August 12, 2023
Roving Roo Reporter
Anthony Hendrie was with the Chicago Swans from the very early days and did pretty much everything to help that club grow and be successful, from playing, to coaching, to umpiring to being an administrator, to being the club rep to the USAFL. It was his joie de vivre, and his ‘what can I do to help’ approach in all of those roles that inspired the USAFL Umpire Association to award him it’s Esprit de Corps award in 2023. It was with great sadness that he was taken from us late last year.
Because of the long-term relationship with Chicago, Nashville immediately offered to come to Chicago in 2023 and honor and celebrate his contributions to Chicago footy. So, it was with great honor and pleasure that Nashville committed to going to the newly create Hendrie Cup tournament, joining Wisconsin, Des Moines, St. Louis, and several players from other nearby clubs this past weekend.
The weather at Waveland Park near Wrigley Field in Chicago could not have been more perfect as the Swans started the event with a Kid’s Clinic, hosted by Jason Holmes, who played for the St. Kilda Saints in the AFL! Then with a clear sky and a light breeze coming off Lake Michigan, the Swans took on the St. Louis Blues in the opening bout. The Blues looked strong but the Swans outlasted them.
Then the combined squad of Nashville/Wisconsin/Des Moines/Cincinnati and a couple of Chicago boys took on the St. Louis Blues in the 3 pm game. The combined team mascot of the KangaWombaRoosterDockers is too much of a mouthful, so I’ll just call them all Roos! Nic Coffey (WIS) started the Roos off nicely with the opening score of the game which was answered by the Blues. After a long scoreless stretch as the team went between half-back lines, two quick majors by Dakota Latimer (WIS) and DJ Arias (WIS) left the Roos leading at the major break, 3.3.21 to 1.2.8.
The Roos started strong in the second half with full forward Nic Coffey picking up his second in the first minute of play. With about 10 minutes remaining, the Blues got their second major, but as time was winding down, the Roos found Nic Coffey again for his third of the match. A final minute score by St. Louis was not enough, and the Roos prevailed, 5.5.35 to 3.5.23.
That meant the Swans and Roos were to face off for the right to be called the champion of the first ever Hendrie Cup. The Swans took advantage of the hour break and steam-rolled through the Roo midfielders and defenders kicking three goals before Konrad Bayer (CHI) was able to get both flags waved for the Roos. Unfortunately, the Swans had a three-goal answer before the final siren-beating free kick put the Swans up 6.3.39 to 1.2.8.
The second half started the same as the first with the Swans kicking two goals to open a wide margin. Then Nic Coffey got another for the Roos (his fourth on the day), but then the Swan kicked another four with the Roos looking like they were playing in the fourth quarter and the Swans in the second quarter. A late major score went to Stephen Zenishek (STL) left the final tally 13.4.82 to 3.3.21.
Congratulations to Chicago Swans as winners of the Hendrie Cup. It was presented by Anthony’s wife and children, so it was the perfect end to a perfect day for footy. We look forward to coming back next year and taking another crack at the Cup.
The Kangaroos are now 7-4 in 2023, with a record of 10-3 against St. Louis and a narrow lead of 15-14 against Chicago. All time the Roos are now 189-130-2 and will play games number 322 in two weeks against Cincinnati on August 26 and 323 against Chicago on September 16, both at Elmington Park before closing the season at Nationals in October.