On a weekend filled with highs and lows the Texas Stampede finished the 2015 National Championships with a 61-56 win over the Minnesota Steelheads. Texas record on the weekend was a respectable 3-2 and was highlighted by the Saturday morning victory over Minnesota. "It was disappointing that we couldn't advance to the championship game, but to end the season win over a quality opponent was special" said Coach James Gumbert.
The Stampede entered the day on a sour note coming off two stinging loses on Friday. "We wanted to pull together and win for each other" said Mason Symons. The Stampede started the line of Bond Kirkland Schacherbauer and Butter. The line had developed good chemistry during the week and would immediately display it as they forced 2 turnovers and set Minnesota on their heals. But the fourth seed Steelheads led behind USAWR team member Chuck Aoki would steal 2 back to back inbounds off Schacherbauer. "He has surprisingly long arms for someone who sits so low" said Schacherbauer. The Stampede however withstood the surge and end the first 12-11.
The second quarter would see the orange clad ruggers step up the defense and cause 3 turnovers. Led behind sub CJ Brown Texas extended their lead to 4 at the halfway mark. "It felt good to get something positive done" said Brown.
The third would see a return of Schacherbauer to the mix and one of the highlights for Texas. Schacherbauer playing in a defensive chair was running a trap with 2 time Gold medalist Bryan Kirkland on Aoki when he slipped free and appeared to have a uncontested goal. Schacherbauer would have none of that and would catch Aoki for the stop. "It was a great play" said Bond. The play would inspire the team and push them to a 7 goal lead.
The fourth saw both teams empty their benches. "We tried to get everyone in on the match" said Gumbert. "They all had played such a significant part in our success the whole season that we wanted them all to get in". Time wouldn't allow it however as Zupan Meredith Garcia and Symons would finish out the game and season with a victory.
"Words can't explain how much fun we had this season" said Goose Whittaker.
There are so many people to thank,our sponsor C&R Medical who made a surprise trip to see the tourney. Also thanks to Hez,Pam,Bobo, and Red for keeping us moving and ready. Dave and Chaize for the court times. All the families and friends for their support. And all the fans for coming out and cheering us on. Thank you thank you thank you!
See you soon on the court!