Friday, May 28, 2010


Saturday, June 5th is going to be a big night in Iowa Thunder football history. We are taking on the defending WFA Champions, the St. Louis Slam. For many of us on the Thunder this is a game that we’ve been looking forward to since the start of the season. Our goal from day one this year was to earn a berth into the playoffs, which we’ve accomplished. When I look back on the other goals we set as a team, there is one thing that drove me in pre season. There is one thought that made the conditioning, the sore muscles, broken bones, bone chilling temperatures bearable. My determination and strength came knowing that we would get a rematch against the Slam.
The final time we played the Slam last year was much closer than the score indicated. We’ve been working hard as a unit over the past two weeks. I am extremely excited for the upcoming practice week and for our game next Saturday. I was sent a video clip from my old coach on one of my favorite players in the NFL, Brian “Wolverine” Dawkins. I hope you find this video as remarkable and inspirational as I found it to be. A true Christian, Dawkins displays how to play like Goliath, while acting like David.
I hope all of you have a safe and happy Memorial Day. Remember to thank your veterans and those currently serving in our armed forces. It is because of these brave individuals that we enjoy the freedoms we have. May you always be remembered!

God Bless

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Radio Show

Huge thanks to our friends Blake Derouchey and Joe Earp for having us on their radio show last night. We appreciate the opportunity to share our passion of football with the Des Moines broadcasting area. Please take a look at the hour spot we were a part of at -
- under the saved shows for Tuesday, May 25th.

We hope to get a big turn out for our last regular season home game on Saturday, June 5th against the defending national champions, the St. Louis Slam. Your Iowa Thunder have been working hard the past two weeks to prepare for this showdown. See you under the lights!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We're going to the PLAYOFFS!!!!

THUNDER MOVE TO 4-1 AND SECURE PLAYOFF BERTHThe women of the Iowa Thunder took to the gridiron once again on Saturday against their divisional foes from Kansas City, the Spartans at Blue Devil Stadium. Several firsts for women’s football in the State of Iowa were on the line as the two teams took to the field. With a victory the Thunder would become the first team in states history to post back to back non-losing seasons and more importantly they would become the first team ever in states history to secure a playoff berth. The Women’s Football Alliance was calling this the game of the week as the previous week the Spartans just fell short of defeating the Minnesota Machine in a 13-12 slugfest.
This game started off in perfect fashion for the Thunder with their high powered offense taking the field first. As one fan put it at the end of the game, “Offensively it was the Matrix and Offensive Line show!” Following a 19 yard kickoff return by Jennifer Boling (11 Carries, 256 Yards, 3 Touchdowns), aka the Matrix, the Thunder coaching staff unleashed the newest formation in their arsenal, the Wild, and the Spartans would struggle all evening. Two plays and 46 yards later the Thunder were up 7-0 behind great blocking by the offensive line and receivers and the speed of Boling. The Thunder would never look back.
The Thunder defense would take an attitude of “bend but not break” on this night. Aided by untimely miscues by the Spartans the defense would secure its second shutout of the season (3rd if you take into account the only score in the first game of the season was a fumble return for a touchdown). Defensive End Jennifer Hirakawa (17 Total Tackles, 6 Tackles for Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles, and 1 Fumble Recovery) and Free Safety Kendra Parker (14 Total Tackles) would lead the way in corralling the Spartans. Key turnovers by Cornerback Amanda Braake (2 Interceptions) and Defensive End Love Brown (2 Forced Fumbles, 1 Fumble Recovery) would secure the victory 24-0.
The Thunder has three weeks off before there next contest at home versus the WFA Defending National Champion St. Louis Slam at Blue Devil Stadium on June 5th. “I am excited for my team that we secured this victory and once again established ourselves as the innovators in the sport of women’s football in this state. This time off could not have come soon enough as we have been struggling with some major injuries that have limited some of our key personnel. We will look to take the next couple of weeks and get everyone healthy and prepared for the last three games before heading into the playoffs,” stated Head Coach William Grimes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I’ve had an amazing opportunity over this past week to reflect on a single word, family.
According to Wikipedia, In human context, a family (from Latin: familiare) is an exclusive group of people who share a close relationship —a unit typically (or "traditionally") composed of a mated couple and their dependent children (procreation) in co-residence.
Blake, my cousin from California, recently stayed with us for a few days. It’s funny how a change in routine/pace can shape your whole attitude. Blake’s attitude is contagious. From the moment he landed in Des Moines I wasn’t able to wipe the smile off my face. Blake and I are more like brother and sister then cousins. For a period of time, it felt like he was the only family I had. We’ve been through so many ups and downs together in the short 25 years we’ve known each other.
Anyways, Blake was in town and was super excited to meet the women I play football with. He joined us at our Friday night practice to meet the team. Watching my football family and my real family come together was such a treat! It’s difficult for me to describe how much Blake means to me and what an influence he has had on the person I’ve become. I wasn’t expecting my teammates to understand exactly what I was feeling but somehow, someway, they just did.
Blake was able to make it to our game on Saturday against the Nebraska Stampede. I felt anxious, nervous and exhilarated all at the same time during that game. We had some healing to do as a team and I also had some healing to do with my family. For the next two hours we all played our hearts out. We finally got all eleven of us out there on that field to click, it was absolutely the most fantastic game I’ve been involved in since joining the Iowa Thunder back in 2008.
So I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to my Thunder Family. Thank you for helping me heal and thank you for being there. All of you hold such a special place in my heart and I’m so proud to have you as my FAMO!

Home Game This Saturday

The Iowa Thunder are getting ready to take on the Kansas City Spartans this Saturday, May 15th at 5:00 PM. Despite a never ending thunderstorm over Iowa this past week; making practice conditions difficult, the Thunder are ready to once again prove they are the best in their division.
Coming off a win over the Nebraska Stampede, Iowa Thunder are sitting well in their division and look forward to earning their first ever birth into the WFA play-offs.

Iowa Thunder are 3-1


On Saturday, the Thunder faced off for their second time against divisional opponent the Nebraska Stampede in Ralston, NE.
This game from the beginning would be dominated by phantom referee calls costing the Thunder not only excellent field position, but also a 56 yard punt return touchdown by WR/FS Kendra Parker. Despite the obvious 12th man the Stampede had with on the field, the Thunder’s stingy defense and explosive offense would not be held back.
Quarterback Angela Schraeder connected with WR/FS Kendra Parker for a 32 yard strike to make the score 7-0 late in the first quarter. DE Jennifer Hirakawa, who in this game played in more of an outside linebacker roll would pick off two passes in the second quarter that led to a 12 yard run by TB Jennifer Boling to make the score 14-0 going into the half.
At halftime, Head Coach William Grimes and Offensive Coordinator Isaiah Shnurman decided to go double tight and pound the Stampede defense and run the clock. TB Jennifer Boling and FB Lulu Keoouthai would rip off big yardage including an amazing 51 yard touchdown run by Boling that put away the game in the middle of the third quarter.
The Stampede would eventually score on a broken assignment by the Thunder defense that made the score 21-6 late in the fourth quarter, but as most great teams do the Thunder would respond. With less than 21 seconds left in the game, the Stampede chose to kickoff instead of going for the onside kick. RB/DB Allie Millonig picked up the kick and scampered down the sideline for a 66 yard touchdown and a final score of 28-6.
“Despite what seemed like us most of the game playing not only against the Stampede but also the refs, I am very proud of my team. You always know that playing on the road and playing someone for the second time is going to be a tough thing to do. The Stampede are a team that is improving every week they play and as I told them when we circled up at the end of the game. Keep working, the wins come eventually.” Stated Head Coach William Grimes following the game.
The Thunder are at home on May 8, 2010 at 5pm at Martensdale-St. Mary’s Blue Devil Stadium against the Kansas City Spartans

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We've Got Player Cards!

The Iowa Thunder would like to give a huge thank you to team photographer, Robbie Lydic, for the amazing pictures he’s taken at our last two home games. We appreciate all the time and effort he’s made capturing our passion of football. Recently, Robbie even made Iowa Thunder player cards. It is extremely awesome to have these moments captured and on display. Thank you Robbie for all that you do!

Monday, May 3, 2010


On Saturday, the Iowa Thunder hosted their divisional rival the Minnesota Machine at Martensdale-St. Mary’s Blue Devil Stadium. This contest was setup as a Battle for Bragging Rights and the winner would hold a firm grip on the outcome of the Midwest Division of the Women’s Football Alliance.
The game began has many anticipated with both offenses struggling to find any kind of consistency against stout defenses on both sides. Coach Grimes of the Thunder said before the game, “This game will come down to a couple of key things. First and foremost we cannot make the mental mistakes that plagued us last year in the second contest against the Machine in Minnesota and second can we contain Machine Quarterback Kim Miller. Miller is a rare player that is a converted running back to Quarterback that still possesses a great ability to run and make the big play."
The entire first quarter would see the Thunder and Machine trade big hit after big hit. The Machine would strike first however in the 2nd quarter when they put together an impressive 74 yard drive behind the strong running of Miller and Tailback Yolanda Searcy. Penalties and issues with the Machine’s formation would eventually end with a great five yard touchdown run by Machine Fullback Melisa Schuelter. The Machine would hold that score into halftime.
At halftime, Coach Grimes of the Thunder was forced to make a decision that few Coaches would make. Defensive End/Linebacker Jennifer Hirakawa who had five solo tackles and two assists which helped to contain the Machine offense in the first half suffered an injury. Despite Hirakawa’s known toughness and guile, Coach Grimes along with his training staff made the decision to sit her in the second half. “As I told the players after the game, this is just one game and in all the years I have played and coached football one game does not make a season. There was no point in me risking further injury to a player,” stated Grimes when asked after the game.
Even with Hirakawa out of the game the 2nd Half started in a fashion that left the fans at Blue Devil Stadium thinking this was still the Thunder’s night. Cornerback Allie Millonig picked off Miller and stormed down the sideline for a 57 yard touchdown that tied the score at 7-7 and gave new life to the Thunder.
As many good teams do when faced with this situation, the Machine responded with a quick strike by Miller that led to a 14-7 score and deflated the Thunder’s hopes of coming back on this night. In the 2nd half the Thunder made many mental mistakes on Offense and Defense which allowed the Machine to burn almost 22 minutes of the 2nd half and a final score of 21-7.
After the game Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Isaiah Shnurman stated, “I hope this loss will prove to be a positive. I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes when you loss you actually gain more, because it drives you to become a better individual player and a better team as a whole. We are a very confident team and we know what we are capable of doing. It really boils down to not making mental mistakes. In any football game when you have two good teams, the one that makes the most mistakes will lose most of the time. We made far too many mistakes in every facet of the game. Like Coach Grimes said after the game to the team, this game is over, not the season. We still have the opportunity to win out the year and win the division. We have work to do this week.”
The Thunder’s next game is this Saturday, May 8th in Nebraska at 1pm.