The Utah Falconz launch their 2016 season on the road against the Phoenix Phantomz Saturday.
The game will be held at Moon Valley High School in Phoenix at 6 p.m. Falconz fans in Utah can get game and score updates starting at 7 p.m. on the team's Twitter page at twitter.com/UtahFalconz.
The Falconz are coming off a successful 2015 season where they won the Western Conference Championship and were undefeated heading into the national championship game in South Carolina, where they lost in a close, hard-fought game 41-37.
Quarterback Louise Bean is eager to finish what the Falconz started.
“With 35 returners and over 20 rookies I’m excited to start playing football again and erase the bad taste in my mouth from last year’s championship loss," she said.
This season will mark the third in the franchise under owner Hiroko Jolley.
“It’s exciting to see the growth of our team.” Hiroko said. “We started as an expansion team and now we have the Western Conference title and look forward to what we have planned for 2016.”
The athletes hail from a variety of sporting backgrounds such as soccer and softball, coming together to play at the highest level of women’s football. Practice began in February for this 2016 roster of athletes, working three times a week in full pads and helmets to prepare for the upcoming season.
Each practice, the athletes scrimmage against the offense and defense at full speed to be prepared for every scenario they could encounter in Phoenix.
“There’s nothing like the first game of the season," defensive coordinator Michael Ramos said. "Months of preparing, pushing and battling each other (and) now it’s time to unleash this team and see if the countless hours have paid off.”
The Utah Falconz look to build on last year's success.
“The Falconz staff and players have prepared to make this season its finest yet," offensive coordinator Kyle Rasmussen said. "Watch us soar, starting this Saturday in Phoenix.”
The Utah Falconz the first home game will be Saturday, April 16, at 2 p.m. at Cottonwood High School in Murray. Tickets are $10 for ages 11 and up, children 10 and under are free. Tickets for seniors and veterans are $8.