Monthly Archives: December 2002
The New York Sharks joined the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL) for the 2002 season. The IWFL was a fledgling league only in its second year, playing in the springtime. The league originally started in Austin, Texas but grew to a 14 team league operating in both the United States and Canada. Another 2 cities joined the league as exhibition teams for the 2002 season.
Before the start of the 2002 season, tragedy struck the New York Sharks family. Defensive standout Sharon Pascale was killed in a car accident on Christmas morning. Sharon was a teacher in Brooklyn and was much loved by her family, her students and her teammates. The New York Sharks had dedicated the 2002 season to Sharon and wore her number, “51” over their heart on their uniform.
The Sharks started the 2002 season in a brand new style. They joined a new league, hired a whole new coaching staff, had a new home field, and were now sporting brand new uniforms. The uniforms were black with silver trim and blue numbers. On the left side of the chest was a small blue shark emblem and on the right side was a blue football emblem with the number 51 on it to honor Sharon.
Even though there was a lot different about the Sharks, they continued to do the same old thing, win. Like last season the Sharks continued to dominate each game defensively. The defense gave up only 12 points the entire season while posting 5 shutouts. Linebacker Missy Marmorale led the team in tackles (91) and sacks (8.5) while Lori DeVivio led the team in interceptions with 4. Offensively, the Sharks displayed more scoring punch than ever before. Led by quarterback Val Halesworth (QB rating of 143.1), the Sharks scored close to 40 points per game during the regular season. Also powering the offense was running back Courtney Eaton with 12 touchdowns and wide receiver Valerie “Peanut” Monaco with 7 touchdowns. Lakisha Grantalso made a big splash rushing for 4 touchdowns on opening day, but was injured in the second game and was lost for the season.
Throughout the season the Sharks rolled through their schedule finally finishing the season with a perfect 7-0 record. With that record, the Sharks were on top of the IWFL Eastern Conference and this earned them a trip to the inaugural IWFL Championship game. The championship game was held in Ashland, Oregon on July 6th. The Sharks were facing the tough Austin Outlaws, the IWFL Western Conference champions. Playing on a very hot day, the Sharks defense again came up big, not allowing the Outlaws to score at all. While the offense sometimes stalled, they still were able to put 3 touchdowns on the board to win the game and the IWFL championship, 24-4. The Sharks were World Champions.
It was a fitting ending to a season the team had dedicated to their teammate.
Sharks Hoo-Rah 5-1!
The Sharks played their 2002 home games in Queens, New York at August Martin High School.
Click here for the 2002 Sharks statistics
|April 20th||Montreal Blitz||August Martin||45 – 6|
|April 27th||Bay State Warriors||August Martin||40 – 0|
|May 11th||Detroit Blaze (exhibition)||August Martin||73 – 0|
|May 18th||Montreal Blitz||at Montreal||44 – 0|
|June 1st||Albany Night-Mares||at Albany||34 – 6|
|June 8th||Bay State Warriors||at Bay State||26 – 0|
|June 15th||New Hampshire Freedom||August Martin||64 – 0|
|June 22nd||Bay State Warriors||August Martin||22 – 2|
|IWFL Championship Game|
|July 6th||Austin Outlaws||at Oregon||24 – 4|
(Click on the score to read the game write-up)
|2002 IWFL Final Standings|
|p-New York Sharks||7||0||1.000|
|Bay State Warriors||5||4||.625|
|New Hampshire Freedom||2||6||.250|
|Oklahoma City Lightning||5||3||.625|
|IWFL Eastern Division|
|New Hampshire Freedom|
|New York Sharks|
|IWFL Western Division|
|Oklahoma City Lightning|