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In an effort to achieve transparency, below is a more in-depth description of the selection process used to choose Tournament Team leadership and the player selection process for each respective team.
This year, more than ever, we want to take home ALL of the awards, so for those of you that do sign up, know that there will be a heightened expectation of commitment. There will be practice/conditioning, volunteering, fundraising, and scrimmaging requirements leading up to Gay Bowl. While participation is a big commitment that must be taken seriously, playing for one of the four teams is also a GREAT opportunity for you to grow as a player, experience national level competition, develop unique connections with fellow teammates, and, most importantly, represent Boston and have one hell of a time doing it!
Leaders from last year’s tournament teams met to discuss what strategies worked best and which did not. One thing that stood out as a result of the success of the Bulldogs last year, who finished 3rd overall, was that it was effective to have a non-playing coach in addition to a captain on the field. Thus, it was decided that each team should have two leaders, ideally one non-playing coach or player who sees limited action, and one on-field captain. While many duties will be shared between the two leaders, including team selection, practice schedules, etc., it will be the role of the non-playing captain to act as the coach during practices and games. During competition, the non-playing captain will remain on the sidelines and be responsible for handling playing time, substitutions, and strategy.
When considering ideal candidates for the roles, the following were taken into consideration: tournament experience, football acumen, previous leadership experience, ability to make tough decisions regarding player performance and player selection, and individual commitment level.
Tim Walsh has been an active and integral player for the Hancocks for a number of years and is one of the best athletes in our league. For the past two years, he has taken on the role of captain of the Hancocks. Tim has also served as a captain in the local league and has a proven winning record at the local level. He is a team-oriented player with an unparalleled dedication to hard work and success.
Kim Herrig is our local league head referee, has acted as a referee at numerous national tournaments, has played in the women’s division on both the local and national level, and has graciously agreed to step down from refereeing at this year’s Gay Bowl to help lead the Hancocks from the sideline. She is a proven leader and is not afraid to make hard decisions.
We are confident that these two complement one another and that Tim and Kim will work together to make the necessary adjustments needed for the Hancocks to take the next step at the national level.
Jason Tarzan has been an active player for Bulldogs for the past four Gay Bowl tournaments and has also been a member of the Minutemen, an independent travel team that has participated in the Chicago-based tournament the past four years. Tarzan has also acted as a local league captain on multiple occasions.
Dave Hamilton is our former league commissioner and played in numerous tournaments on a national level with the Hancocks before joining the Bulldogs last season. Hamilton was critical to the success of the Bulldogs at last year’s Gay Bowl, where he acted as a non-playing captain, coaching the team to 3rd place from the sidelines.
While Hamilton and Tarzan intend to play this year, Hamilton’s playing time will mostly be on offensive drives and Tarzan’s playing time will mostly be on defensive drives to ensure there is always a non-playing coach on the sidelines for support and adjustments as needed.
Henry Dalencour has been an active player for the Longfellows in national tournaments for the past three years, including acting as both a captain and coach for the Longfellows in 2016. At the local level, Henry has acted as a leader on and off of the field, and is dedicated to transforming the Longfellows into a “B” Division national contender.
Chris Gathman has been an active, non-playing participant in the local league for a number of years (including recently stepping up as a referee), has years of playing experience on the national level in the “A” division before moving to Boston, and has assisted with coaching the Hancocks in previous seasons. Chris will take on the role of Longfellows coach.
Chris and Henry have a shared vision of raising the expectations of the Longfellows and exceeding those expectations through a heightened focus on dedication, strategy, and team chemistry.
Karl Ames has represented Boston for a number of years as a player for the Hancocks, and most recently the Longfellows in 2016. Karl has also been a successful captain at the local level for a number of years.
Robert Saurer has been a leader in the league from its inception, as the original founder of FLAG Flag Football. Saurer has played for and captained a number of Boston teams on the national level, in both divisions. He is also a member of the NGFFL Hall of Fame.
Both Karl and Robert are experienced veterans who have contributed countless hours to the league on both the national and local levels and we are confident that they will use that experience to ensure that we take advantage of this one-time opportunity to create a successful 4th team.
With an over-arching goal of sending the most competitive teams as possible to the tournament, all members of past rosters have been notified that there will be a different approach to team selection this year.
Attendance at one of the Open Play sessions is mandatory and it is each individual’s attendance and on-field performance that will carry the most weight in the team selection process. While there are active members of the board taking on the role of captain, the decision-making process and approach as to who makes each roster will be left solely to the discretion of the respective team captains, acting solely as captains. Each set of captains has been instructed that the creation of competitive, well-rounded teams should guide them in the selection process.
While rosters will be announced May 1st, all teams will have the opportunity to reevaluate their rosters after June, allowing for changes to be made, if necessary, based on the performance and commitment shown by the individuals on each roster. A limited number of additions to the rosters will be permitted in the event that there are injuries or if new talent in the fall proves to be convincingly deserving of a roster spot that would result in a necessary enhancement of the team’s ability to perform.
The Hancocks have spent the past few years recruiting talent and taking it upon themselves (at their own expense) to travel together to various national tournaments throughout the year in order to match the preparation time spent by the “A” Division teams that typically place at Gay Bowl. The Hancocks have made a concerted effort over the past couple of tournaments to create the type of team chemistry and familiarity that is necessary to win a championship. Because of the sacrifice and dedication of so many to enhancing that team, and the fact that this year is unique in that the tournament is being hosted in Boston, Kim and Tim have agreed to allow all former members of the Hancocks roster the opportunity to be part of the team if they so choose, with the caveat that they can wear the jersey but their playing time may be limited or even non-existent. However, leadership has been instructed and has agreed that under no circumstances whatsoever will any roster spots be given to any such individual at the expense of a player who is more talented and deserving of a spot and who wishes to join the team. Additions to the Hancocks will be made and playing time will be based on talent, performance, and commitment. Prior players, who team leadership anticipates will see limited to no playing time have already been notified so that they can potentially earn a spot on a different roster where they may see the field more frequently.
The Bulldogs placed 3rd overall last year in the “B” Division, earning them the third seed in this year’s tournament. The goal of the Bulldog’s leadership is to retain as many of its core players as it can to maximize the favorable seed it earned last year. Moreover, some additions and changes to the roster will be made in order to fill in the gaps and strengthen the team so that it can take the final step towards a championship.
Chris and Henry have decided that there will be a major restructuring of the Longfellows. While the ‘Fellows have become a more competitive team over the course of their short existence, the team’s leadership will be making necessary roster cuts to make room for additional talent so that the Longfellows can compete alongside the Bulldogs for a “B” Division title. This year, the Longfellows hope to retain most of its upper-level talent and will fill in the gaps with players whose on-field performance and talent are superior.
With the 4th team being unique to our hosting of this year’s Gay Bowl, Karl and Robert have agreed that it is their mission to build a well-rounded and competitive team, while providing the opportunity to play to some league veterans who have supported Gay Bowl efforts over the years and can still play at a competitive level.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Henry, Director of Tournament Play at email@example.com.
VOLUNTEER: 50/50 RaffleJanuary 16, 2018 | 5:30 pmTD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114, USA
VOLUNTEER: BOSTON LIVING CENTERJanuary 29, 2018 | 5:30 pmBoston Living Center Inc, 29 Stanhope St, Boston, MA 02116, USA
VOLUNTEER: greater Boston Food BankFebruary 7, 2018 | 5:30 pmThe Greater Boston Food Bank, 70 S Bay Ave, Boston, MA 02118, USA