Columbus Earns Its Stripes; Enter the Cats

Ten years after bursting onto the American footy scene, a new era begins for the club from the capital of Ohio.

The Columbus Australian Rules Football Club, whose teams up until this season have been known as the Jackaroos and Jillaroos, are officially now known as the Columbus Cats.  The change includes a relationship with the AFL’s Geelong Football Club, which was founded nearly 150 years prior to the team in Columbus.

Both the men’s and women’s team, which each had two separate logos and color schemes, will now unite under one name and the familiar blue and white colors associated with the Cats moniker.

“The Jackaroos and Jillaroos were interchangeably called Columbus ARFC,” said Cats president Adam Peterson.  “With three names it has been difficult to appear unified, and the two sets of colors wasn’t helping either. We have been in contact with Geelong and look forward to a mutual beneficial relationship.  We look forward to a partnership with Geelong helping to build the Columbus Cats brand recognition domestically and internationally.”

Born in 2008 as the brainchild of former Cincinnati Docker Chet Ridenour, the Columbus made an immediate impact on the men’s side, advancing to the MAAFL championship in just their second year of existence.  They have advanced to four National Championship Grand Finals between 2012 and 2016, taking out the Division 2 crown in 2013.  Both Ridenour and longtime captain Clyde Simpson have been among those Cats who have represented the US with the Revolution National team.

The Cats women were founded as the Jillaroos in 2010, and experienced a participation resurgence in 2014 that brought them a Central Regional title the following year and has sustained them through today.  Part of their growth in recent years has included an increase in representation at the national level; last year, they sent four players to Melbourne as part of the International Cup and Liberty Tour, including Freedom winger Katrina Scherer.

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