American Football in Israel will announce the country's first fully equipped tackle football league, to be called the Israel Football League, in the presence of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Thursday at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem.
AFI currently operates four flag football leagues, which include 90 teams and more than 1,000 players, while the IFL consists of three teams that play without helmets and pads. The new IFL plans to kick off in the fall with at least four teams from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Kfar Saba.
AFI will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. on March 11 at Kraft Family Stadium for anyone interesting in tackle football. Immediately following this meeting, at 8 p.m., there will be tryouts for the national men's contact flag football team, which will travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to play at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots, as part of community-wide Israel Independence Day festivities.
Misha'an Plumbers snag women's championship
It was quite a game at Kraft Family Stadium on Wednesday night - the final of the 2006/07 onlysimchas.com Women's American Football in Israel league. The undefeated Misha'an Plumbers, who were 11-0 this season, faced 10-1 Diamonds.com.
At the beginning of the game, on third and long, Misha'an quarterback Shana Sprung ran from the 10-yard line to score the first touchdown. Center Ahuva Odenheimer caught the extra point.
Esti "Baseball" Bernstien scored the Plumbers' next TD, but the extra point was no good. Another TD was then scored by Odenheimer, with the extra point once again incomplete. The score was 19-0 and things were looking good for Misha'an.
Diamonds.com took possession of the ball. Quarterback Aviva Gershon threw a bomb to Emily Neilson, who scored the first Diamonds.com TD. Penina Rapaport then made a catch for the extra point. The score was 19-7 at halftime.
Coming back from a rough first half, Gershon found Neilson long for the second Diamonds TD and brought the score to 19-13. The extra point was no good.
Back on offense, Misha'an's Yael Freedman, playing with a broken thumb, ran the ball from the Misha'an 10-yard line into the end zone, but Freedman's flag fell off at the Diamonds' one-yard line, where the play was called dead and the ball was spotted. "Baseball" then made a catch for the TD, and Odenheimer caught the pass on the extra point.
On Mishaan's next offensive drive, Odenheimer scored a TD and "Baseball" was there for the extra point.
Diamonds got the ball back and Neilson scored a TD yet again, and Rapaport scored the extra point. The score was 33-19 to Mishaan.
On their next offensive drive, Diamonds' Talia Ochayon scored to trim the deficit to seven points (33-26). They decided to go for a two-point conversion, which was blocked.
Back on offense, with only a few seconds left in what turned out to be a close game, Sprung decided to play it safe and down the ball, which ended the game - and the season - with a 33-26 Misha'an victory.
WAFI is now getting ready for its spring league. Registration will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. on March 11 and 6:30-9 p.m. on March 14 at Kraft Family Stadium.
Jaffe Strategies wins high school title
Jaffe Strategies defeated The Jewish Press 28-6 in the 2006/07 Yosef Goodman High School American Football in Israel league championship game at Kraft Family Stadium.
Justin Hess ran for a touchdown that gave Jaffe Strategies its first score. QB Gavi Teitz threw for three TDs, two to Aron Wasser and one to Yehuda Baker, who made a diving catch for the score.
On defense, Rafi Jaffe had three interceptions and Nechemya Green swatted away four passes. Justin sacked The Jewish Press QBs three times, including one for a safety.
For more information on American Football in Israel, visit www.israelfootball.net, e-mail [email protected] or call (050) 220-7598.