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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago Teams Struggle in Major Tourneys
by Ross Forman
2007-10-17

This article shared 2460 times since Wed Oct 17, 2007
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Well, there's always next year.

Chicago couldn't snag a championship in either of the major annual gay sporting events held in early October: the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance ( NAGAAA ) Softball World Series or Gay Bowl VII, the top flag football tournament.

The Chicago Flames were the football runners-up in 2006 and the 2005 championships, but they slipped to sixth place this year. The host New York Warriors retained the championship, defeating the San Diego Bolts in the title game. The Los Angeles Motion came in third, followed by the San Diego Sharks and Boston Hancocks.

The Flames went 2-3, defeating the D.C. Metros and the New York Bad Apples, but losing to Boston ( twice ) and the Bolts.

'The bar has been raised by the teams participating this year,' said Gil Minor, the Flames' quarterback. 'We've got a lot of good talent and a lot of good athletes. We just have to match the preparation level needed to win because, quite simply, the [ other ] teams have gotten better. The play was better overall this year [ versus ] last year.

'New York has definitely set the bar.'

Minor threw 12 touchdown passes, yet was intercepted six times. Will Ward also threw three TD passes for the Flames.

Kevin Haight and Brian Kane were two of the Flames' top two-way players.

'Everyone played hard and well. The chips just didn't go our way,' Minor said. 'We made mistakes early [ in one of the games ] and it was hard to come back. But ultimately it's a fun event, a good time … and we all have to keep that in mind.

'That said, we're one of the teams that's expected to do well and [ potentially ] win [ the championship ] , so we'll have to be a little more prepared in the future. Hopefully this was a good learning experience for us.'

Minor said some of the Flames might have been affected by playing time—too much of it. 'One thing that hurt us was not having as many bodies as we've had [ in the past ] , so, a bunch of people who'd normally play [ only ] 60 percent [ of the game ] were having to go both ways. They eventually got tired and wore down.'

None of the male of female softball teams made it to the championship game.

'I thought we sent solid teams, but each obviously just came up against stiff competition,' in Phoenix, said Joe Cappelletti, commissioner of the 2007 CMSA softball league. 'When you get to the Series, the teams are tough, at all levels.

'Sure, it's frustrating that none of the teams finished in the top three because we put together some good teams; that is a little disappointing. The teams and players were quality.'

The Softball World Series has traditionally been held at the end of August, but was pushed into October for the first time this year—and that might have impacted the Chicago showing, Cappelletti said, since the CMSA season ends in August. Thus, the Chicago teams were forced, 'to do something [ in September ] to stay competitive.'

In addition, Andy Rogers of the Chicago Blackwolves gay hockey team played for Team Vermont, which finished third in the 13th annual Friendship Tournament, held in Toronto the same weekend as the softball and flag football events.


This article shared 2460 times since Wed Oct 17, 2007
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