Playing the Field: Athletes show strength; McCarthy remembered

Match-ups from across the Carolinas

Howdy sports fans! I hope everyone is enjoying nice spring weather, which has been a long time coming. Here’s hoping that the extreme high pollen count has not dampened your resolve to go out and play, watch and support your local LGBT sports teams. In that vein, here is what you might have missed and what you should not miss over the coming weeks!

Softball

After some early season weather delays, the Carolina Softball Alliance will be starting up their season the last weekend in April, Sunday the 27. This season, games will be played at Clanton Road Park until construction comes to an end at Revolution Park. This diverse league, in skill level and participants, is looking forward to its largest group of teams yet in its seven-year history. If you are interested in watching some fun and exciting softball in a laid back atmosphere, check out their game schedule at carolinasoftball.org.

Kickball

Kelsey Bendig (captain), Grayson Barton, Shannon Bennett, Andrea Blanton, Keith Burns, Katie Kaiser, Jess King, Jessica Kluge, Carina Lucero, Brendon Osmer, Brice Taylor, and Brandee Winkler. Photo Credit: Lauren Bendig

Kelsey Bendig (captain), Grayson Barton, Shannon Bennett, Andrea Blanton,
Keith Burns, Katie Kaiser, Jess King, Jessica Kluge, Carina Lucero,
Brendon Osmer, Brice Taylor, and Brandee Winkler.
Photo Credit: Lauren Bendig

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On Saturday, April 12, Charlotte held the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Co-ed Kickball Tournament at Runde Park. Four teams battled on a beautiful sunny day for the title of kickball champions, all in the name of “kicking cancer in the balls!” The four teams were the Pink Panthers, Saving Second Base, Kick Teasers and The Rack Pack. In the double elimination format, two teams emerged to face off in the final, The Rat Pack and the Pink Panthers. Led by Kelsey Bendig, The Rack Pack was able to squeak out a win 5-3 to take home the victory. Organized by Lauren Bendig and her family, Mallory, Kelsey, Lugene and Tom, the event raised over $1,200 to help fight the battle against breast cancer. If you would like to donate to this cause and lend your support to bring an end to this terrible disease, visit info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk/Charlotteteam_id=127630&pg=team&fr_id=2367.

Rugby

The Charlotte Royals push their defense against UNCC. Photo Credit: Zechariah Sanders

The Charlotte Royals push their defense against UNCC.
Photo Credit: Zechariah Sanders

The Charlotte Royals finally had their season-and-a-half winning streak stopped in April after two losses to two formidable teams. The first came against the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC) men’s rugby team at their beautiful campus on a cool, muddy afternoon. The match was extremely well-contested in the first half, with neither team able to break into the scoring column until 20 minutes into the first half. UNCC took an early lead, followed by the Royals matching them quickly. The score was 10-20 in UNCC’s favor with five minutes to go in the first half when Danny Wadsworth was able to rumble into the endzone for a try, making the score 17-20. However, Charlotte fell asleep on the ensuing kickoff and let UNCC score right before halftime, resulting in a 17-27 deficit. UNCC rode that wave of momentum throughout the second half, scoring at will and won the contest 17-69.

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The Charlotte Royals take on the UNCC rugby team. Photo Credit: Zechariah Sanders

The Charlotte Royals take on the UNCC rugby team.
Photo Credit: Zechariah Sanders

Charlotte next played the Table Rock Gargoyles in an away match down in Gastonia, N.C. On this picturesque April Saturday, both teams were amped to face off against each other again since Charlotte won their last meeting this past season. The first half was exceedingly close as well, with Table Rock only holding a 14-point lead at halftime. But, Charlotte was unable to produce any offense for most of the game, losing almost every scrum and 50/50 ball to the relentless Gargoyle team. The final score was 14-45.

These two losses should be a good motivator for the rest of the season as they try to build momentum going into the Bingham Cup in August. The team’s next matches are a round-robin tournament in Charlotte on April 26 versus the Nashville Grizzlies and the Charleston Blockade, followed by another round-robin tournament in Nashville the next weekend against the Grizzlies and the Atlanta Bucks. For times and locations of these matches, check out their webpage on Facebook at facebook.com/CharlotteRoyalsRFC.

In Memoriam
Allen McCarthy, 6/15/67-4/14/14

Photo Credit: Jeff Enochs

Lastly, it is with a heavy heart that I have to report that the Charlotte Royals lost one of its founding members in mid-April. Allen McCarthy passed away on Monday, April 14, surrounded by his family, friends and partner Grayson Tucker, after a four-year-long battle with cancer. Always upbeat and wearing a smile on his face, Allen was the heart and soul of the Royals’ first few years of existence. His leadership and tenacity on the field could only be matched by the work he did off the field, serving as president, secretary, treasurer or any other position the team needed at any given time. And, despite being diagnosed with such a horrible disease, his positive and loving personality never wavered, watching and supporting the team whenever he could. He will truly be missed by everyone that came across him in their life. : :

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