Calgary Rage welcome Wendy Iwaasa to their ranks

As the defense of their first-ever Western Conference title approaches, the Calgary Rage have added another essential piece to their postseason puzzle for 2018. The acquisition of Wendy Iwaasa, formerly of the archrival Lethbridge Steel, may signify the start of a dominant era for the proud franchise.

Taking into account that Iwaasa was a member of Team Canada’s contingent that competed on home soil at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championships in Vancouver, she brings a world-class presence to one of the WWCFL’s most competitive franchises.

During the 2017 Worlds, Iwaasa gained the opportunity to call a handful of wondrous women from the Rage as teammates. Such a distinguished group included Becky Heninger, Alicia Wilson and Lisa Gomes (now with the Detroit Dark Angels), among others.

Although such elite competitors provide Iwaasa with an element of familiarity as she prepares for her inaugural season with the Rage, such bonds have deeper history. Worth noting, Iwaasa also competed for Team Alberta’s entry at the 2016 Canadian national women’s championships, emerging with a bronze medal. Therefore, Iwaasa holds the potential to adjust very quickly to a team looking for an elusive WWCFL crown,

Iwaasa with Calgary Rage veteran Erin Walton (left) at the IFAF Women’s Worlds in Vancouver (Image supplied by Wendy Iwaasa)

“The feeling is going to be surreal! Not only Team Canada teammates, also Team Alberta! Team Alberta was definitely the beginning of many great friendships with all my “Rage Beauties”, as I call them. Including, having Head Coach Carlo as the Defensive Coordinator back then, added so much more excitement to be playing with them this coming season. I’m truly blessed to apart of the Rage and have received such a warm welcome from everyone!”

For Carlo Iannuzzi, one of the most promising head coaches in the WWCFL today, the acquisition of Iwaasa represents the kind of significant acquisition that not only builds up optimism during the off-season, it is the kind of player whose Team Canada experience is poised to inspire her defensive teammates to be even better players. Having gained familiarity with her skills while a member of Team Alberta, the chance to coach her for an entire regular season is one that may result in the greatest season for the rising Rage. Considering that his older brother Marco captured a Grey Cup as a member of the BC Lions, it would add to the family’s growing gridiron legacy if he added a WWCFL championship to the trophy case,

“Wendy coming to the Rage is a game changer. Her on-field skill is among the very best in the country, and her will to compete and always improve is what makes her an elite player. We believe that Wendy will play a pivotal role for us in the 2018 season as we embark on our mission to be the #1 team.”

Undoubtedly, a proud career highlight for Iwaasa would involve contributing towards the Rage winning their second straight Western Conference title. Should Iwaasa contribute towards the Rage reach this historic feat, it would mark a string of three titanic achievements in her career. From the chance to suit up for Team Alberta at the 2016 Canadian nationals, followed up by the 2017 IFAF Women’s Worlds, such a remarkable run also complements an exceptional family legacy. Of note, her mother Celine, was recognized by Judo Alberta as its 2008 Volunteer of the Year, having devoted numerous decades to the sport.

Approaching the season to come with great confidence, it just may help to set the tone for the possibility of a tremendous outcome. In discussing what she believes it will take to win again, the word strategy rises to the surface. Certainly, the Rage’s acquisition of Iwaasa definitely adds to the concept of strategy, which may be the theme for the season to unfold,

“To help win the Western title for the second time in a row for the Rage would be fantastic! That would be another page for the Rage history book, what an honor to be apart of. Plus, it would check off a personal football accomplishment for me.

I believe that being very strategic will be our success! So many great adjustments have been made already.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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