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Saturday, May 17, 2014

D.C. Divas Homecoming tribute

Listen to Phoenix @ D.C.Divas Live on US Sports Radio Saturday May 17th @ 5:15pm EST

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Coach Ezra Cooper Honored as D.C. Divas Host Atlanta
Neal Rozendaal

Washington, DC – Alumni of the D.C. Divas football team will gather Saturday to honor the Divas’ legendary former coach, Ezra Cooper, while the current Divas squad will have its hands full as they host the powerful Atlanta Phoenix.

The D.C. Divas evened their 2014 record at 2-2 with a victory on May 5 over the Baltimore Burn, 43-0. Divas head coach Alison Fischer was pleased with how her team performed. “I thought we played solid all-around football,” Coach Fischer remarked. “I challenged the team to play D.C. Divas football, and I think we did that.”

The Divas’ defense was dominant once again, helping lead the team to its second shutout victory in a row. The Divas held the Burn without a single non-penalty first down for the entire game, and the Divas’ opponents have now failed to score for over nine quarters of game action.

“The defense is continuing to gel,” Fischer said. “They get better every week. The better they know our defensive scheme and the more comfortable they become, the better they play.”

Now riding a two-game winning streak, the Divas will face a strong challenge on Saturday from the visiting Atlanta Phoenix. Atlanta is a regional powerhouse in women’s football, advancing to the WFA conference semifinals last season as the champions of the southeast region. In their three seasons of existence, the Phoenix have compiled a 19-2 record in the regular season, with their two losses coming by a combined eight points.

This will be the Divas’ first ever meeting with the Atlanta Phoenix, and Fischer is impressed by their organization. “They definitely have some good athletes,” she acknowledged. “They have excellent speed, which will be a real challenge for us. We’re looking forward to the game and really looking forward to seeing how we handle their speed on both sides of the ball.”

The game against the Atlanta Phoenix has been designated as Homecoming for all Divas alumni. The Divas organization will welcome back former players and coaches as the team honors the memory of Ezra Cooper. Cooper, who passed away this off-season at age 39, served as the head coach of the D.C. Divas from 2001-2008 and led the team to five division titles and the 2006 NWFA national championship.

Cooper had a profound influence on many members of the Divas organization, including Fischer, who played as a defensive back under him for each of his eight seasons from 2001-2008. “Coach Cooper made a connection and had a special bond with every player,” Fischer recalled. “He connected with each of us on an individual level, which made all of us want to run through a wall for him. I learned a great deal from him as a player, and even when I was hired as the head coach of the Divas, I still talked with him quite a bit, met with him, picked his brain, and continued to learn from him. He was a very special coach.”

Coach Fischer knows that the Homecoming festivities and the recognition of Cooper will make for a very emotional atmosphere. “I know there will be a lot of alumni there for this game,” Fischer said. “Hopefully there will be a big crowd, and we’ll try to give them a good game.”

Get your tickets today for the D.C. Divas’ Homecoming game on Saturday, May 17, against the regional powerhouse Atlanta Phoenix by visiting Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 6 PM at Prince George’s Sports Complex in Landover.

Around the WFA – It’s a huge weekend in the Women’s Football Alliance, with two of the most anticipated games of the season taking place Saturday. The Chicago Force (5-0) and the Boston Militia (5-0) will meet on a neutral field in Pittsburgh for the first regular season meeting ever between these two elite franchises. Boston and Chicago have squared off in each of the last two National Conference championship games and came into the 2014 season ranked #1 and #2 in the league…The San Diego Surge (6-0) host the Central Cal War Angels (4-0) in the first leg of a home-and-home series. The War Angels have won four contests by an average margin of victory of 35.5 points per game, while San Diego has downed their opponents by a breathtaking average of 66.8 points per contest…The only other two undefeated teams in the WFA are the Tampa Bay Inferno (5-0) and the Kansas City Titans (5-0). Since a 32-25 victory over the Atlanta Phoenix in their season opener, Tampa Bay has won their last four games by an average of 60.8 points per game. The Titans, on the other hand, rolled in their first four games before claiming a hard-fought 33-14 victory last weekend over the Nebraska Stampede. The Inferno host the Orlando Anarchy Saturday, while Kansas City has a bye week…The storybook season of the Utah Blitz (3-2) added another chapter last Saturday, when Utah captured a 28-7 victory over the Tacoma Trauma. The Blitz are one of four teams with a winning record in the highly-competitive Northwest Division, and they are making a potential run at their first playoff berth in franchise history.

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