Sports: Playing the field

[Ed. Note: qnotes is proud to bring you our new sports feature and would like to introduce its contributor, Jon Hoppel. Hoppel is an active member of the sports community. He serves on the Carolina Softball Alliance board and the Charlotte Royals rugby team. Hoppel also plays on a traveling softball team based out of Knoxville. We are excited to have Hoppel’s contribution to qnotes and look forward to bringing you continuing LGBT sports coverage.]

As spring quickly approaches, the sports leagues and teams of the Carolinas start to prepare for their respective seasons. In this section, we hope to bring you the recap of games, tournaments and league results, as well as previews of upcoming events that are happening in or around the Southeast.

Rugby

The Charlotte Royals Rugby Football team started their season off with a tough loss at home on Feb. 25 to Table Rock, 124-14. It was a hard-fought game and the Royals played tough despite being down a man most of the match. Royals President Thomas Southerland had this to say after the match: “Our first match of the season is always the roughest for new and returning players. It usually serves as a crash course/refresher on the sport of rugby. Although we did some good things on the pitch, the match highlighted some areas of improvement.”

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Earning Man of the Match honors were David June for the backs, who scored one of the two tries for the Royals, and J.T. Wentz for the forwards. The Royals look to bounce back with two road games versus the Columbus Coyotes on March 17 and against Davidson College on March 24 before their rematch with Table Rock on April 14. For more information about the team, practice and game locations check out their website by visiting charlotteroyals.org.

Softball

The Carolina Softball Alliance is gearing up for their Spring 2012 season, which will begin Sunday, April 15. This will be the 16th season of the only LGBT slow-pitch softball league in the Queen City with the “goal of providing a welcoming, but competitive atmosphere for the community,” says President Ron Tessner.

To get things started this season, two clinics will be held on successive weekends, March 25 and April 1 at Veteran’s Park, for those players wanting to join the league. It is recommended that interested ball players attend one of these two sessions in order to get a feel for the league, be rated and placed with an appropriate team if you do not have one already.

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Also, the league will be sending a D-level team to the Southern Shootout in Birmingham, Ala., on Easter weekend, April 6-8, and the Big Peach Softball tournament in Atlanta, Ga., Memorial Day weekend. Tryouts for this team will be held at Ferguson Park in Gastonia, N.C., on March 18 from 2-5 p.m. If you cannot attend this tryout or either of the two clinics, but are still interested in joining CSA, the league asks that you contact them directly through email at info@carolinasoftball.org or by visiting their website at carolinasoftball.org.

Tennis

Queen City Tennis Club is an organization here in Charlotte that promotes the game of tennis in the LGBT community. They meet every Sunday starting April 1, at Park Road Park (unless otherwise noted on their website) from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. They welcome all ages and skill levels, so check out their website if you are interested in learning more at qctc.org.

If you have an LGBT-friendly sport or tournament you would like to have covered email sports@goqnotes.com. : :

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