Taking the Field of Glory: Women and Men’s Irish Sports Teams Expand
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
By Vincent Beach
The Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s Gaelic Athletic Association held their annual general meeting in early February (after delayed attempts), at the Flat Iron Café in the Flats. The meeting was well attended by over thirty players, coaches, officers, and supporters. After officer reports and discussions on advancing Gaelic games in the ever-growing club, elections were held for the board.
Chairperson will be Vincent Beach, along with Secretary Jake Altman. Jake restarted his GAA career last season in goal for the footballers and in the middle for the hurlers. Jake takes over for Amelia Kaylor, who stepped down after three great years as secretary.
In the Treasurer’s position, Dan Kampman also turned the reigns over to longtime club member, John Kernan. Dan Murray, footballer – hurler – ladies’ football coach – club S&C trainer, said he needed more to do and stepped in as Public Relations Officer. Dan takes over for Annie Coyne, who coordinated the many social media faces of the club and established the monthly club e-newsletter.
In the Registrar’s position, Cory Berry was elected to his first board position. Cory starred on last year’s hurling team and was eager to get more involved in the GAA. Cory takes over for Tom Beach, longtime secretary and registrar for Cleveland.
Peter Dietz was elected as Youth Officer. Peter is father to three youth players (Mia, Adam, and Lucy), is husband to footballer and camóg – Angie, plays football and hurling himself, and has helped coach the youth both indoors and outdoors for several seasons.
Jim Coyne was elected for the retitled position of Football Manager and will head up a committee to coordinate the team activities and recruitment. Evan Berry was also elected in the retitled position of Hurling & Camogie Manager to lead a committee in the same manner for specific activities and recruitment.
Thank you so much to our outgoing board officers – buy them a pop when you see them, and good luck to our new officers. There will be plenty of opportunities on the team and other committees.
Did you catch that above, Hurling and Camogie Manager? Cleveland has committed to fielding a camogie team for the 2022 season. Through the past two years of hurling recruitment, many women have stepped forward looking to compete in the unique and fast sport. Now, they have the numbers and energy to field a whole team, but of course are always looking for new members.
The Midwest Division received registrations and commitments from a few new teams this season including Buffalo Fenians Ladies Football, Buffalo NaFianna Hurling, Pittsburgh Camogie, and Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s Camogie. With the growth in camogie, Divisional Chair Paul Mulcaire has asked John Young of Pittsburgh to be the Camogie Development Officer.
We will have more to come on the development plans and Midwest progression in future weeks. The Buffalo Ladies and Hurling are prepared at the developmental level and are ready for friendly matches while they build to full-sided strength.
MARCH APRIL MAY
The Cleveland GAA will once again be down at the St. Malachi Church Race the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. Wear your St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s gear or your favorite GAA jersey and meet us near the photo stand. We will be doing both the 2 miler and the 5 milers.
Youth are encouraged to join us with their families. Cleveland GAA will also be marching in the long-awaited St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
NEW PLAYER NIGHT
On Friday, March 21st at the Rocky River Force, the Ladies’ and Men’s football team will hold a New Player Night, from 8:30PM to 9:30PM. Skills will be taught for anyone interested. Men should be eighteen and over, Ladies fifteen and over.
In April as the weather breaks, both codes (football hurling/camogie) will begin to hit the outdoor field, but there will likely be some group conditioning sessions ahead of time. Please see the Club’s website or social media. May will seriously kick-off the GAA season in Cleveland with the club’s Night at the Races, co-hosted by the WSIA on the 14th. The following weekend, the Cleveland Memorial 7’s will also take place at the WSIA club, with team coming from around the Midwest, Heartland, and Central Divisions to compete in men’s and ladies’ Gaelic football.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. Consider getting involved at any level.
Fáilte (welcome) to all. The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club for all ages.
Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2022 activities for Men, Women, and Youth. Or visit ClevelandGAA.com.
*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan. He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA. His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua. With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (12), Bernadette (11), and Cedric (7), grow. His other hustles are coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, teaching Construction Management at CWRU, and laying down some engineering skills on local water/wastewater projects.