The weather will be warmer than Croke Park but the players won’t be holding back this weekend when three Texas-based Gaelic football teams do battle in San Antonio.
The games will mark the official launch of the San Antonio Defenders, who will take to the field fresh from being awarded the “Battle of Texas” shield at a recent tournament held in Dallas after which Defenders player Adrian Brett was named the MVP of the tournament.
The Dallas team, along with a side from Austin, will make up the roster for this weekend’s gathering.
According to a release, the San Antonio team is being spearheaded by a group of individuals who are intent on keeping in touch with their Irish and Texas roots.
“San Antonio is the cradle of Texas liberty,” team member Tyler Tully said.
“We want to honor the unique history we have here in San Antonio while also keeping with the traditions of Gaelic football.”
The team is also taking a color cue from the colorful history of the Lone Star State.
The team jersey, which was unveiled recently, features colors taken directly from the sky blue found on two of the earliest flags of Texas independence, the famous “Scott’s Flag of the Liberal Faction” and the “Goliad Flag.”
The green in the jersey is a salute to Ireland.
“This is a big part of what we want, elements that unite a community, so that our fan-base doesn’t just come to watch the games, they come to honor our city,” said team member Jason Binkley.
“Our jersey is our guidon, flown in battle. It is the coat-of-arms for the warriors in our clan. This is our club, this is San Antonio’s club,” Binkley said.
The club is currently recruiting players for training and playing as well as team sponsors. Tyler Tully can be contacted at (918)441-9121 or [email protected] while more information is available at www.sagac.org. or at facebook.com/SanAntonioGaelicAthleticClub.
The San Antonio team, meanwhile, is planning on helping new GAA teams emerge in Texas, first in Houston and subsequently in Corpus Christi.
Joan Moody in San Antonio contributed to this report.