Murray-based women’s football team remains a nearly perfect juggernautAug 31, 2017 01:52PM ● By Jana Klopsch
Quarterback Louise Bean shows teammates her most valuable player trophy after winning the IWFL championship at Cottonwood High School in Murray. (Utah Falconz)
We’ve all heard the saying, nobody’s perfect. But that’s not 100 percent true.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins football team was perfect. In 2008, the New England Patriots were perfect, until losing Super Bowl XLII.
But neither of those teams came close to what the Utah Falconz women’s football team has now accomplished over their first four seasons.
The local Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL) team—which plays its home games at Cottonwood High School, in Murray —has lost just one game over four seasons. Their nearly perfect record is now 42-1.
This summer the Falconz also claimed their second straight league title, playing at home before what many league officials believe was the largest crowd to ever attend an IWFL game.
“There were so many people there,” Utah quarterback Louise Bean said. “I’ve heard estimates of 2,000 to 3,000 people. It was, by far, the coolest sports experience of my life.”
It was also the end of an era—Bean’s era—with the Falconz.
Shortly after Utah defeated the Austin (TX) Yellowjackets 35-18 in the championship game, Bean was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
But long before the game was played, Louise and her teammates already knew it was her last Falconz game.
“My kids are getting older—and at age 43 I had already decided this was my last season,” Bean said. “But then my husband got a job opportunity in Great Falls, Montana. So even if I had thought about changing my mind, we won’t be here anymore.”
The mother of three went out in style, completing all seven of her passes in the championship game—three of them for touchdowns.
Her favorite moment of championship night came on one of those touchdown passes, though she wasn’t even watching teammate Lexie Floor when she crossed the goal line, 70 yards down field.
“She (Floor) was so far in the clear, I knew she would score,” Bean said. “So I just turned to watch the crowd go crazy. It was an awesome moment—the best since I’ve been on the team—and a memory I’ll have forever.”
Bean has never been injured and has started every single game for the Falconz at quarterback. However, she has also shared time with other quarterbacks, and is confident the team will be able to fill her spot next season without skipping a beat.
Meantime, Bean’s teammate—wide receiver and defensive back Elisa Salazar—has every intention of returning next year, to try to help the Falconz complete a three-peat.
“I enjoy the team so much,” Salazar said. “It’s great to be surrounded by such good people. We have to pay to participate; but I think it’s money well spent.”
The 51 women on this year’s Utah Falconz roster each paid an $800 registration fee, to help cover costs for travel, medical staff, field rental and other expenses.
For a team that has rampaged through its opponents with only one loss in four seasons, perhaps the most logical question is what makes the Falconz so dominant?
“Honestly, we are smaller than pretty much every team we play,” Salazar said. “So it’s definitely not our size. I think there are three primary reasons why we do so well: leadership, discipline and conditioning.”
Salazar cites the team ownership and coaches for providing the skilled leadership the women need to be successful.
On conditioning, she says the Falconz work out hard to stay in shape.
“There have been a lot of games where we’ve really felt tested in the first quarter or first half,” she said. “But normally by the end of the game, we have more energy left than our opponents. I know we’ve won a lot of games for that reason.”
As for discipline, Salazar said, “We really don’t have a lot of plays; but the ones we have we practice over and over, and pay very close attention to the smallest details. I know that has helped us win several games too.”
The Utah Falconz always have several roster spots to fill each year. Any women interested in trying out for next year’s team should watch for clinic, camp and tryout information on the team’s Facebook page or at utahfalconz.com.