Player Profile: Michael Cussen

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Name:           Michael Cussen
Hometown:  Melbourne, Australia
Height:          6’0″      Weight:   200 lbs.
Favorite AFL Team:   Essendon Bombers

A free agent acquisition last year from the Land of Oz, Michael Cussen quickly became a key pillar of a resurgent Baton Rouge Tigers team in 2016, demonstrating great leadership both on the field and off as he was instrumental in the Tigers ability to hold the Houston Lonestars to just two behinds in their first game back after the flooding that year, as well as playing a central role in the Tigers winning 2 out of 3 games in Sarasota.

Mike will be returning to his hometown in just a few short days, but certainly left an impression before doing so, and no example was more clear than when he took perhaps the most spectacular mark in Tigers’ history two weekends ago in our third Metro League game of the season.

To a great teammate, great friend, and all-around great human being, Mike, you will be sorely missed. Best of luck in all your future endeavors and I hope you always look on your time in Baton Rouge fondly.

 

Player Profile: Ryan Baldassaro

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Name:           Ryan “Baldy” Baldassaro
Hometown:  New Orleans, Louisiana
Height:          5’10”      Weight:   170 lbs.
Favorite AFL Team:   Fremantle Dockers

A third year veteran, and distinguished as the best on field for the Tigers in their recent matchup against Houston, Ryan Baldassaro sports the No. 5 jersey and can frequently be found flying around the midfield and causing havoc for opposing teams. An aggressive player who’s swift to the ball, Ryan is fearless at the point of contact, but can sometimes get caught up spectating as the play progresses.

When the mouthguard comes out, Ryan is busy finishing up his final year at LSU, where he will soon be graduating and pursuing a career in construction management.

 

 

This Just In: Tampa Match Postponed

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!

Next Up: St. Petersburg Swans/Tampa Bay ARFC

The Tigers enter this weekend’s contest brimming with confidence, having notched a neutral/road victory in Houston two weeks ago; a feat they failed to accomplish in 2016. They hope to build on that success against the visiting Swans and protect their home turf, where they were undefeated last year.

The St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay will be looking to go home from Baton Rouge with a better outcome than last year, where Baton Rouge defeated then 12.9.81 to 9.4.58. The Swans, who are consistently a good traveling club, will bring a strong and determined side with something to prove, having made the Division IV Finals at the 2016 Nationals, whereas the Tigers finished 5th.

Both sides are poised to make a lot of noise in 2017 and this match is setting itself up to be a great contest. So, if you like tough, hard-nosed football then you need to be at Clark Park on Saturday, May 6th at 2:00 p.m.!

Following the match, we are “happy” to welcome anyone and everyone to join us for the afterparty starting at 5:00 p.m. at Happy’s Downtown in downtown Baton Rouge. A special thanks to them for agreeing to hosting the event.

2017 Ruggles Cup Summary

After three months of hard training, the Tigers left Baton Rouge Friday night in search of their first live action of the USAFL season. After taking in the sights and sounds of beautiful Houston, Texas, they made their way to Cullen Park for their annual showdown with the Lonestars.

The Tigers’ first match of the day for the Ruggles Cup was against a Houston squad that just defeated Tulsa/OKC by a comfortable margin. It was easy to see that the Lonestars continued to fire on all cylinders early in the first half as the Tigers struggled for answers to slow down the Houston midfielders and keep the ball out of our defensive 50. After several halftime adjustments, and with some encouragement from Coach Heintze, the second half saw a group of Tigers playing with an increased confidence and intensity around the ball that helped them to win a few more contests and eventually kick 2.2.14 for the match. However, it was not enough to stop the Lonestars from kicking 12.7.79 and retaining the Ruggles Cup for 2017. Tigers Best: Ryan Baldasarro

The Tigers took a few breaths and regrouped to face off against Tulsa/OKC in their second game. We expected a tough, well coached club to make the trip down from Tulsa and they did not disappoint. However, the adjustments made in the second half of the first match were carried over into this contest, and there was no lack of intensity to be found from the Tigers in this one. As a result, the Tigers had more success moving the ball forward to impact the scoreboard than the Buffaloes. In the end, we pulled out our first victory of the season with a final of 7.7.49 to 3.5.23. Tigers Best: Austin LeBouef

All three clubs and supporters gathered at The Pheonix on Westheimer to celebrate the day. Meat pies were devoured, ice cold beers were drank, and rookies did their shots! A wonderful way to end a fantastic day of footy!

 

Next up: St. Pete/Tampa Bay on May 6th at 2pm at Clark Park in Baker, LA.