Battle on the Plains

The Kansas City Power traveled to Hill City, KS to be the first Aussie Rules team to participate in the Battle of the Plains. The Battle of the Plains is a showcase weekend of Semi-Pro Gridiron teams with this year's participants from Colorado Springs, CO and Southwest Oklahoma.

Brian Furr and Grant Jennings were joined by Nyleta McRae, team umpire, to do junior clinics at the middle school in Hill City on Friday. The first three classes consisted of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys. The level of excitement was overwhelming as every kid played with all the energy they could muster. Following lunch, the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls had their turn at the sport we all love to play. To everyones surprise the girls went as hard if not harder when they had their chance to play the game. After a mere 20 minute instruction all were ready to play their "game" with many ignoring the pleas to not tackle. A definite sign that footy could flourish in the US on not just the boys side, but also with the girls.

Showing their support for the victims of Tuesday's attacks the Power displayed red, white, and blue tape on their left arms and black tape on their right. After a quick ten-minute instruction for the four local volunteers, the Power divided in half to play their exhibition for the local crowd. The local players quickly picked up all the skills and soon looked as if they had played the game for years. With a final of 77 to 57, the crowd was appreciative and many expressed how they enjoyed the quick pace and high scoring of the game. Following the game, the Power joined the two visiting gridiron teams for the autograph session where the kids lined up for a chance to get pictures and autographs from the visiting Power players.

Sunday allowed the Power the opportunity to play yet another shortened exhibition in front of a larger crowd and television and Internet cameras during the half-time of the gridiron match. With the return of two local players from the previous day and the addition of two new players, the team hit the field again with the entire team kicking signed junior footballs into the stands for the crowd. (As a side note, the two locals that did not play on Sunday only missed the game as they were suited up and played in the gridiron match. Both expressed their disappointment that they weren't able to play on Sunday.) This second exhibition proved quicker and harder than the first as the players knew they only had 15 minutes to show off the game. The crowd was quickly in the game as high flying marks and solid hits were spread across the field.

The entire weekend proved to be exciting and a great opportunity to showcase the game
of footy to people that would otherwise never see the game. Talks are already in place to return next year, with the possibility of having a second team join in for a USAFL match.

- Brian Furr - Kansas City Power

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