By Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staff Writer, [email protected]
As twilight gave way to nightfall at the end of the holiday weekend, Goombay’s coed spring kickball league drew to its conclusion July 7 at Tucker Road park. The previous night’s torrential rains threatened to derail this version of championship Sunday for the rookie and intermediate leagues. However, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the teams and fans who were a part of the weekly gathering of sports and socializing with trophies, and another year of bragging rights on the line.
Twenty-four teams and more than 500 weekend warriors began the season in April and set up 20 games on the soggy football field, which had to be configured into two kickball areas so that both leagues could conclude their seasons. Goombay faced two deadlines as they tried to finish the tournament before the park’s normal closing time, while the summer league is scheduled to begin in the District next weekend. An extension of the season could’ve wreaked havoc on the start, however, after discussing the situation with the captains of the teams and others, they decided to press on.
“I walked through all the softball field and they were too wet to play on today,” said Goombay’s founder and league directory Butch Goodwin to the AFRO. “I don’t believe in [postponing] games and rescheduling unless you absolutely have to. Once we considered all those factors we just decided let’s get it done today.”
The configuration of the playing field saw outfielders looking into the infield with their counterparts positioned back to back as games were played simultaneously. A steady group of enthusiastic fans watched as 22 teams in two divisions battled in the single elimination format. Approximately 350-500 fans lined the fences of the 100 yard amateur gridiron that was transformed into dual kickball diamonds.
There was one difference between the tournament and the intermediate playoffs. Two “wildcard” entries qualified in a last ditch effort for a chance to compete for the title giving the 10 teams, who would have won as many as four games in one day, to win the championship. Meanwhile, the top eight teams – based on regular season records – met for the right to compete for the big trophy.
By nightfall, when the football lights took over, the intermediate tournament came to an end. Khaotic Money was looking for a sweep of both divisions but it wasn’t meant to be.
In the finals Khaotic Money was shocked in what was an entertaining and intense battle down to the wire. Savage Shock got revenge for their 2018 loss in the intermediate championship game with a 5-3 victory to win this year’s title.
However, Game Changers ended the possibility for a championship for Khaotic Money by dominating them in the advanced division finals. Game Changers scored early and seemingly at will. They cruised to a to an 11-3 win as Khaotic Money seemed to run out of energy in the finals.
The Goombay kickball scene now shifts to the District for the summer leagues, which starts July 15.