Official Press Release

San Diego Lions Win 2001 United States Australian Football League National Championship
Win Over Boston Demons Caps Undefeated Season

Fort Washington, Maryland (Friday, October 18, 2000) - The San Diego Lions culminated an undefeated season on Sunday by winning the 5th Annual Coopers United States Australian Football League National Championship Tournament. The tournament, played at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Maryland over the weekend, featured twenty (20) teams from across the Unites States playing thirty four (34) games over the course of two days.

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In the Grand Final, the Lions beat the Boston Demons 10.4-64 to 2.5-17. The Lions got off to a fast start with their star, Cameron Trickey O'Brien (a former member of the Australian Football Leagues Brisbane Bears and Collingwood Magpies) kicking the first two goals of the game into a stiff breeze. Demons coach Scott Nicholas said that OBriens opening brace set the tone. They hit us with a couple of quick goals early and that was it. Nicholas credited the Lions half back line as making the difference in the game. They employed a tactic of driving the ball quickly through the half back line to their key forwards.

San Diego coach Chris Stiegler saw the Lions physical play as critical to the outcome of the game. The midfield was our catalyst, they were all over the ground. When Boston got the ball we were all over them. Stiegler also praised the play of Lions tagger Kevin Fogelman in both the semifinal and Grand Final. We asked him to do a job on two different guys, their prime movers, and neither was anywhere near as effective as they had been against other teams.

The Demons breezed through the round-robin phase of the tournament giving up no goals and only a single behind in three games. They looked little more vulnerable in the semifinal, giving up only one goal and four behinds. In contrast, San Diego seemed to struggle in the early rounds. But the Lions righted their ship in the semifinal (avenging last years two point loss to the Denver Bulldogs in the National Championship Grand Final) with a thorough 7.5-47 to 3.0-18 win.

OBrien was honored as Most Valuable Player of the Grand Final for his spectacular marks and booming goals. The Demons Brett Webster and Denvers Rich Mann were the tournaments Most Valuable Players. Tom Ellis of the Denver Bulldogs was awarded the Most Consistent player in the tournament.

New York Magpies Win 2001 United States Australian Football League National Championship Division 2
A fitting win for the New York Magpies

In Division 2, the New York Magpies squared off against the Atlanta Kookaburras for the right to win the Division 2 National Championship Title and subsequent automatic promotion to Division 1 for the 2002 National Tournament Championships.

In a low scoring and defensive tussle, Atlanta were strong in the first half but then New York came back strong in the second half and were the eventual winners 3 goals, 8 behinds for a total of 26 points defeating Atlanta 2 goals, 3 behinds with a total of 15 points.

The New York Magpies fought hard and some thought this was a fitting result given the recent events in New York. Most valuable player of this game was Guy Luminato of the Magpies.

- Sheri Archer

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