Lisa Gomes Running for Daylight with a Determined Calgary Rage Squad

Mark Staffieri@@MarkStaff100Contributor IIMay 28, 2013

Image by Candice Ward Photography
Image by Candice Ward Photography

As the running back for the Calgary Rage, Lisa Gomes is contributing to the squad’s early-season success in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League. Determined to win their first WWCFL championship, Gomes is a lightning-fast asset in the Rage backfield.

Donning No. 12, Gomes is part of a Rage backfield that also features the likes of Esther Hong. With a 99-yard performance in an early-season 33-0 whitewashing of the Grande Prairie Northern Anarchy, Gomes has shown that she is not afraid to carry the load. Such an electrifying performance is one that generates tremendous excitement.

 “It is a HUGE adrenaline rush! All I hear in my head are my coaches saying ‘Keep your feet moving Lisa!’ I would be no where without those guys!”

Hailing from Aruba, Gomes also participated on Team Alberta at the 2012 National Challenge Cup in Laval, Quebec. Competing with Gomes on the squad included Rage teammates such as Susan Childress, Kait DiNunzio, Alanna Doyle, Whitney Issik, Annie Tremblay and Erin Walton.

Like many women in the WWCFL, Gomes had an initial background in rugby. While Gomes had a desire to compete on the gridiron at the high school, she had to compromise and opted for rugby. Once the opportunity presented itself to compete with the Rage, Gomes found out that her fire for football was not extinguished.

“I have actually always wanted to play football! I went to try out for my high school team, and the football coach told me to try out for rugby instead. I played rugby for about five years before I found out about the Calgary Rage. I bet he misses me now!”

Despite the growth of women’s tackle football in Western Canada, Gomes still encounters a lot of surprised faces when she discusses her sport of choice. It is not uncommon for their reaction to be confused with another sport.

“They respond with the question, "Do you mean soccer?" I laugh and say ‘No, not soccer or flag football or touch football. I play on a full contact women's football team.’ Then, I tell them to Google it!”

As interest in the Calgary Rage and the WWCFL continues to grow, Gomes is excited to be a part of it. From a three-team league based exclusively in Alberta during 2010, the league has now grown to include nine franchises. For Gomes, she cannot help but admire the dedication that the women of the WWCFL have put into the sport.

“I am extremely excited! It is amazing that we have grown by two teams JUST this year. It shows how important sports are to women as it is to men. The determination in these women is truly amazing.”

Having started the season with a superlative 99-yard performance, Gomes is hoping to build the momentum towards a championship. With a coaching staff led by Rob Perry, the squad has a strong sense of family to it. Gomes believes the Rage have all the right elements to win a championship this season.

“Completely. The Rage is a group a women with a huge amount of heart and dedication. I have not once seen one of these ladies give up before. We are a family, and we will always have each other’s backs. No matter what happens, this will never change.”

“All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise indicated.”