Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association Happenings
By Vincent Beach
Midwest GAA News
The Midwest Division has been working away with clubs in each code (men’s football, ladies’ football, hurling, and camogie) to determine a league and championship structure this summer. The Division continues to grow with a total number of teams being fielded at twenty-four. That will correspond to over sixty matches, not including the Midwest Finals.
The ladies’ football competition welcomes Roc City Gaelic (Rochester, NY) to the group to play against returning clubs Buffalo Fenians, Cleveland Saints, and Pittsburgh Banshees. The format matches Cleveland and Pittsburgh up with a home and away; and Buffalo and Roc City with a home and away. Then, Cleveland will travel to Buffalo and Roc City will travel to Cleveland while Pittsburgh will travel to Roc City and Buffalo travel to Pittsburgh to round out the summer league.
In camogie, Cleveland and Pittsburgh stand alone in the Midwest and will play a home and away format. The remainder of the summer aims to have friendly matches with Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and/or Chicago as schedules allow.
In hurling, the division has again expanded to embrace the Albany Rebels and second teams in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Also returning are Akron, Buffalo Fenians, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Roc City, bringing the total number of teams to eight.
Men’s football is also expanded, with Roc City Gaelic entering the group and bringing the total number of teams to ten, including Pittsburgh’s top team. At the time of writing, the footballers were still coordinating the league, but will likely settle on north and south pools of teams. Next month, the Division will finalize the plans and we will publish the summer’s schedule of games.
Other news: The Midwest is once again holding a Trip-to-Ireland raffle (email your local GAA for details, or cl**********@gm***.com). The drawing is based on the Pennsylvania evening Pick 4 on March 17. The Midwest is also providing a coaching development weekend in April. Coaches from Munster will be over to teach tactics and team development skills.
Roc City Box Hurling Tournament
Rochester hosted their second annual indoor tournament on February 4th. Several teams competed, but the host, Roc City, took first place, followed by the new hurling club, Albany, taking second. Comhghairdeas libh!
GAA Midwest Finals
Big news – the Midwest Finals are heading back to Cleveland! Cleveland submitted and won the bid to host the weekend tournament that will determine who represents the division at the USGAA finals in Denver. Cleveland last hosted in 2017. Save the Date – Midwest Finals are August 5th and 6th.
Cleveland Memorial 7-A-Side Football Tournament
Cleveland will once again host their annual 7-A-Side Memorial football tournament at the West Side Irish American Club on May 20th. Mark your calendars for a fantastic day of men’s and ladies’ football that will be followed by an evening of traditional music and creamy pints. Want to get involved? The club is always looking for help and the people are great.
Cleveland Youth Sports News
Cleveland’s youth team will host indoor football clinics in March until the weather breaks for outdoor sessions. The Sunday trainings will be divided by age groups, 11-15 and 5-10, and will alternate each week (February 19 start) at Westlake Force from 6pm to 7pm. All are welcome, boys and girls, new players and veterans.
The Cleveland Saints will also be participating in the St. Malachi Run on March 11. Join us for the 2-miler, 5-miler, or combo 7-miler. It is for a worthy cause, and it is a fun social during the run and during the recovery afterwards. Wear your favorite GAA jersey or the Club colors, Green and Red.
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 U.S. of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song, 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 2023 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 (13), Bernadette (11), and Cedric (8), 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.