A congregation of Navigators hungry for pigskin glory invaded Gainesville, Fla. for a regional flag football tournament, but eventually the game Beacon College squad saw their hopes sink in “The Swamp.”
Beacon’s Flag Football Club competed in the 2018 Swamp Bowl National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association Regional Flag Football Tournament. Though staged the University of Florida, teams competed on the school’s Southwest Fields not the famous Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (AKA “The Swamp”).
The Flag Football club is another outlet offered in a growing line of club sports at Beacon College, a nonprofit liberal arts school and America’s first accredited college or university to award bachelor’s degrees primarily to students with learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning differences.
The Beacon team first squared off against the Valdosta State University P-Rex team. In short order, P-Rex got Jurassic on the Beacon bunch — with a punishing 97-12 victory.
In the playoffs, the Navigators regrouped and faced a University of South Florida squad. In a more competitive game, Beacon stood in striking distance with USF up 9-6 with five minutes to go. Then things went south. The Navigators wound up the wrong side of a 38-6 loss.
Still, both games pulsed with exciting plays. None more so than when Bryce Garg juked a defender and hauled in a picture-perfect touchdown toss from Billy McGlynn.
The Flag Football Club’s traveling tourney squad included:
Billy McGlynn; Chris Doherty; Bryce Garg; Tariq Gore; AJ Griffin; Antigoni Koulouris; Lewis Lippy; Nick Montgomery; Jade Murray; Annie Pang; Be’Len Rice; Brianna Rossi; Zoya Sanford; Giulian Spino and self-awareness coach Katherine Harding and head football coach Matthew Harding.
The team next plays in the Southern Mississippi Regional tournament Nov. 30.
Head Coach Harding did not allow the outcomes to swamp his optimism.
“The team was motivated and hungry for their first win, but unfortunately after a hard fight we lost,” said Harding, a residence life coordinator at Beacon. “The team grew closer from the loss and are even more driven by the chance to make history and be a part of something bigger than themselves.”