By Steve Krause, Daily Item
REVERE, Mass. — July 8, 2017 — Catholic Memorial’s loss is Revere’s gain — at least for one night.
The Boston Renegades — a women’s full-contact tackle football team from the Women’s Football Alliance — usually play their games at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury. But because the stadium is booked tonight, the Renegades will move their conference championship game against the Chicago Force tonight (6 p.m.) to DellaRusso Stadium. And as Classical alumnus Rasi Chau, who coaches linebackers on the team under head coach John Johnson of Wayland, says, “come out and support us. We’re trying to represent all of New England (tonight).”
He said the team averages anywhere from 100 to 200 fans, depending on the weather.
Though the roster consists of talent from throughout the country, there is a smattering of local players on the squad, the most active of whom are Briannah Gallo of Peabody (starting defensive back), Jenna LoVasco of Beverly (backup noseguard) and Amanda Alpert of Revere by way of Saugus (player/coach). Ace Guzman of Lynn, a cornerback, is on the disabled list with an injury.
The Renegades are a relatively new amalgamation of two teams that car dealer and rock guitarist Ernie Boch Jr., bought in 2012 and renamed the Boston Militia. Under Boch’s ownership, the Militia won two league titles before Boch sold it to current owner Molly Goodwin, who rechristened them the Renegades.
The Renegades began their playoff run a month ago after winning home-field advantage up until the league championship game next week in Pittsburgh. After defeating the D.C. Divas, the Renegades earned a two-week bye leading up to tonight’s game.
They’ll also be buoyed by the return of three players who were members of the return of three members of theU.S. Women’s National American Football Team, which last month won its third straight Women’s World Championship: Emily Weinberg, Steph Jeffers and Vicky Eddy.
“This is a working-class league,” Chau said. “All these players have regular jobs. They’re not pros. They’re semi-pro women.”
Chau, a 1999 graduate of Classical, played for both Dave Dempsey and Matt Durgin during his career there.
“Both of them taught you how to love the game,” Chau said. “They both taught that you have to love it, but that you had to be disciplined and that you had to have it in your heart, and put in the hard work.”
He said the women he coaches have that ethic.
“A lot of these women have never played the game before,” he said, “and they’re eager to learn the game. They’re hungry to hit, too.”I was super-excited when they hired me. They’re excited to learn, and I’m excited to teach.”
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