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Las Cruces Regulators: Women’s pro tackle football team finishes first season strong

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It was a successful first season for the Cruces Regulators, the city’s professional women’s tackle football team, which finished 4-2.

“It was a great first season and we plan to come back even better than ever for the next one,” Regulators General Manager (GM) Jamar Cotton said on the team’s Facebook page. “I can say with much love and respect we have one of the best D3 (Women’s Football Alliance [WFA] Division 3) teams to do it.

“We look forward to the growth this off-season will give us to come back and represent our city, state and women’s football,” Cotton added.

The Regulators closed out their season May 28 with a 20-6 win over the Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz at the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces – they also beat the Thunderkatz May 7 in Colorado Springs. On May 21, Las Cruces completed a two-game sweep of the Sun City Stealth 48-20 in El Paso.

The team’s only two losses of the season were to the top two seeds in the WFA’s American Conference – the Arizona Outkast and the Oklahoma City Lady Force.

“We had a lot to prove and we proved it,” tight end Cindy Pitts said before the Regulators’ final game of the season.

The entire team is grateful to the community for its support, Pitts said.

“We’re a family,” said defensive lineman Melinda Bennett. Having seven WFA All-America selections, “puts Las Cruces on the map,” she said.

For the Regulators, the season began as a hobby for team members who are now “living as a dream,” said cornerback Karla Garcia Romero.

All of the Regulators coaches had played football before, and some had coached women, wide receiver Mia Melchor said. “We learn as we go. We respect each other.”

All seven of the team’s 2022 All Americans said they recognize that the Regulators are blazing the trail for girls and women who want to play professional tackle football.

“This is just the beginning for the Cruces Regulators,” Pitts said.

“The success in our first year wouldn’t have been possible without dedicated women, coaches, support staff, community sponsors, family/friends and the owners, Derek Smith and Robert Rodriquez,” Cotton said. 

The Regulators who earned WFA All-America status are: running back/wide receiver/safety Wyshana Brooks and cornerback Karla Garcia Romero, first-team All-America; linebacker MariSol Martinez,  second team; and kicker Garbriela “Gabby” Cotton, offensive lineman Melinda Bennett, tight end Cindy Pitts and wide receiver Mia Melchor, all third team.

In addition to the team members who made All-America, The Regulators roster includes linebacker Gloria Hernandez, defensive back Sharde Papillon, defensive end Jessica Asmore, linebacker Bernina Gray, quarterback Mariah Bartlett, safety Javinava Scarbrough, safety La Nell Scarbrough, defensive lineman Sariah Salas, linebacker Veronica Flores, offensive lineman Perla Martinez, defensive back Tatiana Pannell, linebacker Lauren Thieman, wide receiver Deney Rae Evans, linebacker Destiny Apodaca, defensive lineman Melissa Garcia, running Ashley Johana False, running back Melissa Jurado, offensive lineman Jazmin Ceniceros, defensive lineman Joanne Pizarro, offensive lineman Janie Caballero, offensive lineman Xenia Perrien, offensive lineman Jazmine Moorer, defensive lineman Yvette Ceniceros, defensive lineman Susana Holguin and offensive lineman Kylee Anne Kipp.

The Regulators’ head coach is Brian Bartlett. Noah Bartlett is the offensive coordinator and B.J. Herrera is the defensive coordinator. Assistant coaches are Tre Bennett, Paul Mendoza and Anger Torres.

The Regulators will hold tryouts later this year for their 2023 season.

Visit www.crucesregulators.com and www.facebook.com/Crucesregulators. Also visit https://wfaprofootball.com/wfa-international/.