Florida football star KK Matheny ready to bring elite game down under with Victoria Maidens

Quite possibly the most underrated player in the history of indoor female football, Jacksonville Breeze quarterback Kathryn “KK” Matheny is an ambassador for the game wherever she plays. Only 5’2”, Matheny is a spitfire, a pocket rocket, who brings the heart of a giant to the gridiron.

Among a group of Breeze players whose playing tenure dates back to its time in Tampa, Matheny has emerged as a franchise player. During the 2011 campaign, Matheny was among the finalists for the Offensive Player of the Year Award. She would follow it up with an All-Conference selection in 2013.

Left to right: Breeze players Saige Steinmetz, KK Matheny and Adrian Purnell make the move to Jacksonville (Image obtained from: http://www.jaxrestaurantreviews.com/events/legends-football-league-returns-jacksonville/#.VBhcAPldXm8)

Left to right: Breeze players Saige Steinmetz, KK Matheny and Adrian Purnell make the move to Jacksonville (Image obtained from: http://www.jaxrestaurantreviews.com/events/legends-football-league-returns-jacksonville/#.VBhcAPldXm8)

Following a strong 2014 regular season, which saw the Jacksonville Breeze compete against the Atlanta Steam in the Eastern Conference championship game, Matheny is ready to bring her game down under, joining the Victoria Maidens. Among a group of US import players competing in Australia, Matheny shall be joined by teammate Saige Steinmetz, along with Las Vegas Sin team captain Danika Brace and Seattle Mist running back (and 2013 Pacific Cup MVP) Stevi Schnoor.

No stranger to Australia, Matheny was part of a tour of US players who competed in a series of All-Star games there. Part of the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2012, she was joined by Breeze teammate Liz Gorman, playing in venues such as Allphones Arena in Sydney.

While Matheny only logged 89 yards through the air in 2014, her experience and poise made her an invaluable leader for the Breeze offensive attack. The rapport between her and Steinmentz (who have been teammates for over three seasons) should translate into a memorable season for the Maidens.

Australian fans should prepare to be spoiled by a quarterback that has established herself as a star in the football mad state of Florida. Having competed in flag football at the University of West Florida (based in Pensacola, FL), her list of accomplishments are impressive. Having appeared in the national finals three years in a row, she won championships in 2006 and 2008.

She would also show great versatility in her game at West Florida, earning All-America nods on offense in 2006 and 2008, along with All-America recognition on defense in 2007. This was complemented by MVP honors at the first-ever NIRSA National Flag Football Championships along with All-Tournament honors at the 2006 UF Swamp Bowl. Such efforts have culminated with nomination into the Flag Football Hall of Fame.
Although indoor female football brings with it an association of sex appeal, it would be a mistake to underestimate Matheny as just a pretty face. Like so many of her teammates and rivals, they are college educated athletes whose approach to the game is a serious one, defined by a love of the game. As a side note, Matheny has also participated in fundraising for Breast Cancer research and is active in her local church.

Her dedication and maturity have made her a valued member of the Breeze franchise for the last several seasons. Such qualities will likely lead towards serving as a good friend and mentor for the novice Australian players suiting up for the Maidens this season. As so much of the game’s experience stems from the friendships and the preparations that occur off the field, Maidens players could not have asked for a better group than Matheny, Steinmetz, Schnoor and Brace.

Kasey Carter emerges as an inspiring rookie footballer for the Seattle Mist

Heading into the Seattle Mist’s 2014 campaign, the proud indoor football franchise welcomed several new faces. In addition to five members from the British Columbia Angels getting onboard, featuring the sensational Smash Sisters of Stevi Schnoor and Deanna Schaper-Kotter, another new face breathed new life into the exciting franchise.

At 35 years young, Kasey Carter brought more than just a love of football to the gridiron. Her enthusiasm and determination set a positive example, proving to be one of the most inspiring rookies in league play this season. Showing that age is nothing more than a state of mind, Carter contributed to a Mist franchise that boasts one of the best team cultures in women’s football.

KCMist

Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Carter, who is employed as a nurse in ED, is also a mother. Joining the likes of fellow teammates (and mothers), Jessica Hopkins, second-generation football player Angela Rypien and quarterback Mary-Anne Hanson, who led the BC Angels to a championship in 2012, juggling family and football is a remarkable example of the empowerment that helps define all women’s sports.

Employing social media as a way of connecting with fans, it has added a special dimension to Carter’s rookie campaign. One of the most heartwarming aspects of her social media journey was a video she uploaded, where she is playing with her daughter. For many generations, a backyard scrimmage was traditionally reserved for father and son. Introducing her daughter to the game, it is part of a bold era in the game’s growth, proving that the future of football equally belongs to women.

Although Carter was relegated to the bench during the regular season, it did not diminish her role with the team. Of note, she was one of many proud Mist players that took part in the charity softball tournament of Super Bowl XLVIII Most Valuable Player (and Seattle Seahawks member) Malcolm Smith. While backup duties can be a difficult aspect for rookies and veterans alike, Carter showed great maturity and patience, the hallmark of a true team player. With the Mist having qualified for a postseason berth, hope was not yet lost for Carter to grace the gridiron. Making a tackle in a visceral postseason loss to the rival Los Angeles Temptation, it was a time of great elation and validation for the inspiring rookie. Should she decide to continue and pursue her football dream, her perseverance stands as a shining beacon to never stop believing.

Gridiron hero Stevi Schnoor a star on the rise

With her star on the rise, Stevi Schnoor is quickly emerging as one of Canada’s female sporting sensations. Currently competing with the BC Angels in Legends Football League Canada, her coming out party was the 2013 Pacific Cup.

As the LFL’s annual holiday showcase, the event was meant to feature the Seattle Mist and the Angels. With the 2013 LFL Canada season having been cancelled, the Los Angeles Temptation were last minute replacements for the contest.

Schnoor

Undeterred, Schnoor and two of her Angels teammates, Mary-Anne Hanson and Deanna Schaper-Kotter, suited up for the Mist. Having made many sacrifices to prepare for the game, this remarkable trio of Angels not only bonded during the experience, but contributed to a 27-25 Mist victory. Of note, Hanson and Schnoor also became the first players to compete in consecutive Pacific Cups with two different franchises.

Scoring three touchdowns in the contest, Schnoor was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the Pacific Cup. Dubbed Stevi Wonder by the fans, her performance provided her with a treasured place in Seattle Mist lore.

Of note, this follows up on another sparkling MVP performance the year prior. During the inaugural LFL Canada season in 2012, Schnoor nabbed postseason MVP honors as the Angels claimed the league championship. That year, she would also compete with BC’s provincial team in the 2012 Canadian National Women’s League Finals.

To those who know her on the field of rugby, her success comes as no surprise. Known affectionately as Breezy, she competes at the Inside Centre position while competing for Canada at the 2009 Nations Cup. Having won five BC provincial high school rugby championships at Gleneagle, there is no question that Schnoor is a proven winner.

Recognized as one of the MVP’s from BC Rugby News in 2011, she is also a former Canadian women’s national rugby team member. Also a founding member of the United RFC, she has over 15 years experience in the sport.

Although the game of football is a series of executed plays which only last for several seconds, Schnoor adjusted very quickly. Her endurance as a rugby player enabled her to contribute to the Angels on offense, defense and special teams. With the support of rugby teammates at Angels contests in 2012, it is testament to the high regard she is placed in.

Truly a team player and a friend to so many teammates, Schnoor is also an athletic humanitarian. Having also played for the Dog River Howlers, a 2013 sojourn to Kenya included Howler rugby balls and t-shirts. Having travelled with her father to the African nation with the charitable cause A Better World, whose focus is on community development, Schnoor is also a champion off the field.