With the Kookaburras for the first time on a road trip but still within the state Georgia, a visit 80 minutes Nth West of Atlanta to take on the new Rome Redbacks for their first home game ever, was something very new.
The Redbacks although still small were able to present a great group of players eager to put the Kookaburras to the test in a rather humid and hot afternoon of Australian Rules Football in the river city.
Up forward Tom Gultom was too experienced for his Rome opponent and led him on merry chase posting a personal record 8 individual goals for the day. Jon 'Rosey' Rosenfield also enjoyed the open spaces and freedom to move around, kicking 6 goals himself, also a personal record.
The Rome team battled hard and certainly the Redbacks were very competitive at stoppages with their ruckman Stephen Taylor giving the Kookaburras Kyler Johnson some headaches. First year player Seth Stokes however made sure any advantage was short lived as he gathered many mid field possessions for the visiting Atlanta team.
Over the 4 x 20 minute quarters however the Kookaburras were too consistent and too skilled for the Rome team and ran out easy winners by 98 points. After the game the players and friends retreated to the River Dog Outpost a great summer Tiki style bar between the rivers downtown, for the first of many post game socials in the historic river town of Rome Georgia.
Best: Seth Stokes, Ryan Downey, Tom Gultom, John Rosenfield, Braden Medders.
Goals: Gultom 8, Rosenfield 6, Stokes 4, Downey 3, Schoppe 1, Johnson 1.
The Atlanta Kookaburras kicked off their 2019 season with a solid home game win against long time rivals the North Carolina Tigers, taking the honors by 62 points. Playing a full scale game for the first time at NH Scott Park in Decatur, the Kookaburras hit the scoreboard early and never looked back.
With a mixture of past players returning and some new recruits the Kookaburras lead at every change and broke up the game in the third term with a 6 goals to 1 quarter. New players Seth Stokes & Tanguy Peres combined well with the returning George Huntzicker in the center and Chase Trujillo who was playing his first game back in two years.
Up forward Asst Coach Linley Laverdure helped himself to 4 goals from as many shots and was well supported by Tom Gultom and Chase Trujillo with 2 and 3 goals respectively. Holding steady in the backline were Club Captain Ryan Downey and his Vice Captain again Braden Medders who used their experience to thwart many NC Tigers attacks. The visiting team put up a valiant effort and kept the Kookaburras honest at every chance however fell short on the day.
The Kookaburras next game is their first trip up the road NW to Rome GA on May 11th to take on the Redbacks. A team they helped start last year and got beat twice for the effort, so some redemption we are sure is on the cards.
Atlanta 15 goals.10 behind. 100 points.
NC Tigers 5 goals 8 behinds 38 points
Goalkickers: Laverdure 4, Trujillo 3, Gultom 2, Huntzicker 2, Peres 2, Johnson & Ridenhour 1 each.
Best Players: Downey, Peres, Trujillo, Huntzicker, Medders, Stokes.