We held our Annual General Meeting on December 10, 2016, and followed immediately after with our holiday party. During the meeting, we elected some new board members, re-elected others to their same position, and sadly said goodbye to a few who stepped down to pursue other activities within the club. Now we look forward to an exciting 2017!
2017 Board Members
Chairperson: Ryan Buckley
Vice Chairperson: Liam Barry
Secretary: Danny Espensen
Treasurer: Rayne Leonard
Registrar: Ryan Culligan
Games Development Officer: Brendan Rauer
Member at Large: Chris Davis
PR and Marketing Officer: Jen Barry
We thank our outgoing 2016 board members for their service: Molly Buckley, Registrar; Molly Bombardi-Mount, Secretary; Aaron Joley, Member at Large.
Awards and Special Recognition
Club Member of the Year: Brendan Rauer
The Club Member of the Year is traditionally a player that goes above and beyond with their commitment to the club. Brendan Rauer was consistently 2 hours early for every match, lining fields, flying flags, and creating a festive sporting atmosphere. Outside of matches, he welcomed all new faces at training and puck arounds, volunteering his time to teach the basics. We can’t say “thank you” enough.
Spirit of the NGAC Award: Ben Flynn
Our Spirit of the NGAC Award was added this year to honor a member who embodies what the NGAC is all about. Anyone who has met Ben knows he has a real passion for this club, and it shows through his garrulous personality, his encouragement, his teasing, his endless nicknames for everyone he meets, and his absolute zeal for all things Gaelic sports. We’re lucky he found us!
Rising Star Female: Emily Rodriguez
Rising Star Male: Danny Espensen
Most Improved Female: Virginia Poole
Most Improved Male: Ryan Culligan
Player of the Year Female: Britti Himmelfarb
Player of the Year Male: Chris “Chris Davis” Davis
Most Original Curse Words: Ben Flynn
Most Likely to Be Late: Caleb Harper
Most Likely to Wear a Dirty Jersey: Corbett Ouellette
Most Likely to Ask a Girl to Prom: Chase Quirk
Loudest Spectator: Amy “Chase’s Mom” Quirk
Most Dedicated Spectator: Lee Ann Lambdin
Most Dedicated Rookie: Danny Espensen
Least Likely to Pass a Breathalyzer at the Pitch: Doug Shaughnessy
Most Likely to Retire After This Season: Aaron Joley
Most Likely to Be Spotted at the Pub: David Smith
Most Likely to Go to the Hospital: Brendan “Oak” Reynolds
Best Referee: Renee Anzivino
When we tell people about hurling, we generally get the same three or four responses from those unfamiliar with the game.
- Curling? Like with the broom and the ice?
- Hurling? Like when you drink too much and throw up?
- I think I’ve seen it before, but I don’t know where.
If you’re someone giving that third response, maybe we can help. Believe it or not, you probably have seen hurling before. Maybe you just didn’t know what you were looking at. We’ve tracked down some of the most popular hurling appearances in American pop culture to help you out.
President Obama Gives Hurling a Try
There is no greater American reference to hurling than our president wielding a hurl.
Making a Murderer Lawyer Loves Hurling
Attorney Dean Strang was surprised to learn how many people were interested in that hurling statue. As popular as the sport is growing in America, he shouldn’t have been.
Jason Statham Gives Us the Perfect Description
Ahh, the phrase that launched a thousand T-shirts.
ER Started It All
It’s possible this reference is so old that you’re more familiar with hurling than you are with ER. If that’s the case, don’t even tell me about it.
CSI:NY Joins In
Well, they tried.
Did any of these introduce you to hurling? These are decidedly American references, so they don’t cover all the bases. You may have also seen the opening scene in The Wind That Shakes the Barley. You might have caught the reference in The Quiet Man. It’s possible you heard Shane McGowan and The Pogues sing about it in The Broad Majestic Shannon. These are all even more possible if you’re in touch with your Irish roots.
If you’re intrigued and want to know more than ER or CSI:NY could ever tell you, drop us a line. We’ll let you know the next time we’re playing so you can see it for yourself.
Nominations will be accepted for the following open Board positions from November 17th to December 8th.
1. Vice Chairman
3. Member at Large
4. Games Development
6. Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Nominations should be sent via email to: email@example.com.
Please check with the nominee before nominating them to make sure they are interested in the position.
Nominees are permitted to send one campaign message to the club during the week of December 04-10th.
Elections will be held at the Annual General Meeting on December 10th.
Non-playing members are encouraged and welcome to serve on the board.
Descriptions of all Board positions can be found in the bylaws section of the club handbook.
Relevant language from the club bylaws:
4.1 Board role, size, and compensation: The Board is responsible for the overall direction and governance of the NGAC. The Board shall consist of 8 members: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Registrar, Public Relations Officer, Games Development, and Member at Large. Any member in good standing is eligible to serve on the Board. The Board receives no compensation.
4.2 Terms: All board members serve two-year terms and are eligible for re-election.
4.6 Election of the Board: The board is elected by the NGAC membership at the Annual General Meeting. Votes shall be cast through written ballot, and simple majority of those present elect board members. The Secretary solicits nominations during a 2-week nomination period, which opens 3 weeks prior and closes 1 week prior to the Annual General Meeting.
At the Annual General Meeting, we will elect board members to serve for two years. In addition to the vacancies, we will also add a new position: The Games Development Officer. So, what does the Games Development Officer do?
The official description goes like this:
Games Development Officer: The Games Development Officer is responsible for Gaelic Games training and competition. The GDO shall organize leagues, training programs, and work in conjunction with other committees to provide quality Gaelic games experiences. The GDO shall work towards a sustainable Gaelic games system that provides a satisfying experience for players of all ages. The mission of the GDO is to develop quality players, quality coaches, and quality referees.
To expound on that a bit:
The GDO will not necessarily be the trainer, coach, or referee. Instead, the GDO will identify candidates and put them into place for these positions.
The GDO will assume responsibility for scheduling training, scrimmages, and any other practices. He/She will ensure that all equipment will be available (though may not be responsible for storing or carrying that equipment) and that a trainer will be present.
The GDO will continue to nurture the success of the hurling division while also developing Gaelic football and a potential youth league. Again, this officer will not necessarily be the trainer or coach (though he/she could be), but will instead coordinate efforts between interested parties.
The GDO will work with the board to ensure there is a place for practice. While Heartland Fields are usually available to use, the GDO will verify and scout additional locations if Heartland is not available for use.
This is an essential position that is crucial to the growth and health of our club. The GDO will be expected to join all board meetings, participate in board email chains, and interact with club members as a full-fledged board member.
As we prepare to hibernate I thought I’d put together a list of tips, tricks, videos and films to help you deal with seeing your club friends a little less. First the videos…
1. From Ash to Clash The Art of Hurley Making
25 Min documentary about the process of making a hurley. Different from other “Art of Hurley making” type videos (0f which there are many) in that it talks about sourcing the wood, and what makes a good plank.
2. Old Camogie Footage from 1934
Its only 2 minutes long, its black and white and theres no audio, but it’s probably the coolest video in this list. This video has it all. If you know of anymore footage like this let me know.
3. Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly Special
53 min. A very nicely shot conversation style interview. Just some greats talking shop.
4. The Story of DJ Carey
One of my favorite Hurling docs. Really illustrates the sense of hometown pride folks have in these players. No money in the sport but legends all the same. Shows the sacrifice of their time and talent for the club/town/county.
5. A Year ‘Til Sunday
1hr 12min. Great looking doc about Galway gaelic in 1998. I havn’t finished it yet but I’m enjoying what I’ve see and growing my appreciation for the sport.
6. Sports Movies
- Goon (Netflix) – If you havn’t seen it – see it. It’s short and sweet and by golly it’s got HEART!
- Ip Man (Netflix) – Martial arts. Get your meditation on for taking those frees.
- Peeky Blinders (Netflix) – It’s like Gangs of New York, but more. Features your man Cillian Murphy.
- If you want to understand the benefits of amateur sports in our communities and amongst our youth watch a little “Friday Night Tykes” and “Last Chance U“.
- Nowitski: The perfect shot – Take aways you can apply to your game.
7. Tips n Tricks
- Step 1: Watch training videos on youtube. Memorize the movements.
- Step 2: Use a wall or a friend to practice with. Recall the way the players in the video moved and executed the skills
- Step 3: Profit, not monetarily of course,
Buy NGAC gear!
Nothing like a new hoodie or a bag to make you feel better in the off season. In fact, the off season is just about the only time we can wear our cool hoodies in Tennessee.
LINK: NGAC Store
Stay in the Loop
Even though it’s getting colder we are still doing things as a club. We’ll be releasing a winter schedule of events soon. Also, keep an eye on the calendar and the Social media for random puc arounds or calls for #frostybevs.
Following our longest and most successful season to date, Team Quore, captained by Ben Flynn, took home the Harper Hurl after the championship match yesterday. Their competition, Homegrown, was captained by Trevor Hoagland. Homegrown edged out the third team, Beer Pale, during last week’s matches, when Beer Pale had to forfeit the first match of the day with too few players.
While Quore hit the ground running during the first of the season, easily winning match after match, both Beer Pale and Homegrown experienced tremendous improvement throughout the fall. Homegrown took two or three weeks to find their stride, as Beer Pale handed them loss after loss. Somewhere around the halfway mark, however, the tides turned. While Quore was still the big winner most weeks, Beer Pale and Homegrown began a fierce battle for the second spot in the championship.
Captain Ben Flynn assembled a crack team from some of the most experienced players on the NGAC roster, as well as two newcomers, including Doug Shaughnessy and Thom Watkins. Thom also took home the “Man of the Match” trophy yesterday. Also making up Quore’s team were Britti Layne, the Woman of the Match, Greg Roberts, Virginia Poole, Chris Davis, Ryan Buckley, David Bowen, Bill Rodriguez, Aaron Joley, and Ashley Murdock (absent during the championship match).
Homegrown also started the season with several new players, some of whom had never played a match before the first sliotar dropped on September 11. New players included Danny Espensen, Ryan Culligan, Chase Quirk, Frank Prather (who was absent during the championship match), and Andrew Tiller (playing his second season with the NGAC). Anchored by experienced players Brenden Rauer, Rayne Leonard, Liam Barry, Samantha Hoagland, Sam D’Amico (also missing from the championship match), Molly Buckley, and Captain Trevor Hoagland, the Homegrown rookies quickly caught up, winning one match over Quore last week before heading into the championship game yesterday.
Indeed, Thom Watkins and Britti Layne exhibited tremendous skill yesterday, with both responsible for most of the points on the board for Quore. Also of note from the Quore side were Aaron Joley, with perhaps his best hurling performance to date; Chris Davis, who split his time between turning in a spectacular performance and mentoring his rookie opponent; and Virginia Poole, who, in her second season with the NGAC, put some points on the board, as well.
The Homegrown squad also turned in spectacular displays, with Andrew Tiller performing jaw-dropping defense on several occasions, Liam Barry frustrating the Quore offense whenever possible, Danny Espensen playing injured (don’t tell his doctor!), Brendan Rauer’s dogged offense, and Ryan Culligan, who put points up for Homegrown.
As thrilled as we all are for Quore members, the real winner here is the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club. This season was filled with some of the best hurling we’ve seen in our three and a half years of existence. We owe it to our captains, Ben, Trevor, and Caleb of Beer Pale, and to our seasoned players who have challenged and guided new members over the past few months.
Though competitive hurling is closed for the season, we look forward to a bright 2017 and a spring league filled with even more new players. Thanks to all who came out to support us this fall. We can’t wait to see you next year!
We’re so excited to have new members and new fans on the sidelines! The Nashville GAC needs the support from wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, moms, dads, and friends just as much as we need the players. If you’re brand new to the world of Irish sports, you may be wondering just how you can get involved to help the club keep growing. Here are a few things that would definitely support the NGAC as we spread love for Irish sports and culture.
Become a Member
You don’t have to play—ever—to be a member of the club. The dues structure allows for non-playing members to join at $20 per year. What do you get with that $20? You get a voice in all major votes, which are usually held at the Annual General Meeting each December.
You also get some pretty neat swag every time we come out with something new. So far, we have bumper stickers, T-shirts, koozies, and key chains. More cool stuff is always in the works.
Ready to join now? Send your $20 through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve been out to watch a match, you know things can get a little intense. Players are usually concerned with having their hurley, helmet, and jersey. Everything else might get left behind. That means extra ice, water, bandages, pain meds, wraps, and even hurleys could help a great deal.
Join a Committee
Want to give even more? We have committees planning, moving, and shaking all year long. Our most important ones focus on recruitment and events. If you’d like to know more about these, contact Emily Rodriguez and Brendan Rauer, respectively. We also would love to revisit fundraising and sponsorship possibilities and could use a little leadership in that area.
If you have other talents that might be of use, let us know! If we don’t have a committee for it already, we’ll put one together.
Become a Board Member
Believe it or not, you don’t have to play hurling, camogie, or Gaelic football to serve on the board. Any member is eligible to serve. This year, we’ll have several openings available, so think about offering your time, organizational skills, and leadership abilities by serving on the board.
Spread the Word
We’re a grassroots organization, which means we see our biggest growth through word of mouth. If you know someone who might like our sports, tell them about us! If they’re okay with you sharing their contact information, just let us know and we can take it from there.
Just Keep Cheering
Nothing is more exciting than hearing those cheers from the sidelines. We started small, with one person on the sidelines every Sunday. Now, we see upwards of twenty on really great days. The cheering section inspires players to keep giving their all, which means they have to learn as much as they can about the sport, come to trainings and events, and push hard to carry their team to victory. In other words, just cheering the players on helps us grow as a club. You do that!
We can’t tell you how happy we are that you’re here. There really are no words to express our gratitude for your support thus far. Whether you decide to do one or all of the things listed above, you’re driving us forward. Welcome to the club.
After the wildly successful Intro to Gaelic Football session in July, the Nashville GAC decided to hold a similar training/workshop for anyone in Music City who may be interested in learning hurling and camogie. The intro session will take place on August 20 at 4 pm at Heartland Soccer Fields.
Anyone over the age of 18 is encouraged to join the fun. The club is a great way to get active, learn a new sport, and make new friends of all ages and fitness levels. Regardless of your athletic ability, you will get to play. Even the most experienced hurlers and camogs love to see new people come out to learn the sport, so you’ll have a warm reception, excellent instruction, and patient training.
As always, we’ll head over to Homegrown Taproom in Donelson to enjoy fellowship and #frostybevs. Make plans now to join us!