LINGERIE BOWL PLAYER FEATURE: SASKATOON SIRENS, ANNE ERLER, LFL360.com by Mark Staffieri
During the Saskatoon Sirens magical season, no player has had her star shine brighter than Anne Erler. One of several US imports on the Sirens roster, the others being Ogom Chijindu, Tamar Fennell and Heather Furr, Erler took the snaps behind center. She was accustomed to the position having already played quarterback with her hometown Green Bay Chill in 2011.
In Green Bay, Erler accumulated 279 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes, while rushing for 139 yards. She also contributed on the defensive side of the ball, logging 6.5 tackles, 2 interceptions, and recovering 2 fumbles.
Although Erler’s offensive numbers with Saskatoon were not as prominent as her Green Bay numbers, she brought great leadership and stability to the Sirens offense. With a sparkling passer rating of 130.7, Erler had 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. Defensively, Erler came into her own leading all LFL Canada players with 6 interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown. Erler complemented this with 15 solo tackles and is a worthy candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year honors. “The pressure from our line and coverage from everyone else is what led me to be able to have the interceptions I had this year. Yes, [it is] a HUGE HONOR and I am stoked for our next game to raise my stats even higher!”
Perhaps Erler’s biggest challenge this season was determining how fans in Saskatoon would react to a new sports franchise in their community. “Only right off the bat – I mean it is hard to know what you are coming into on your first game and how many people will show up for a new franchise. However, knowing that Saskatoon is such a huge football sensation in Canada, I had high hopes, and they have been amazing for the Sirens.”
Nominated for the LFL Canada League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, Erler is one of only 5 LFL Canada players to be nominated for more than one award, along with Jessica Hopkins, Nikki Johnson, Katie Marshall and Stephanie Manou. “It is a huge honor. Quarterback is tough, being a leader is even tougher. Especially not having a lot of time with the girls and coaches in Saskatoon, I am very fortunate to have such a great staff and team behind me. If they didn’t trust me or believe in me, I wouldn’t have done as well. They are the ones that make me look good! Should be a team MVP!”
During her time with the Sirens, Erler has been identified with another prominent US import, Chicago Bliss quarterback Heather Furr. The two are known affectionately among fans as “Furrler.” Erler added, “She (Furr) catches everything I sling at her! Her support on and off the field, from help with understanding plays, to collaborating play calls in the huddles, has helped the team more than anyone noticed. Furr did not get the recognition she deserved, but the true fans and players know what contribution she has made. FURLER 4 LIFE.”
After a season that saw the Sirens finish with a league best 3-1 record, Erler can sum up, in one word, what it will take to win Lingerie Bowl Canada I…“Aggressiveness. Our girls have to come out ready to play. It is hard to beat a team twice – everyone who plays sports knows this. Their only real threat is Manou and that doesn’t say much when you look at [her] last stats with us. We shut her down to 40 yards or something ridiculous like that. We stop the run again and the game is ours. We are ready.”
Erler’s success in Saskatoon will be a huge asset when she returns to the Green Bay Chill. “The biggest gain that I had personally in Canada was the opportunity to work with new coaches and a new team. Learning different play styles and views of the game has helped me understand the game much better. I am bringing that back to Green Bay to help our rookies and veterans, hoping that this can help us succeed in the US this year.”