Tampa Bay Inferno burning up postseason for second year

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – For the second year in a row, the Tampa Bay Inferno is heading off to the postseason undefeated and to the National Conference South Atlantic Division Champions.

The Inferno beat the Orlando Anarchy 52-3 at Hillsborough High School’s football field. The next week in their first playoff game, the Inferno knocked off the Miami Fury 27-6 at Strawberry Crest High School in Dover.

The team is made up of women like Shirley Pistole who plays center and works as a CPI supervisor with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Linebacker Stephanie Utroska is a high school physical education teacher and staff sergeant in the Air Force. Denasha Mondy is one of the team’s running backs when she is not serving the country in the United States Air Force.

“I have caught on to a lot of things like the plays and everything. Last year was very hard, so for a woman playing the sport, I give all the props to guys for going through it,” Mondy said.

“It’s real football and for years, women haven’t been able to play football and the Women’s Football Alliance gives us a platform to do that on a big level,” Pistole said.

“Us women, we do have aggression built up and we can get pretty nasty on the field when we want to. So, being a middle linebacker, I’m perfect, because I have a lot of aggression as you can probably see,” said Rosa Hammonds.

The games are mostly attended by the players, coaches and staff’s friends and family, which means there are not as many fans in the stands as they would like. All the players are asking is for football fans in the Tampa Bay area to come out and give them a chance.

“If you don’t want to give us a chance then that’s just a personal opinion, but if you come out here and see us play, you will definitely change your mind about it,” said running back Candi Thompson.

This weekend, the Inferno head to McLeansville, North Carolina, which is just outside of Greensboro, to take on the Carolina Phoenix in the second round of the playoffs.

Go online to find team and game information if you want to follow the undefeated team on their journey through the playoffs.

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