USGAA Newsletter: August 2019

2019 USGAA Finals Almost Upon Us.

The weekend of August 23-25 will see thousands of GAA folks from across the country descend on the historic town of Leesburg, VA for the 37th USGAA Finals. There are an incredible 21 championship titles to compete for in Men’s and Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie over the 3 days. Leesburg is located about 40 miles Northwest of Washington DC, and hosting the finals is a major event for the town as well as, of course, the Mid Atlantic Division.

The last time the division hosted the finals was in 1998 in Washington DC, and since then the division has grown from strength to strength. The venue is the immaculate Morven Park. There are 5 fields with a practice field for teams to warm up on, all located close together with playing surfaces that are second to none. There will be plenty of entertainment and food for the players and spectators during the day.

Games begin first thing on Friday morning and will continue until Finals Day on Sunday. This year there are added categories of Junior D Hurling and Ladies Junior C football to facilitate developmental teams, and while some divisions have yet to complete their own divisional championships, there will be a number of teams returning to defend titles from last year’s finals.

The Mid Atlantic division have a number of champions from 2018 in Philadelphia who are moving up a level to Junior A camogie and Junior B hurling. Teams are traveling not only from around the United States, but there are entries from Canada and the Cayman Islands. The three western divisions will be well represented with close to 20 teams traveling across the country.

Months of preparation have gone into planning for the weekend. Hotels, buses, sponsors, food, entertainment, setting up the fields, medical, trash, etc. are hitting the finishing touches to make the weekend a memorable one for all involved. Said Kaitlynn Glover, chairperson of the host committee, “The Mid-Atlantic Division GAA is honored to have the privilege to play host to the USGAA, GAA, LGFA, Camogie Association, Embassy of Ireland, Munster Council, and thousands of competitors at the 2019 USGAA National Finals. Over two decades have passed since the region last gave way to the level of competition a national tournament brings. In the years since the 1998 finals, the division has grown from one club to five thriving clubs with sixteen teams competing across the four codes, including numerous recreational leagues and its first youth program. As one of the smaller divisions in the USGAA, the excitement surrounding finals returning to the region has been echoed by the local community. Morven Park, Loudoun County, the Town of Leesburg and Ned Devine’s have been most gracious in helping to prepare to receive the USGAA athletes and make the experience a memorable one; from pristine pitches to top-notch dinning, the 2019 planning committee extends its deepest gratitude. As the chairperson of the host committee, I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge the extraordinary work, and numerous volunteer hours, the following individuals have contributed to make this year’s finals a phenomenal one: Jen and her understanding and supportive husband, Eamon O’Brien, and their daughter Kaitlynn Glover Bridget McCarthy and her entire media team – Johnny, Deb and Joe Karen Blum and Skip and Marcey Hunter Rebecca Levetzow Lauren Koebcke The Mid-Atlantic hopes participants will have a great Nationals and wishes the best of luck to all teams! Welcome to the Nation’s Capital.”

Best of luck to all.


As a reminder, below are the defending championship teams from last year’s Finals.

2018 USGAA FINALS PHILADELPHIA LIST OF WINNERS

Men’s Football

  • Senior Football: Donegal St. Patrick’s Philadelphia
  • Intermediate Football: Austin Celtic Cowboys – Southwest
  • Junior A Football: Setanta San Diego – Southwest
  • Junior B Football: Donegal St. Patrick’s Philadelphia
  • Junior C1 Football: Atlanta Clan na Gael – Southeast
  • Junior C2 Football: OC Wild Geese – Southwest
  • Junior D Football: Michael Collins – Mid Atlantic

Ladies Football

  • Senior: St. Bridget’s Chicago
  • Intermediate: St. Michael’s Toronto – Canada
  • Junior A: Charlotte James Connolly’s – Southeast
  • Junior B: Austin Celtic Cowboys – Southwest

Hurling

  • Senior: Tipperary Boston
  • Intermediate: Vancouver – Canada
  • Junior A: St. Peter’s San Diego – Southwest
  • Junior B: Allentown Philadelphia
  • Junior C: Coastal Virginia – Mid Atlantic

Camogie

  • Senior: Cu Chulainn – San Francisco
  • Intermediate: Toronto – Canada
  • Junior: Coastal Virginia – Mid Atlantic

Boston Northeast Update

This season there will be a record 9 teams from the Northeast division entering the USGAA Finals next weekend in Leesburg, Virgina.
Junior B Hurling and Intermediate Football have been added to the list of competitions within the division. At the time of writing 3 have been decided. The Connacht Ladies will be playing in the Ladies Senior Football competition having defeated the Boston Shamrocks 3 games to one in a best of 5 series.
The Junior C hurling championship has been decided. New team, Sean Og’s and Hartford met in last weekend’s final, with the young Home Grown players defeating the veterans.
The finals are coming up next weekend and there are 7 trophies at stake. The senior football championship will be contested between Donegal and Aidan McAnespies after a hard fought championship. Senior hurling sees favourites, Fr. Tom Burke’s meet Galway and the revived Intermediate competitions sees Shannon Blues take on Cork.
Donegal and Aidan McAnespies will also meet in the Junior A Football Final. Donegal are in the Junior B football final, and will be facing the Shannon Blues. Should Donegal win all three football championships it will be the first time the treble has been won in the Northeast. This year there is a new junior B hurling championship to win. Worcester Fenians and the New Hampshire Wolves will be fighting it out after Worcester finished top of the table, and the Wolves defeated Sean Og’s hurlers in the semi final. The Ladies junior football final features the Irish Sports Youth League who entered a team of players who came up through the youth ranks and the reigning champion Boston Shamrocks.
Results and schedule is available at www.gaaboston.com. We look forward to next weekend’s finals and wish all the best to the winners in the 2019 USGAA Finals!

Mid West Championships

The 10th of August saw the jewel in the crown of the Midwest Division’s season with the annual Midwest Divisional Finals taking place in Akron Ohio.

The one day championship event saw clubs from across the division take part in a round robin format competition that will feature Men’s Jr. Football, Junior Hurling, Ladies Jr. Football and a midwest Finals first, Camogie exhibition between midwest combined camogie players and visitors from Toronto.

Competitions started at 9am on Saturday August 10th with Men’s Jr. Football, and continued throughout the day, alternating hourly between men’s, ladies hurling and camogie, with the Men’s Jr. Football final at 4pm

The winners at the end of the day were the Pittsburgh Celtics in Football, the Pittsburgh Pucas in Hurling and the Banshees in Camogie.
Junior D men Buffalo Fenians
Junior C Hurling Pittsburgh Pucas and Akron Celtic Guard .

Teams in attendance were:

Akron Hurling
Roc City Hurling
Pittsburgh Pucas Hurling

Pittsburgh Banshees Ladies
Buffalo Fenians Ladies
Cleveland Ladies

Pittsburgh Celtics A & B Teams
Cincinnati/Columbus
Cleveland St. Pats St. Jarlaths
Detroit Wolfe Tones
Buffalo Fenians

Toronto Camogie

We thank the organizers and all clubs for a great day of GAA sports in Akron, Ohio!

What’s Happening Around the USGAA

To get your tournament approved, submit a request through the USGAA Website:

http://usgaa.org/tournament-request-form/

If you need help planning your travel schedule, here is the complete list of tournaments approved as of April 1st.

September

September 15th:

Madison: Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

September 29th:

Akron: Mens Football, Ladies Football, Hurling and Camogie

 

Chicago Update

Chicago GAA has had an eventful summer with over 40 matches completed and the four most important ones were just played this past Sunday!

Our Men’s Junior Football Club, the James Joyce’s, have been very busy hosting the
Brookfield tournament in May, their annual tournament in July, and traveling to other
tournaments. The club continues to grow and become more and more successful. They won
the Miltown Gaels Invitational and are looking forward to competing in the USGAA finals in a
few weeks.

In camogie, after celebrating their 20 Year Anniversary last year, St. Mary’s look forward to
continuing to compete in tournaments, while recruiting new players. One of their members
proudly participated in the GAA World Games in Waterford, along with other camogie players
from across the US.

The Michael Cusack’s are very active in building on their previous successes and have played in challenge matches against Limerick Hurling Club, and tournaments across the midwest, including Indianapolis, Madison and more locally, in Naperville, to name a few. They aim to travel to Boston next year for the finals.

The Intermediate Men’s Football semi-final saw the Patriots, defending Chicago Champions,
come out victorious in a deciding win over the McBride’s. The Patriots met the
Padraig Pearse’s, who took first in the league, in the final. This was a hard fought
match between two strong teams, and the Padraig Pearse’s came out victorious.

Ladies Football has also been highly contested with the Erin Rovers and naAisling Gaels
competing in the junior competition, which has ended with both teams equal in points. In the cup final, the Erin Rovers were victorious and will represent Chicago in the Intermediate competition, while the naAisling Gaels will compete in the Junior grade at the USGAA Finals.

In Senior Ladies Football, St. Brigid’s, the reigning USGAA Sr. Ladies Football Champions, have
been battling naAisling Gaels in what has been seen as a highly skillful and intense
competition. Although they lost the first match, St. Brigid’s have won every match since, but
only by narrow enough margins. In the final however, the St. Brigid’s won in a deciding fashion and will now travel to the Finals to defend their title.

Senior Hurling was back on the field with the CuChulainn’s and Limerick playing in a best of 5
competition, which the CuChulainn’s were the winners of. The John Hunt Memorial Cup,
named after a GAA stalwart and past Chicago GAA Honorary President, was also presented to
the CuChulainn’s.

In Men’s Senior Football, after nine matches, each team ended up tied in points. Due to varying
circumstances, the McBride’s and Parnell’s met in a play-off match on Wednesday, August 7.
The teams were level several times during the match, but in the last quarter, the McBride’s
came out with the victory. The McBride’s met the Wolfe Tones in a very hard-fought, entertaining final. By just the narrowest of margins, the Wolfe Tones claimed the title of Chicago GAA’s Men’s Sr. Football Champions.

The Chicago GAA Finals were held on Sunday, August 11 at Chicago Gaelic Park. All
matches were live-streamed on our Facebook page. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining one of our clubs, all contact information can be found on our website, www.ChicagoGAA.com.

Get Kitted Out with Masita

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Entry’s Opening for Club of the Year Soon. Stay Tuned for More Information in the Next Week

Win a Masita Guinness Jersey! Enter the 2019 Guinness Crossbar Challenge at the Finals

Did You Know?

The last time the USGAA Finals were hosted in the Midatlantic region, only 9 Championship Grades were competed for: 4 in Football, 2 in Hurling, 2 in Ladies Football and the first ever USGAA Camogie Championship. Indeed 3 of those 9 competitions had been added for the first time in the previous year, at the 1997 Finals.

In the intervening 21 years, growth has been at such a rate, that 20 competitions will be up for grabs in 10 days time.

 

IMPORTANT DATES


November 8-10, 2019
USGAA Convention

Save the dates. Both Adult and Youth USGAA Conventions will take place in San Diego on the second weekend in November – this year in San Diego. More details will follow next month, so stay tuned.