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Spirit Deflates, Women's Football Gets the Boot

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After a year and a half of fits and starts, the Richmond Spirit women's football team is officially kaput.

It was slated to be the city's first all-female, full-contact football team, but ownership instability and a lack of players finally forced coach/owner Talmech "Wolf" Williams to shut the team down.

"It just didn't work," says Catherine Masters, CEO of the National Women's Football Association. "[Williams] called at the last minute and they folded."

Former owner Jamal Mosley resigned from the team earlier this year, citing scheduling conflicts. That left Williams as the interim coach and general manager. But the responsibility of filling both jobs and other complications were too much for him, he said.

There were other challenges, too. The team was still without a stadium in which to play in Richmond and had scheduled only three games — with teams from Baltimore; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Bristol, Tenn. — for this spring.

The games that the Spirit were scheduled to play are now vacant, Masters says, causing a scheduling problem for the league and potential revenue losses.

Recently, Williams expressed dismay at the lack of assistance from the league, in terms of finances and equipment, and the dwindling numbers of players who showed up for tryouts, conditioning and practices. "The league needs to be more involved in the search for an owner," Williams says.

With no owner, general manager or coach, Masters says, the league will make a decision by the fall about whether to continue pursuing a team in Richmond. S

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