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May 3 , 2012
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Australian football

By Jared Curtis

The Des Moines Roosters return with another action packed season

Jared Hayes tries to burst through the pack during a match. Check out the Des Moines Roosters in action during an inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday, May 5. For more information, or if you’re interested in joining the team, visit desmoinesroosters.com.

Des Moines sports fans have a lot of teams to root for in a wide variety of sports including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, roller derby and more. But recently, a new sport has slowly been building a fanbase in the metro. Now in its third season, the Des Moines Roosters are ready to fully introduce the metro to Australian Rules football.

“My brother and I had played while living in California, and when we moved back to Des Moines we thought we would try it out here,” said Tyler Kamerman, president of the Des Moines Roosters. “Luckily, we met this Australian guy named Paul Fradd, who was excited to play. I really wasn’t confident in coaching the team, but with Paul here it worked out great.”

The team officially started in March 2009. In the beginning, it was hard to attract new players into the mix.

“It was definitely a hard sell when we started. It was just the three of us, and we ended up adding about five more players,” Kamerman said. “But we have grown a lot over the past few years. We had 18 players a few weeks ago at a practice.”

Australian Rules football is difficult to explain, and even Kamerman admits it’s “really hard to describe without seeing a game.” According to the United States Australian Football League (USAFL), “A game is divided into four, 20-minute quarters of playing time. When a ball is kicked between the two larger goal posts without being touched, it’s a goal and scores six points. If the ball passes between the behind posts by any other means, then it is a behind, and it scores one point.” The team scoring the most points wins the game.

“The Australian guys would not like me saying this, but I would compare it to full-contact soccer,” Kamerman said. “The games moves like a soccer game, but there is a lot more contact.”

Although there is plenty of contact in Australian Football, the goal is to get rid of the ball and keep moving. “It’s a full-contact sport, but if you get tackled with the ball, it’s a turnover. So the goal is not to be tackled with the ball,” Kamerman said.

The team kicks off its season with an inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday, May 5 at Stilwell Junior High (1601 Vine St., West Des Moines). The rest of the homes games will be played at the Fort Des Moines parade grounds. Kamerman says it’s the perfect opportunity for new fans to learn the game.

“Not only does it benefit our fans, but our new players get the experience of a live game rather than practice,” Kamerman said. “It’s a great opportunity to get the feeling of the game before the out-of-state teams start showing up.”

Kamerman says the Roosters are always looking for new players and encourages anyone who thinks they have what it takes to rise to the challenge.
“We’re looking for players that are ready to commit to a team and try something different,” he said. “We’re not only trying to build a team, but we’re trying to create an Australian Football League movement in the metro.”

The Des Moines Roosters 2012 home schedule
All matches are played at the Fort Des Moines Parade Grounds (South of Army Post Road on the east side of S.W. 9th Street.)

May 5 – Intersquad Scrimmage (Stilwell Junior High)
May 19 – Kansas City Power and Ohio Valley River Rats
June 3 – Intersquad Scrimmage
Sept. 15 – Minnesota Freeze and Milwaukee Bombers



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