To fans of the Manitoba Fearless, Roxanna Cox is better known as the team’s starting quarterback. On the international stage, Cox competed at the Wide Receiver position with the Canadian contingent that nabbed the silver medal at the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Football Championships.
Her road towards the global stage at the 2013 Worlds in Vantaa, Finland started on home soil in the summer of 2012. With Football Canada hosting the first-ever National Women’s Championships, it also served as an opportunity to evaluate talent. Quarterbacking Team Manitoba, she was recognized as the team’s Most Valuable Player in their contest versus Team Saskatchewan.
Competing at Finland found Cox ranking fifth on the Canadian contingent in receiving. Appearing in every game for Canada, her best effort was a 34 yard game against the host country Finland. Perhaps the most impressive aspect was that Cox was actually a few weeks pregnant at the time.
Of note, her first win for the Fearless came against cross-town rival, the North Winnipeg Nomads Wolf Pack. Her initial exposure to football came at the age of eight when she started playing touch football. After several years of competing at the game (as a center on offense and safety on defense), a friend invited her to practice with the Fearless. The opportunity for a player as green as Cox to rise so quickly in less than two years is not only testament to her talent, but the opportunities that women’s football can provide.
While competing against the Saskatoon Valkyries in 2012, the franchise that would eventually win three straight league titles, was a “Welcome to the WWCFL” moment, the lessons learned shall serve Cox. The struggles for Cox and her team to move the ball offensively against Saskatoon are part of the learning curve of competing at an elite level.
Heading into 2014, Cox brings tremendous optimism to the gridiron. Despite the sensation of being an overnight sensation in the game, her role as quarterback is one she takes very seriously. As the Fearless are a team in transition (the squad had a franchise-best 47 players on its 2013 roster), her vigor and passion will only help inject the confidence required to compete against the likes of Prairie Conference rivals such as Saskatoon and the Regina Rage.