To the Editor:
Kansas City has a lot to be proud of. Five outstanding gentlemen from the KC Carnivores traveled to Manchester, England, joined the Chicago Dragons, and gave it their all at the 2012 Bingham Cup on June 1-3.
The international gay rugby tournament was named after Mark Bingham, one of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11th, who helped bring that plane down in Shanksville, Pa.
James Loehr, Yama Keyser, Joey Vincent, Nyla Kongsinh and Brad Clark each left England with bruises, and cuts, and some were a little bloodied, but all had an experience of a lifetime — competing with more than 1,100 other gay men in what we now know is the largest rugby 15-aside tournament in the world.
The Dragons couldn’t have been a better team to combine with for six games over the course of three days. All the matches were hard-fought in one of the toughest tournament brackets. In all, it was just amazing. KC should be proud to have had two of the six man of the matches. Congrats go to Yama and James.
Each of the players found personal achievements there on the pitch in Manchester. Nyla was the monster he always is and maybe even a little more ferocious panda than ever. Joey showed amazing tenacity, playing hard and tough for his first matches after being out injured for a year. Yama the powerhouse managed tackle after tackle, keeping the other teams from scoring. Finally our Captain James, who will always go head-first into anything, showed what a true athlete he is.
Huge thanks go to the Carnivore Supporters who were there -- yes we even had folks in the old “Meat Locker” there to help on the sidelines when needed. Another great moment at the end of the week was when the Carnivores all met Alice Hoagland, Mark Bingham’s mother. She is the person who inspired the creation of the Kansas City Carnivores at the 2010 Bingham Cup in Minneapolis. She congratulated our guys on a job well-done and for growing the sport of rugby in the Midwest.
It has been two years of successes and challenges for the Carnivores. The team reaches its second anniversary on June 23. They have accomplished so much, and the week in England shows what they can do and what the team still has ahead. Kansas City should be proud of the Kansas City Carnivores. Everyone who has been part of this little organization should be proud to be a KC Carnivore.
Anyone who is interested in joining KC Carnivores can do so. We practice 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in front of the Rose Garden at Loose Park in Kansas City, Mo. For more information, email kccarnivores@gmail.com.
Brad Clark
Founder/outgoing president
KC Carnivores

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