Ahead of their first USAFL action of the season, the Tigers welcomed USAFL Revolution coach Tom Ellis to the Red Stick. During a four-hour clinic, Coach Ellis introduced some new drills and techniques to the team in an effort to improve both overall fitness and skills. Thanks, Coach!
Due to factors beyond control, the St. Pete Swans will be unable to make the trip to Baton Rouge this coming weekend and instead will be coming into town September 23rd with the Atlanta Kookaburras.
But footy will be played in Baton Rouge this Saturday, as the Tigers will take the field for their third Metro League game of the season. So come on out to Westdale Middle School at 2:00 on Saturday, May 6th to see the Tigers in action!
The afterparty will still commence at Happy’s Downtown starting at 5:00, so be sure to stop in for some lip-smackin’ jambalaya and happy hour specials all night long!
Saturday marks the beginning of our 2017 Metro League season, and the first live game action this year in which the Tigers can test the skills they’ve been building on since January.
The game kicks off at 10:00 at Highland Road Park and will feature the Gold and Navy squads going head-to-head. Family and friends are always encouraged to attend and support their Tigers and anyone with an interest in the game is invited.
Following the siren, the players will be holding a Family Day event at Tin Roof Brewing Company at 2:30 p.m. From 2:00 – 6:00, Tin Roof will be celebrating the Rusted Rye IPA release with live music and a chicken wing cook-off and have graciously invited us to be a party to the festivities.
Anyone and everyone is invited to come on out and support the Baton Rouge Tigers as we get ready to kick off the 2017 Season!
At the conclusion of the season, the Tigers held their annual AGM meeting at the always-hospitable Tin Roof Brewing Company to discuss election of officers, proposals for new merchandise, sponsorship, recruitment, and team dues for the 2017 season. Your newly elected 2017 officers are:
President: Josh Cartmill
Vice President: Cole Hilgenkamp
Treasurer: John Zimmerman
This group is committed to representing a Tiger squad that has never looked stronger following an impressive showing at Nationals. Led by coach Matt Heintze, the 2017 Tigers look to build on the success of the back end of last season and take their winning ways at home on the road this year!
Although official training sessions and Metro League games have yet to begin, you’ll find the Tigers shedding the offseason rust Saturday mornings at 10:00 at Westdale Middle School. For official updates on the Baton Rouge Tigers training schedule, visit the Baton Rouge Tigers Australian Football Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/13181053834/.
As always, for any questions or to join the Baton Rouge Tigers for the 2017 season, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It was an early lightning filled morning when I got the call to join the Tigers on their team truck, a black suburban named Tequila.
Although the team bus has been ready and willing, the logistics have not played in favor. Luckily the driver seat of Tequila was open and I was eager and overjoyed to have the opportunity to ride with (drive) the bulk of the team. Coach Neil, Rob, and Mark had already made the trek to Houston in order to scout the area. In our truck was Adam & Josh, Ryan & Ryan, and the Aussies in the back: Matt and Mitch. We had decided that sitting alphabetical order would improve the feng shui of the trip.
The drive started at 4:15 am from Cartmill Ranch, which is just outside of Baton Rouge. Our 7th passenger was held up from the torrential rains that evening, but managed a ride with FOTT (Friend Of The Team) Maryanne, who was making the trip to Houston for the sole purpose of supporting her Baton Rouge Tigers, and taking care of other business during while in Houston. Around the halfway point, Tequila stopped for some human fuel at the Cracker Barrel, an establishment made for King’s of the Road who crave breakie at all hours of the day. Mitch was only able to leave 3 pegs on the puzzle. Throughout almost the whole drive, thunderstorms and rain came rolling in like Stannis Berathean’s warships during the Battle of King’s Landing.
Finally, as the team eased Tequila into a slow halt, allowing her ancient springs a moments rest, we realize the pitch had been relocated to another park. And again, off we were to face the now delayed challenge of our arch-friends the Houston Lonestars.
There’s a long friendly history between The Lonestars and The Tigers, and it didn’t stop until the first whistle after warm ups. The Lonestars pulled ahead early, winning several contests inside shooting range. At the start of the second quarter, the Tiger’s regrouped and organized their lines and began contesting marks with a bit more authority. However, Houston did not let up and continued to add to their lead.
The third and fourth quarters began to rise in physicality as the players started to get tired. The moisture heat rose out of the ground like a basaltic lava flow fueled by the solar radiation of the now visible sun. When the final whistle blew, the Lonestars emerged as victors.
There were some great moments for the Tigers during the game. Rookie Ryan Baldassaro had a spectacular mark just above the reaching hands of the mob-filled contest. He managed to calibrate his boots and sink his shot on goal. Ryan Moran showed bull-dozer qualities in driving to the ball, sometimes from 15 meters away only to explode through the other side of the pile with the skippy-skin. Both of the Ryan’s showed glorious potential and a positive future for the Tigers. They were both recognized by Coach Neil after the game. Veteran player and Club President Josh Cartmill came away with Coach Neil’s approving nod as the Tiger’s best man on the pitch.
The whole day served as a stark reminder that you should get out and enjoy the day at its fullest. The Houston Lonestars Ruggles Cup is played in memory of Ruggles, a solid Lonestar Footy player, and the Ruggles Family was properly honored at the start of the match. Also, April 25th was the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI. ANZAC Day is remembered annually and is comparable to America’s Veteran’s Day, as a remembrance of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in preserving the way of life we know and love.
A beautifully orchestrated service with a trumpeter playing the Last Post and a silent moment for the Ruggles Family wrapped up the field activities for the day. Despite the morning rainy weather, the day turned out to be quite brilliant.
After the game, the Tigers went to the team locker room, provided by La Quinta, and Shh, showered, and shaved in preps for the ANZAC remembrance event put on by the Houston Lonestars Footy Club for the City of Houston. Never have so many fake Australian accents turned out to be real ones; as the place was packed with Aussies. Footy players, families, and other American counterparts joined in the fun with a replay of some AFL action on an imported outdoor television while the joeys bounced in the inflatable castle. There were even footies flying through the air like a scene from Deep Impact. Also, a uniquely Aussie menu was prepared by The Pheonix on Westheimer, the host site of the event. Aussie burgers, sausage rolls, and more helped bring the day a little closer to home for our expats.
Despite the loss, the Tigers walked away with some experience for the rookies, some play time for the veterans, and a continuation of the awesome friendly relationship between The Lonestars and The Tigers.