The Boston Militia, a team in the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL), are undefeated and getting set to face the D.C. Divas for the Eastern Conference championship on July 10.
Led by head coach Derrick Beasley, a fourth-round pick by the Patriots in the 1987 NFL Draft, the Militia went 8-0 in the regular season and captured the Northeast Division championship with a win over the New York Nemesis.
Since its initiation into the IWFL in 2007, Boston has been an absolute powerhouse. Made up of players from the former IWFL team Boston Rampage (formerly Bay State Warriors) and the National Women's Football Association's (NWFA) Mass Mutiny, the Militia have a combined record of 24-3 (including playoff games) in their first three seasons.
Based in Somerville, Mass., these women are as passionate about football as any NFL player. In fact, they may be more zealous than their male counterparts. In addition to having "real" jobs, these players balance two nights of practice per week with an eight-game regular season from April to June.
The Militia are also managed just like any men's football team. Led by Beasley, there are a total of nine coaches, in addition to 12 executive staff members (led by chairman and CEO Ernie Boch Jr.) and five certified medical staffers.
And just like on the Patriots, where you see a vast difference in height and weight between players like Wes Welker and Vince Wilfork, members of the Militia come in all shapes and sizes, too. Players range from as short as 5-foot-4 inches to as tall as 6-foot-2, while weights range from 120 to 290 pounds.
Boston will boast 13 All-Stars at this year's IWFL All-Star Game in Round Rock, Texas, on July 25, including running back Mia "Ace" Brickhouse. One of the five captains of the Militia, Brickhouse lives in Revere, where she works as an athletic administrator.
And even though the Militia are a fairly new franchise, each player is craving a league championship.
This year's Eastern Conference championship game is a rematch of last year's, when the Divas shocked the women's football world with a stunning 27-21 victory over the 9-0 Militia.
Right tackle Kelly Barker, one of the Militia's All-Stars, feels that extra training over the summer has her team in a position to get to the Holy Grail, the IWFL World Championship.
"You can tell with a lot of players — our strength is a lot better than it was last year," Barker told Somerville Scout Magazine.
Two-way lineman Alicia Harris, a test analyst from Enfield, Conn., thinks the Militia have one of the best teams in the league.
"I think we're a pretty versatile team," Harris says. "We have a good running game along with our passing game. We're very athletic, so I think speed is a factor for both offense and defense."
The Boston Militia is the best football team in New England since the 2007 Patriots, who failed to win the Super Bowl after starting the season 18-0. Trying to avoid similar peril in this year's Eastern Conference championship game, the Militia will be giving it all they've got in an attempt to remain undefeated in 2010.
The game is on Saturday, July 10, at 6 p.m. at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. Tickets are $10 for regular admission, $5 for Senior Citizens 65 and older (with ID) and free for kids 10 and under with an adult.
Fans can also listen to the game on 1510 AM "The Zone."