In the inaugural season of LFL Canada, one of the four teams should not be considered an expansion franchise.
The Toronto Triumph already have one season under their belts, as they competed in the 2011-12 LFL season against clubs from the United States.
Despite an 0-4 season in their debut, hopes were high coming into the first season of competition in LFL Canada. While all franchises were allocated players from LFL US, the Triumph featured players such as Jenny Butler and Whitney Paronish, who competed in the 2012 Lingerie Bowl in Las Vegas.
Jenny Butler, a US import who previously played for the Philadelphia Passion, missed part of the season.
“Unfortunately I missed 1 and 3/4 games due to a knee injury so I really only got to play the first and last game. From that, I can see that LFL Canada is off to a great start. I honestly look for Toronto to win it all next year.”
Her absence due to injury was a factor in the Triumph's losing streak. In the 22-8 win over the BC Angels, the first win in franchise history, she was named co-Most Valuable Player of the Game.
While the win over BC was the only win of the season, that win was a point of pride for many players. Marisa Villagonzalo (known affectionately as Mousey) was very proud of her role in helping the Triumph win its first-ever contest:
“My contribution to the win was to be a beacon of confidence and leadership; to distribute the ball as required and to provide guidance in the huddle. This showed through a composed and organized offensive huddle that really got down to business.”
After the experience of frustration in previous losses, Crystal Hall was very proud to be named the other co-MVP.
“In the previous games, I felt like I was almost there, but would come up short. I finally got the opportunity to celebrate my accomplishment and efforts by being Co-MVP for our first win. I also love the fact that I was able to share it was Jenny, who is a beast on the field. This simple honour is something that I'm going to hold onto into next season, because I love the feeling of dancing around on that LFL logo as an game MVP. I can get used to it.”
As the Triumph were able to get the monkey off their backs, there is great confidence heading into the 2013 LFL Canada season. “This was our last chance to show our city, the nation, the league and the naysayers, that Toronto has what it takes to compete, and we'll be coming back full force in 2013!!” stated Tiffany Russell.
A very mature leader, Villagonzalo understands the need for improvement, the sign of a disciplined and dedicated athlete, “Personally, I need to improve on my consistency and be more patient by getting comfortable in the pocket, or else keep backing up to let the play develop.”
Along with Donna Paul, the two comprise the quarterbacking corps for the Triumph.
“To make it to the Lingerie Bowl next season, we need to combine our passing game from our Orlando game last season (2011) with our new-found running game, and maintain or increase our level of aggression on defense; everyone needs to go out and increase their football knowledge by playing touch, flag or tackle games, because four LFL games and numerous practices aren’t enough.”
Villagonzalo continued, “We definitely need to add to the existing roster so… the next season needs to happen after our touch-football season so that we can get more players out!!!”
All quotes obtained first-hand unless otherwise indicated.
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