at Tacoma Trauma

May 31 at Portland Shockwave

June 7 Seattle Majestics

* Preseason game

** 1 p.m.

All home games at 6 p.m., Everett Memorial Stadium (except as noted). Tickets are $12 and $50 for the season (five home games). Seniors 65 and older and military are half price, and kids 10 and under are free.

More in Sports

Monroe football’s historic season ends with loss to Sumner

The Spartans’ big second half hands the Bearcats a 56-14 4A state quarterfinals loss.

Lake Stevens’ Eason is The Herald’s Volleyball Player of the Year

The Seattle University-bound senior setter was a stabilizing presence for the Vikings.

Huskies rally to beat Utah on last-second field goal

No. 16 Washington scores 10 points in the last minute to stun Utah 33-30.

Saturday’s prep postseason results

FOOTBALL 4A State Tournament Nov. 18 Quarterfinals Central Valley 41, Skyline 0… Continue reading

Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

The president implies that the father of one of the men isn’t appreciative enough.

Neale finishes as runner-up at NCAA cross country nationals

The University of Washington senior and Glacier Peak High School alum kicks her way to second.

The Herald’s 2017 All-Area High School Volleyball Team

Related: Lake Stevens senior Lilly Eason is The Herald’s 2017 Volleyball Player… Continue reading

King’s girls soccer team wins 1A state championship

The Knights outlasted Cascade (Leavenworth) in a shootout to post a 2-1 (8-7 PK) victory.

Seahawks won’t abandon sickly run game, Carroll says

Seattle has the NFL’s 32nd-ranked rushing offense.

Most Read