Boston athletes seek gold medal in Finland this summer

June 23, 2022

Twelve Renegades Will Compete in International Tournament

BOSTON – Eleven players and a coach from the Boston Renegades are seeking medals this summer in an international gridiron football tournament, the 2022 Women’s World Championship (WWC)

Organized by the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the 2022 WWC will take place in Vantaa, Finland from July 28 to August 8. This marks the fourth such international women’s tackle football tournament, with previous tourneys in 2010, 2013, and 2017. 

Renegades Head Coach John Johnson was announced as the U.S. National Women’s Football Team’s Defensive Line Coach in February. He is the first Boston Women’s Football coach to be named to Team USA’s coaching staff in its 12-year history.

Seven Boston players have been selected for the American team. Defensive Backs Chanté Bonds and Mariette Martinez, Defensive End Danielle Fournier, Fullback/Wide Receiver Stephanie Pascual, and Offensive Liners Hillary Crook, Ashley Beckham and Steph Jeffers were chosen from nearly 200 players who attended tryouts in January in Bradenton, Fla. The team trials were hosted by USA Football, a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the sport’s national governing body. 

“As soon as I heard about the tryouts I was immediately excited; I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” says Martinez. “Before I found football, I often found myself wondering what I was training for and contemplating why I was so invested in improving my athletic performance. Between the Renegades and the U.S. National Team, I found my answer.”

Team USA will conduct its 2022 training camp at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio from July 21–27 immediately before departing for Finland on the 28th.

“I’ve been fortunate to compete and win at local, state, and national levels, but I am humbled,” says Crook. “An opportunity to represent your country is every athlete’s dream. I can’t wait to work with the best of the best. I’m also excited to share this experience with some of my Renegade teammates.”

Four more Renegades players will represent other countries. Halfback Ruth Matta (Great Britain), Quarterback Heather Marini (Australia), Wide Receiver J.J. Seiles (Finland), and Fullback Tytti Kuusinen (Finland) are expected to join the competition with their respective National Teams. 

“This is an incredible opportunity,” says Marini, who is also Quarterbacks Coach at Brown University. “I’m so grateful to be able to continue to play football at the highest level and I continue to be inspired by the team at Brown as well as my Renegades teammates. My entire football career I’ve done things a little back to front and upside down, so to have this chance now to represent my country is very special.”

Eight women’s national teams will compete in the 2022 WWC. The United States is the reigning champion.

About the Boston Renegades

The Boston Renegades are a professional, full-contact women’s football team, and the defending National Champions of the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). Their mission is to empower women and girls through football with a vision to mentor and develop female athletes into role models and leaders that give back to their communities.

The Renegades provide women the opportunity to compete at the highest level of women’s football and they strive to build each player’s confidence and sense of community on and off the field. The Renegades play at Harry della Russo Stadium in Revere, MA.

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