With female football starting to grow in Australia, fans will be treated by the presence of a group of future superstars. Sindy Cummings and Markie Henderson are among a group of Las Vegas Sin players who shall be extending their seasons by competing down under.
Cummings and Henderson made such an impression during the Sin’s 2014 campaign that they earned the respect of veteran Danika Brace, who ranked fifth in the league in tackles. Of note, she mentioned them in her farewell address to the team.
Ironically, Brace will be their opponents heading into the Australian campaign, as she will suit up for the Victoria Maidens. The thought of Brace possibly intercepting a Cummings pass or tackling Henderson will certainly be a different experience.
Joining the Queensland Brigade as its field general shall be Cummings. Despite a frustrating winless season in Las Vegas, Cummings emerged as a breakthrough star, with a sparkling rookie campaign that saw her log 10 touchdown passes with zero interceptions.
Her 286 passing yards ranked in the league’s top five, while she led all passers with a 100.3 passer rating. Along with Rookie of the Year winner Dakota Hughes (who led all quarterbacks with 324 passing yards), they comprise a new generation of elite quarterbacks.
Along with Cummings, Sin teammates LaChelle Forman and Cynthia Schmidt shall continue their seasons with Queensland. Forman brings stability to the offensive line, giving Cummings a familiar face to protect her. Schmidt would finish the Sin season with 9.5 total tackles, while ranking second on the club with 89 receiving yards and leading all players with four touchdowns.
In the absence of Henderson playing for a rival club down under, Schmidt shall likely emerge as Cummings’ favorite target on the Queensland offense. With Remy Olinzock from the Toledo Crush also suiting up for the Queensland Brigade, it will provide the club with a pair of solid two-way players.
Known affectionately as Lil’ Train, Markie Henderson emerged as a premier receiver, giving Las Vegas one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in the league. She tied with Chicago’s Chris’Dell Harris for first in receptions. Of note, she averaged 11.5 yards per catch (Harris has 14.1).
While she accounted for 40% of the team’s receiving yardage, complemented by three TD receptions, she was equally adept in the running game. She would finish her rookie campaign as the team’s rushing leader, while leading all Sin players in combined yards from scrimmage with 211 yards.
Perhaps more impressive was the brutal hit that she laid out on Chicago Bliss cornerback Dominique Collins. Taking into account that Henderson is 5’3” and 120 pounds, she flattened Collins, who measures in at 5’5” and 135 pounds. Video footage went viral as Henderson proved she was not to be taken lightly.
The versatility that Henderson showed in her game will make her a welcome addition to the Western Australia Angels. Joining her on the team shall be marquee running back Tamar Fennell. Of note, Fennell is the only player to have logged an indoor football touchdown in Canada (with the Saskatoon Sirens), the United States (Cleveland Crush) and in Australia (having played in 2013).
While the strong performance of Cummings and Henderson were the highlights in a difficult season of transitions for Las Vegas, it supplies the fan base with the faith that better days shall come soon. The chance to compete in Australia and polish their already strong game may prove to be the turning point in what transforms them from a winless squad to a proud championship team.