Playing the field: Leagues announce season kick-offs

Match-ups from across the Carolinas

by Jon Hoppel  Contributing Writer  
Published: February 1, 2013 in Playing the Field

Welcome to a new year of great sports, events and competition. Most area sports are just getting started up this time of year, so it is the perfect time to go check one out, get involved and, finally, follow through with that New Years’ resolution to get more active!

Here is a rundown of all the spring sports the Queen City has to offer. Keep in mind, some schedules may change throughout the season and we will try to provide updated information as needed.

Rugby

The Royals are looking to build on a successful fall season with a big, meaty schedule that kicks off Feb. 16 and runs through the end of May, which includes two tournaments. It is an ambitious undertaking, one which will be as rewarding as it is daunting. An introduction (Rugby 101) to the game of rugby is given at the beginning of every season for any persons interested in playing or just to learn more about the sport.

Charlotte Royals Schedule Spring 2013

Feb. 2, Rugby 101 at Cordelia Park
Feb. 16, Gastonia Gargoyles (Home)
March 9, Atlanta Bucks (Home
March 23, Columbia Grey (Home)
April 13, Gastonia Gargoyles (Away)
April 27, Nashville Grizzlies Tournament
May 11, Charleston (Home) Prom Dress Match
May 25, Chicago Dragons Tournament

Roller Derby

The world of Roller Derby welcomed a new team to its ranks with the formation of the G*Force Gastonia Roller Derby Club this year. Team founder Kristen Litvak announced a nine-game schedule which spans from March until November, so spectators will have plenty of opportunities to catch them in action. All home bouts this season will be at Kate’s Skating Rink in Gastonia, N.C.

March 16, Smoky Mountain Roller Girls (Away)
April 27, Ring City Roller Girls (Away)
May 12, Smoky Mountain Roller Girls (Home)
June 29, Spartanburg Deadly Dolls (Away)
July 13, Rogue Roller Girls (Away)
July 27, Spartanburg Deadly Dolls (Home)
Aug. 24, Marietta Deadly Darlins (Away)
Oct. 6, Eastern Carolina Brawling Betties (Home)
Nov. 17, Rogue Roller Girls (Home)

The Charlotte Roller Girls schedule was slated to be announced in January, but was not available at press time. To learn more about the team or to see their schedule, visit charlotterollergirls.com.

Softball

The Carolina Softball Alliance (CSA) starts their new season on March 24 at a brand new location. This year, CSA has moved to Revolution Park off of Remount Rd. in southwest Charlotte. Games will still be played on Sunday afternoons and the league welcomes all ages and skill levels. For more information about joining and playing, go to their website at carolinasoftball.org.

Bowling

The Charlotte Rainbowlers bowling league resumed in January, just before the midway point of their season. The league rolls almost every Monday evening at AMF Centenial Lanes on South Blvd. at 7:30 p.m. If you are interested in a less physically-demanding, beer-enhanced sport, then check them out at the lanes, or hit them up on Facebook under Charlotte Rainbowlers at facebook.com/groups/26087579212/.

And, finally, a quick NFL recap and Super Bowl prediction. It is really amazing what advanced medicine and training techniques are capable these days. Twenty years ago players like Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning would not have nearly the same effect on the field as they did this year. Both deserve the NFL MVP, but I have to give it to Peterson for taking a below average team on his back and getting them to the playoffs. And, I thought that even before Peyton got knocked out of the playoffs by Ray Lewis and his farewell tour.

In the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers will be facing off against the Baltimore Ravens on Feb. 3 at the New Orleans Superdome. Both teams come in red hot and it looks to be a hotly contested game. The Ravens’ defense put a wallop on the Patriots in the AFC Championship and they will be looking to do the same against the 49ers second year QB Colin Kaepernick to stop their high powered offensive attack. I do not think they will and the 49ers should take home their first Super Bowl since 1994. : :