The Green Marine team made a bit of Tamarac sports history by defeating Trojan Pride 19-7 to become the first ever champion in the adult flag football league. The inaugural year started out in May and consisted of five teams who were vying for the crown. The season concluded with a single elimination tournament played at the Tamarac Sports Complex.
Green Marine's accomplishment was anything but easy. The team who earlier this year won the Brian Piccolo Park flag football championship was the third seeded team with a 4-4 regular season record. Both teams in the final had to earn victories in a semi-final match to earn the right to battle it out for the championship that was played immediately afterwards.
In the semi-finals, Green Marine defeated the number two-seed Next Step Training 19-13, while the prohibitive favorite Trojan Pride whitewashed the number five-seed White Hot 26-0. Trojan Pride's captain David Coleman's saw his squad clinging to a precarious 7-6 lead with just over three minutes left in the contest. Green Marine's team captain and quarterback Jon Lund pitched the ball to Renel Troutman for a 12-7 lead after the PAT failed.
With the Trojan's driving for a potential winning score, Troutman came up with the defensive play of the game when he jumped the route of the Trojan receiver and came down with a huge interception at midfield. With a little over one minute left, Lund hooked up with receiver Larry Byrd who made an acrobatic catch in the end zone for the touchdown. Terry Parker had the conversion reception for the final 19-7 score. Greg McKinney applied defensive pressure on the Trojan quarterback all game long and received plenty of support from teammates like Noel Carter, Ron Law and Justin Lee.
Pompano Beach resident Troutman found retribution with the victory after his MVP performance. "No one took us seriously in the tournament and thought we didn't have a shot," Troutman said. "During the season we never got a chance to build any chemistry or camaraderie, which is crucial. Playing back to back games the same day was challenging and the heat was definitely a factor. Most leagues play their games at night, so you have to be in some kind of shape to play in the daytime."
Lund had more reason to celebrate than just winning the championship. He dedicated the season to his late grandfather Herbert Lund who he named the team after. The 33-year-old Coral Springs resident was honoring his grandfather who was a World War II Marine veteran and was a green environmentalist in the recycling industry long before the term ever became popular.
"We pulled it out at the end of both games after struggling in the beginning and our experience was the difference," Lund said. "I wanted to do something for my grandfather that would have made him proud. Our uniform logo was a picture of him. Winning for him was really big for me. My grandfather was a great man and a true patriot."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun