Kansas City Power Win Division 3 Nationals

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The Kansas City Power/New York Pies crushed the North Carolina Tigers 6.7 (43) to 0.3 (3) to capture the Division III National Australian Football Championship in the annual tournament played in Kansas City last weekend.

Rover Matt Seuling, who also coached the Power, and Kansas City captain, center half-forward Mark Scott, were named most valuable players for the tournament.

In qualifying for the final, Kansas City easily defeated the Orange County Bombers and Chicago Sharks. In fact, the stalwart defense of the Power was so dominating only 17 points total were scored on them the entire weekend.

The 2003 Coopers National Australian Football Championships saw over 1,000 players and supporters traveling to Kansas City for the two day affair. Over 20 teams from coast to coast competed in the tournament, with the Denver Bulldogs repeating as Division I champions by soundly defeating the Boston Demons 8.6 (54), while the Milwaukee Bombers wrapped up the Division II title with a hard fought victory over the Golden Gate Kangaroos 4.2 (26) to 3.1 (19).

In the Division III final played Sunday before a large and enthusiastic crowd of over a thousand people, Kansas City started slowly and led by only 9 points at halftime despite keeping North Carolina off the scoreboard.

However in the second half, the Power took command and played virtually the entire half in their attacking end. North Carolina had no answer to the high flying Scott, the smooth and creative play of Seuling, the flashy speed of Jake Barnes and the steady ruckwork of Tyler Hattery.

Kansas City co-club presidents, Ray Mabry and Dan Vacanti, as well as stout defenders Brian Furr and Brian Both, all played strong games for the Power.

The game also marked the final appearance in a Power uniform for longtime players Mark Wheeler and Kirk Kirkpatrick, who are retiring with well-deserved championship medals.

It was the first ever championship for Kansas City, which has steadily improved year to year since its inception in 1998. The club is always interested in new players, and welcomes anyone from high school age on up to join the team. Practices for 2004 will begin in March. Information can be obtained on the www.kcpower.com website.

- Mark Wheeler

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