• Metro Recap: New Recruits Shine in a Short-Handed Bout

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

     

    Another beautiful Friday night welcomed the latest edition of the Metro League with the Piranhas taking on the Rhinos down at Waveland Field. With a number of regulars MIA, it was a great opportunity for a number of the newer players to step up and take accountability for their side. It was great to see out of the two sides, 7 are new recruits playing their first season of Footy. The game got underway with Coach “Play on” Hendrie taking up umpire duties on a shorter field. The field was shortened due to expected numbers, but was expanded at the end of the first quarter as the game resembled more of the proposed AFLX game rather than a footy game. Every now and again, the Metro League sees a legend return to the oval, and this week, the players and spectators were graced with the Swans greatest goal kicking machine, Al MacGlashan taking to the field for the first time in quite a while.

    It didn’t take long for the first goal of the game as the Piranha’s Stu “About to get rattled” Nicol snapped one from the boundary on his favored left foot. The Piranha’s continued the onslaught for the first 10mins or so with Tom “Bearded Beast” Shearman and John “Fend-off” Reynolds roughed up the midfield. After that, it was all Rhinos with Nathan “My mate’s coming, can we play a footy game” Bird linking up with Gordon “Pikmin” Barnett to slot several before the break. Newcomer Dan “Hispter Socks” Armstrong played a pivotal role in moving the pill out the center and into the forward line. The experienced Mike “Panic@theDisco” Panek provided another newcomer Troy “Mr. Vape” Kuziel with valuable direction in the backline and Kuziel is a quick learner, which came to the annoyance of his man, Barnett. The Rhino’s confidence rocketed, however this was soon to bite Bird after he was through on goal with no one ahead of him, his lack of urgency and la-de-da finishing saw him get caught by Kuziel and Panek. While Bird was able to get a generous point and the endeavor of the backline was second to none, the goose award was all but sealed by this point.

    The second quarter started with much of the same as the end of the first with Shearman, Nicol and Reynolds struggling to get the ball to the point man in MacGlashan in the forward 50. Pedro “Bring your brother to footy day” Jimenez and his brother Vicente “The Rib Rattler”, brought the physicality to the Piranhas midfield with Vicente laying a particularly strong tackle on Nicol that left him counting his ribs. As if the Piranhas day couldn’t get much worse, Micah “Fab Movran” Brown, who was quiet in the first, sprang to life just before the halftime. Sprang is an appropriate term as the agility of Brown is freakish and he left all in his wake.

    At the half there was some changes with Shearman having to leave to feed his horses back in his village in Wisconsin and Brad “Never on time” Clifton, well… showing up late. Kev “Topper Harley” O’Reilly landed his plane and with suitcase in hand, showed up to lace up his uggs and get a run in. O’Reilly’s rust, thankfully, subsided after a few possessions as a couple of his teammates were starting to wane after a few floaters and hospital passes. Clifton and Paul “DJ Gloves” Enzinger solidified the Piranhas backline and plugged the one way traffic that was being lead from the Rhino’s stalwart backline in Rob “Watch how loose I can get later” Schmidt. Amy “One of the lads” McGuiness was able to keep the Piranhas from bottoming out with a couple of late goals after some fine footwork.

    Barnett’s accuracy never wavered in the third and the only saving grace the Pirahnas had was that “Mack Truck” MacGlashan snagged numerous sausage rolls with some sensational snaps. A bit of comic relief for the spectators, opponents and well, teammates saw Nicol and MacGlashan collide front on whilst chasing a wild ball out on the boundary. Needless to say, physics was not kind to Nicol who by this point had enough ribs for a family BBQ on the 4th.

    Speaking of the 4th, an epic rivalry consumed the 4th quarter when Armstrong and Steve “such a nice guy” Stavropoulos seesawed in dominance over one another that highlighted the grit and determination of both. Both these players are ones to watch and come Columbus is a couple of weeks, it’ll be great to see them working side by side.

    Some more magic from MacGlashan, some fancy footwork from former dancer O’Reilly and some hard running from Reynolds wasn’t enough to pip the Piranhas over the line, with them going down by 3 goals at the siren. Another great hit out as we lead up to the July 15th tournament in Columbus. Next round of Metro is July 7th, 6pm @ Waveland Field.

    Best: Shearman, Reynolds, Brown, Clifton, McGuiness

  • Metro Week 3 Recap: Another Cold One, and Some Big Congrats

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

     

    Metro round 3 last Friday didn’t see any improvement on what we’ve seen weatherwise here in Chicago in the opening 2 weeks and was not for the faint hearted. Another mid 40’s type of evening greeted us which meant for a ‘stinging’ opening quarter, but the lads warmed to the task at hand pretty quickly, with a ding dong affair.

    The light blues ably led in the middle by newcomer Tom Crameri and Corey Barker, racked up possessions and ran rings around the opposition. This was enable by the big man on the scene, Jeremy Stark giving the on ballers for the light blue first use with his excellent tapwork, and energy around the ground. Jason ‘purple patch’ Schmelzer continues to burn up the track following solid hit out in the first game. His forward thrusts will be vital to the Swans success this year.

    Congrats to recently announced Revo, Jeff Kraemer. He was busy all evening, we’ll no doubt look forward to seeing some dominance by him in the up coming interstate games against Des Moines Roosters and Minnesota Freeze as he warms up for the International Cup in Australia in August.

    It was a flukey type of evening, however it was good to see Stu begin to get his hands on the ball and also find the goals on a number of occasions, if not for a goal square indiscretion with the umpire he might well have kicked 5 for the game. Stu also will be important over the season with his goal kicking ability, a potential that has always threatened.

    Tim Hermann and Dion Lowry battled it out in a marathon effort whilst Vivek Ramjee has shown that he can shake off the rust and really make a menace through the midfield.

    The season is really begun well with some excellent team work and link up play that we no doubt will need when we come up against the likes of Minnesota, Boston and BWE later in the year.

    Our next game is this coming Friday (Metro), with the Swans the following week heading over to Des Moines for a Tournament. If you haven’t already let Jeff Kraemer know of your availability.

    Congratulations to Coach Woody and his wife Kate, welcoming in their Daughter Hazel. Next Saturday is also a special day for one of the players with Franklin OBK Plummer tying the knot with his fiancée Darcie. A few of the boys are going to be in attendance and we wish them good luck on the day and their future life together.    

    Best: Stu, Corey, Jeremy, Jeff, Tom

  • Metro Week 1 Recap: Rhinos vs. Piranhas

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    Chicago swans metro week 1 recap

    The brisk weather didn't hamper Friday's efforts as we saw many new faces amongst the old guard for the first game of the season. If there was rust from the offseason, it wasn't showing as the Rhinos got off to a flying start with Bobby and Jeff linking up well in the middle. The Piranhas were shell shocked as Levi and Tom C. used their speed to slot away the second major of the afternoon.

    It took Pedro and Tim to reignite the Piranhas and get them into second gear with slick handpasses through the middle with another newcomer, Dion opening up the Rhinos defense to put their first notch on the board. By this point Hendrie had taken over umpiring efforts from Stu and the Rhinos had an extra player to their advantage.

    The Rhinos steadied themselves with the ever consistent Russ cleaning up the backline and Brad C. throwing another solid performance charging everywhere around the ground making an impact like a bull in a china shop. That being said, every time the Rhinos pushed forward, Charlie and Gordon proved immovable objects as they seemed to thwart every attack. 

    A few changes at half-time allowed for coach/umpire Hendrie to see what different link ups looked like. Bobby swapped out for Russ and immediately Bobby and his fellow Revo hopeful Jeff looked to take each other to the next level as they prepare for the Revo camp next week. It was Levi who proved to be the turning point in the battle of the midfield as he took on Bobby head on in what turned into a David and Goliath conflict. All of it made for great footy. 

    Jeff's consistency in getting the ball out to Ty, who regularly slotted them home, proved to be the deciding factor in the third quarter. Stu changed sides again and Jeff's quick knock to him out on the boundary allowed him to put on his dancing shoes and get an improvised kick over to Tom in the goal square allowing for the Piranhas to pull further away from the Rhinos. John, by the way, had his first footy training on Tuesday and followed up with an incredible effort against Stu. He's going to be one to watch this season. As the game wore on, Amy and Matt dropped in deeper from the forward line in search for possessions and became an instant nuisance to Russ and Gordon.

    Tom C, Tim, Pedro and Dion all valiantly battled through to the end with incredibly efforts in the midfield. The fourth quarter definitely belonged to the Rhinos as the unsung hero of the day, Jayson, signaled his intention for the year by taking the game by the scruff of the neck and dictated every play until the end of the game. Some great footy being played straight out of the starting blocks with a number of the old guard missing in action. Exciting times for Chicago footy as we kick off the season with so many new faces.

    Best: Jayson, Gordon, Charlie, Jeff, Pedro, Bobby

  • Recap: Red and White Awards Night 2016

    Posted by Thomas Shearman
    Chicago Swans 2016 award winners

    Saturday November 14th saw the 19th annual Chicago Swans awards - Red and White Night - recognizing the on and off-field contributions that make the club run.

    Our 2016 award winners included:

    • Rich Noty (Best Clubman): Stu Nicol
    • Oxford Landing Coaches Award: Jeremy Stark (also received the Runaway Train Award)
    • Rookie of the Year: Steve Stavropoulos
    • MacGlashan Medal (Leading Goalkicker): Trent Smith
    • Warwick Burgmann Medal (Metro MVP): Jeff Kraemer
    • Four Corner's Group Medal (Club MVP): Corey Barker

    Shoutout to Four Corners Group's Sidebar Grille for hosting the evening, and to all the folks who keep the club running, including referees Daniel Estes, Lisa Albergo and Paul Enzinger, and Executive Committee and coaches Bryan Hoyt, Stu Nicol, Andrew Woodman, Alastair Martin and Anthony Hendrie.

  • Rhinos Gore Their Way to Victory With Strong Finish

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    The rhinos and pirhanas after Metro Game 1, 2016

    Just 15 minutes before the scheduled bounce down of the first metro match of the 2016 Chicago season thigs were not looking too promising. Only a handful of players had roughed the 38 degree rainstorm and made it to Waveland Field. Although that might have been because umpire Brian Hoyt linked to the wrong field on the Facebook post about the game which led to him winning the first Golden Goose of the year. An award he fully accepted and wore all night even while he played guitar at Irish Eyes later that evening. But just as all hope was almost lost the Rhinos and Piranhas showed up in full force and before you could say "Outback Kid retirement tour" the game was underway.

    From the beginning it was an epic clash in the middle as Graeme Radford battled Jason "Pony Boy" Wilhelm in the ruck. Off the initial tap Pedro Jimenez scooped up the ball and went bang through the big sticks for an early 6 points. After that the Piranhas settled in and were getting solid clearances out of the middle from Jayson Schmelzer and first Chicago gamer Shae Tulley. Those clearances led to some early marks and goals by the Piranha front line being led by Coach Woody and Brad Clifton who slotted an early goal. An early highlight was a goal attempt that rocketed off the foot of Rhino forward Trent Smith and landed square in the guts of Swans VP Stu Nicol. The sound of the ball slamming into Nicol's ribs could be heard from clear across the field...as well as the resulting laughter as Stuey crumpled in pain. At the end of the first quarter the Piranhas held an 8 point lead.

    The rain continued to drop as the second quarter started. But an electric energy overtook the field as Franklin "The Outback Kid" Plummer donned the Rhino jumper and entered the game. Along with Plummer there was a look of shock on everyones face as Ryan "Hayzie" Hayes and Graham "Crackers" Brennan entered the game as well. It had been a few seasons since these two legends had been on the pitch together at the same time. 

    The presence of these three Chicago footy legends seemed to energize both clubs and the action was moving back and forth with both teams making the most of their efforts. Tyler "Minutes" Dorsett slotted two goals while Jeff Kraemer and Stu Nicol each got their second goals of the day. Schmelzer rewarded his hard work with a goal of his own and Joe Sweirupski who an anonymous source said "looked 10 years younger out there" slotted his first of two goals on the day. But the real action was by the back lines of both teams. The Rhinos backline was buoyed by first gamer and future prospect Ben as well as the always hard charging and hard hitting Tom Shearman. The Piranhas backline was holding their own as well with strong performances by Greg Miller who was getting a ton of the ball and Cliff Holmes who seemed to be everywhere. At halftime the Piranhas were up 6.3.39 to 5.5.35.

    The rained continued to make things difficult for both teams as the premiership quarter got underway. After a stop off at Home Depot the one man who wasn't having any trouble was Paul "Garden Gloves" Enzinger. With his trademark gardening gloves Enzinger was able to take a few strong marks as well as reward himself with a goal in the 3rd. Sweirupski kicked another for the Piranhas while Kraemer was getting hot and collected his third goal for his eventual bag of five on the day. The slippery conditions were turning the game into a real street fight with skills going out the window as each team looked to slug it out with each other. At the end of three the Rhinos held a slight 3 point lead at 7.7.49 to 7.4.46.

    With the 4th quarter underway this game was tighter than a camels arse in a sandstorm. From the initial bounce down though Radford started to get the best of Wilhelm and the forward clearances were being gobbled up by Smith who was getting a ton of the ball and put through 2 goals to get the Rhinos going. Kramer then followed up with a beautiful goal off the left from about 30 out all while the relentless run of Alistair Martin was starting to become too much for the exhausted Piranhas. As the quarter rolled on the Rhinos simply ran over the top of the Piranhas and kept pouring it on like a heavy handed bartender. The Piranhas got one last goal from Wilhelm but it was way too little and way too late. As the final siren went off the Rhinos celebrated a 11.12.78 to 8.4.52 victory. 

    Rhinos:   2.4 5.5 7.7 11.12(78)

    Piranhas: 3.2 6.3 7.4 8.4 (52)

    Goals

    Rhinos: Kraemer(5), Dorsett(2), Smith(2), Jimenez, Enginer

    Piranhas: Nicol(2), Wilhelm(2), Sweirupski(2), Schmelzer, Clifton

    Best

    Rhinos: Kreamer, Radford, Shearman, Jimenez, Smith

    Piranhas: Miller, Schmelzer, Tulley, Nicol, Wilhelm

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