June 21, 2017-Makenzie Seckora (Carr), a native of Portland, Oregon, grew up playing soccer and participated in the swim team during high school. Makenzie lettered in Varsity swimming as a high school freshmen and was known for her speed in the 50 meter freestyle and backstroke. Makenzie did not continue sports during college as her rigorous course schedule did not provide much opportunity for extracurricular activities.
Makenzie graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science with a focus in Vascular Technology. If you are confused, don’t worry, most people have not heard of this degree or career. When asked what her job entails, she would reply “I perform ultrasounds, however I look at blood vessels, not babies. There is a lot of physics behind how our bodies vascular system operates and my job is to identify causes for abnormal circulation, such as blood clots, plaque et cetera”. The four year program included a year long internship, which is how she ended up moving to Sacramento.
In 2006, she relocated to Sacramento, California to begin her year long internship at UC Davis Medical Center. During her year as an intern, despite being far away from friends and family, she came to the conclusion that Sacramento is a smaller version of Portland, with BETTER weather, and the town grew on her. At the conclusion of her internship, Makenzie was hired on at UC Davis Medical Center and has stayed put in her new found home, Sacramento.
Makenzie did not find footy until 2014 when she was recruited by one of the Sacramento Australian Football Club founders, Helen Mondia. These two both work for the Vascular Department at UC Davis Medical Center and were attending a conference in Squaw Valley. During a friendly game of broomball (running around an ice rink in tennis shoes) Helen noticed Makenzie’s athleticism and told her she needed to check out her local Australian Football team.
Makenzie had been interested in joining a club team in Sacramento, but hadn’t found the right fit. She watched several Youtube videos and with no experience, she signed up for the 2014 SacFooty Spring League. Registered players are invited to attend the official Suns’ training sessions and Makenzie pursued these training sessions to further develop her skills. After only a few weeks, the Sacramento Lady Suns had their first match against the San Francisco Iron Maidens at the 2014 Clamp the Lamp tournament. She was convinced to show up and give it a try. Makenzie said “I was nervous to play as I have never participated in a tackle sport before, however after receiving my first tackle, I was hooked”!
Over the course of 2014, Makenzie became a stand out defensive player and even earned Rookie of the Year. She has been featured several times in articles written by Brian Barrish, the USAFL Media Manager. This success early on fueled her passion for footy!
In 2015, Makenzie along with several of her teammates traveled to Arizona for a USA weekend training camp. These training camps are an opportunity to show the USA coaches your knowledge of the game and showcase your skills. Makenzie was selected to play for the USA Liberty at the 2015 Parallel Cup.
The 2015 Parallel Cup was hosted in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the only full size footy field in the USA. Despite the loss to Canada, this was a well fought game by the Liberty and Makenzie was mentioned as one of the stand out players. Two players were selected to be brought up to compete the following day for the USA Freedom, and she was third in line. Brian Barrish highlighted her achievements in 2015, "Makenzie Seckora is a hard tackler who had a number of good performances for the Suns and the Liberty last year, and can platoon either at half back or at full back".
In 2016, Makenzie along with several of her fellow Lady Suns’ traveled to Racine, WI to attend a weekend training camp. This camp, along with regional tournaments, would allow the coaching staff to select the next batch of players for the upcoming 2017 International Cup.
At the 2016 USAFL National Tournament in Sarasota Springs, Florida, Makenzie was announced to the 2017 USA Liberty Team. She will be joining several of her Sacramento teammates as well as many other talented ladies across the nation to compete in Australia. The USA Liberty is the sister squad to the USA Freedom. The USA Liberty will be touring and competing against local clubs in Australia during the International Cup this August (5-19th).
In addition to her dedication to the Lady Suns, she completed her Masters Degree in Health Care Administration (2014-2016) and has also been a Board Member for the Sacramento Australian Football Club (a non-profit organization) for the past three years. She began her tenure as a Member at Large in 2015 and continued that position in 2016. During these years she took a lead role in fundraising and obtaining sponsorships and no doubt her efforts have made a positive financial impact on the club. This year, 2017, Makenzie is the Director of Events and has taken a lead role in social media management. Makenzie says she performs best under pressure and although being active on a the SAFC board in addition to her many other commitments can be stressful, she enjoys the challenge!
Congratulations to Makenzie on being selected to represent the USA at the upcoming International Cup. Good luck mate!
USA Liberty 2017 SacAFL Metro 2014 (#42)
If you are interesting in making a contribution to help send our Sacramento Suns’ to Australia, a group GoFundMe has been set up, click here to be redirected.
June 14, 2017-This past weekend, June 10, 2017 kicked of the Sacramento Suns season with a tournament in Concord. The weather was a beautiful, breezy mid 70’s, perfect for some footy!
The tournament included a women’s competition and a men’s competition. Teams participating in the women’s tournament included the San Francisco Iron Maidens, Sacramento Lady Suns, and Denver Bulldogs (W). The men’s competition included the Golden Gate Roos, Sacramento Suns and Denver Bulldogs.
The Sacramento Lady Suns and Denver Bulldogs teamed up for the first two games versus the Iron Maidens. The combined Suns/Bulldogs had a total of 22 women , ten Lady Suns, ten Bulldogs one Portland Steelhead (Jessica Blecher) and one Boston Lady Demon (Emily Rhiel). Many thanks for those who travelled from afar to compete in the games this weekend. The Maidens had a full roster plus a few, including many new players!
The large numbers made for excellent competition with the women playing two full games of 18 vs 18 and a third game, Bulldogs vs Lady Suns 10 vs 10. The first two games were well fought and both teams demonstrated elevated decision making and execution.
Although it was tough competition and scores were relatively low for both sides, the Iron Maidens pulled away with wins in the first two games.
Sacramento Lady Suns at Concord Tournament 2017
Game Day Results:
Game One: SF Maidens VS Bulldogs/Lady Suns: 3.3.21 to 3.1.19
Game Two: SF Maidens VS Lady Suns/Bulldogs 3.3.21 to 3.0.18
The final women’s game of the day was tough and both the teams were exhausted, yet determined, the Bulldogs and the Lady Suns took the field. They battled on the large ground with just ten players on either side. The Bulldogs pulled away with a significant lead after several great connections and quick movement of the ball up the field into scoring position. The Lady Suns, although tired, fought hard and managed to put up a few points on the scoreboard. In the end, the Bulldogs took home the win.
The umpires gave an honorable mention to Sacramento Lady Sun and new player Nicolette Clark for her speed, quick decisions and movement which helped dominate the midfield in all three of the women’s games. We cannot wait to see what this season has in store for Nicolette!
SF Iron Maidens, Denver Bulldogs & Sacramento Lady Suns 2017
A Free Open Day will be held this coming Saturday June 17, 2017 at Doc Oliver Field in Land Park; new players are welcome and encouraged to come join the fun! The Sacramento Lady Suns begin their metro competition June 24 running through September. The next big competition will be the Western Regional Tournament which will be held in Denver on July 8, 2017.
The Suns approached the tournament in Concord in transition. With many stalwart players having retired or stepped away from the club, it took a strong recruiting effort to field a full squad for the day. In the end, a team of 22 made the trip, with 6 men wearing the Suns jumper for the first time.
The Suns faced two tough opponents on the day. In the first game, the Suns took on the hometown GGAFL Roos reserves squad. With a strong scoring wind in the downhill direction, the run of play was mostly in the Roos favor early in the first half. The Suns defense led by Kendall “Rabbit” Hutchings and new Sun Eric Smith were able to hold the Roos to just two goals in the first half. In the second half, the Suns were able to come back strong and kick three goals and few behinds to take the lead heading towards the final horn. In an unfortunate series of final events, a free kick and a 50m penalty was paid in the Roos favor with only seconds left in the game. They were able to kick straight to score their third goal at the horn. In the end, with 3 goals apiece, the Roos took the final victory with two more behinds, final score was 3.6.24 to the Sun’s 3.4.22. Goalkickers for the Suns were K. Meriano, S. MacEachern, and V. Turner.
GG Roos vs Sacramento Suns
The second game of the day proved to be more one sided. With a depleted roster due to key injuries, the Suns found a tough Division I opponent in the traveling Denver Bulldogs. The Bulldog team had previously played a close game with the hometown GGAFL senior side. Keen for redemption, they took the field with the confidence of a team with multiple USAFL Division I championships under their belt. Despite excellent ruck work from Ed “Bubbles” Manning, the Suns were unable to translate that dominance into scoring opportunities. The Bulldogs on the other hand, again with the scoring wind at their back, opened up a wide lead in the first half kicking 6 straight goals. The Suns fought to reclaim some of the margin but were unable to find any straight kicks, meanwhile the defense put up some up some impressive efforts to rebuff the the Bulldogs attack. In the end the score was a one side 10.4.64 to the Suns 0.4.4.
Congratulations to Kendall “Rabbit” Hutchings for being recognized as best on ground by the umpires for the first game against the GGAFL Roos.
Sacramento Suns at GG Roos 2017
A Free Open Day will be held this coming Saturday June 17, 2017 at Doc Oliver Field in Land Park; new players are welcome and encouraged to come join the fun! The Sacramento Suns begin their metro competition June 24 running through September. The next big competition will be the Western Regional Tournament which will be held in Denver on July 8, 2017.
The GGAFL, Denver Bulldogs and Sacramento Suns
Held in Concord, CA-June 10, 2017
June 11, 2017-Oanh Nguyen (pronounced like ‘coin’ without the ‘c’) attended Silver Creek High School in San Jose, CA. During high school, Oanh played volleyball and pole vaulted. She currently still holds the San Jose Women’s High School pole vault record!! Nguyen continued to play intramural volleyball throughout college at UC Davis.
Oanh graduated from UC Davis in 2011 with her Bachelors of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. After graduating, she worked as a clinical research coordinator testing new drugs and devices for patients with Interstitial Lung Disease. Oanh attended Samuel Merritt and obtained her Bachelors in Nursing and graduated in 2015. Oanh is now a Registered Nurse and works at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento California. When she is not working, or playing footy, Oanh is an avid traveler. She enjoys the outdoors, loves hiking, backpacking and camping. She has traveled to many exciting destinations including Vietnam, Belize, Colombia and most recently, Alaska.
So how did Oanh find footy? During college, one of Oanh’s roommates was Australian and had heard about the Sacramento Australian Football Club. Oanh accompanied her roommate to one of the SAFC’s SacFooty Open Days. She joined the SacFooty co-ed tag league in 2012 and has played in multiple tag leagues over several seasons. Oanh continues to be one of the lead goal scorers in the co-ed tag leagues and picked up the skills quickly. In 2014, Nguyen was convinced...or coerced into trying out the tackle league.
As with many, once Oanh experienced her first full tackle game, she was hooked and has been a Sacramento Lady Sun since 2014. Oanh has speed and agility which has allowed her to become a successful forward and midfield player. Oanh was unable to attend prior USA training camps, however has been watched at the Regional Tournaments and the USAFL National Tournament. At the 2016 USAFL National Tournament in Sarasota Springs, Florida, Oanh was announced to the 2017 USA Liberty Team.
In August, Oanh will be going on tour with the USA Liberty and will also be serving as a reserve player for the USA Freedom during the International Cup. The International Cup will be held in Melbourne, Australia August 5-19th, 2017.
Congratulations to Oanh on being selected to represent the USA at the upcoming International Cup. Good luck mate!
Lady Suns 2016 Nationals USA Liberty 2017
Photo Cred: sdm_sports_photography
If you are interesting in making a donation to help send our Sacramento Suns’ to Australia a group GoFundMe has been set up, click here to be redirected.
June 6, 2017-Lauré Kwoka grew up playing a variety of sports including soccer, ballet and rugby! Quite a spectrum of athleticism and let’s not forget her little known talent, baton twirling! On an evening out, Lauré was approached by a member of the Sacramento Australian Football Club and was encouraged to try footy. Lauré had heard of footy during her summer spent in Australia back in high school. According to the ESPNW feature on Kwoka written by Doug Williams, Kwoka stated “I’d never been truly passionate about something until I met this sport” (W.D.,www.espn.espnw.com, March 23, 2017).
Lauré has been playing Australian Rules Football for the past 5 years with the Sacramento Lady Suns. She has been part of the leadership group for the Lady Suns for several years and for the past two years, she has been the primary leader in the midfield. In her first season, Lauré was presented the Coaches Award for her hard work, dedication and consistent passion for her team and the sport. In addition to her local club team, Lauré has had the opportunity to participate at an international level for both the USA Freedom (2015) and the USA Liberty (2014 & 2017)
After attending training camps and being selected, Lauré played for the USA Liberty at the 2014 International Cup, held in Melbourne, Australia. She was awarded Best on Ground and the Coaches Award for the game against Fiji. Following IC 2014, Lauré had the opportunity to stay in Australia for six months on a working holiday visa. She was able to travel around Australia, even playing footy with the Caboolture Lions, Wollongong Saints and 9s with the Dapto City Stallions men’s team. She found it to be an honor to play with such amazing teams and immerse herself in the Australian culture as well as gain a deeper love and respect for the sport.
In 2015, Lauré along with several of her teammates traveled to Arizona for a weekend training camp. The training camp is an opportunity to show the USA coaches your knowledge of the game and showcase your skills. An obvious improvement was noted and Lauré was selected to play for the USA Freedom at the 2015 Parallel Cup.
The 2015 Parallel Cup was hosted in Tampa, Florida on the only full size footy field in the USA. Despite the loss, she learned a lot about herself and her abilities. She was able to harness her skills and brought back many learning points to her home team.
In 2016, Kwoka along with several of her fellow Lady Suns’ traveled to Racine, WI to attend a weekend training camp. This camp, along with regional tournaments, would allow the coaching staff to select the next batch of players for the upcoming International Cup.
At the 2016 USAFL National Tournament in Sarasota Springs, Florida, Lauré was announced to the 2017 USA Liberty Team. Lauré was also selected as the West Coast Vice Captain of the USA Liberty Team.
In addition to these roles, Lauré is an active presence on the field at local club training sessions. Kwoka also plays in the co-ed tag league, is a board member of the Sacramento Australian Football Club and is a board member for the USAFL Women’s Association. Where does she find the time?!
Congratulations to Lauré "Lozza" Kwoka on being selected to represent the USA at the upcoming International Cup. Good luck mate!
To read the full ESPNW article, click here.
2014 International Cup USA Liberty 2017
Photo Credit: AFL Photos (aflphotos.com.au)
If you are interested in making a contribution to help send our Suns’ to Australia, a group GoFundMe has been set up, click here to be redirected.
May 24, 2017-One of the Sacramento Australian Football Club's (SAFC) goals for our 2020 vision, is to produce top talent. This is a lofty goal, as the majority of the players recruited from this region have never heard of Australian Football! The Sacramento Australian Football Club (SAFC) is lucky to have coaches, players and umpires with extensive knowledge of footy. Matt Bishop, one of the founders of the club, has a remarkable resume with more than a decade of coaching experience at many levels from metro leagues, to regional teams, even coaching the USA Revolution for several years. The SAFC requires selected head coaches to hold, or obtain a Level 1 Coaching Accreditation through the AFL.
Along with the extensive knowledge of the game, the overall club culture in Sacramento, is one that many clubs strive to imitate. The SAFC hosts multiple co-ed tag leagues known as SacFooty, the local metro league known as SacAFL and our National Competitive Teams, the Sun's and Lady Sun's. In addition, social events both casual and informal, are a significant part of the club as they help drive our club culture. Many of our club members return yearly based on the relationships they have built and team camaraderie. According to current SAFC President Vicky Schoennagel, "Our club has become a huge part of my life in building friendships, growing my confidence, and providing me a place to be part of a team".
This camaraderie and community has laid the foundation for our successful local Sacramento Australian Football Club. Our goal is to continue the upward movement and produce top talent which can be considered for selection by the USAFL National Teams and higher level competitions, such as the AFL.
The USAFL National Teams have both Men’s and Women’s competitive teams. The USA Revolution is comprised of the elite male athletes within the USAFL. The USA Freedom is comprised of the elite women’s athletes within the USAFL and their sister squad, The USA Liberty is the development squad also comprised of top USAFL female athletes.
August 2015 was the most recent year that these National Teams held a competitive match. The match was held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the only regulation size footy field in the USA. Since then, both teams have held multiple training camps and invited players from all across the nation to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of the game. All three teams have selected players to represent the USA in the upcoming International Cup.
The International Cup is held every three years and welcomes players from North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. In 2014, there were 25 competitive teams (18 men's and 7 women's teams) representing 18 Nations. Papau New Guinea took home the men's championship, while Canada took home the women's championship.
This year the 2017 International Cup will be held in Melbourne Australia from August 5-19th. The Sacramento Australian Football Club is proud to announce, many of our local players have been selected to represent Team USA! Over the next several months, a player feature will be released where you learn more about each of these athletes! Congratulations to Katie Klatt, Liz Danielson, Rosemary Kloh, Makenzie Carr, Laure Kwoka, Oanh Nguyen and Saleh Tyebjee for being selected to represent team USA.
USA Revolution Training Camp 2017
USA Freedom & Liberty 2017 Teams
May 19th, 2017-Preseason has been more than just training! The SAFC has again parterned with Inspired Wellness to bring free fitness sessions to the community! These Fitness Sessions were held over a nine week period at McKinley Park in East Sacramento. The 2 hour session included a 30 minute full body bootcamp style workout with sprints, followed by footy skills and scrimmages. Special thanks to our partners and friends at Inspired Wellness. Be sure to check them out and join them this weekend for a free weekend workout.
The SacFooty Spring League is just around the corner with the first round scheduled Thursday May 25th. The SAFC has hosted three free Open Days to introduce new players to the sport. One of our more exciting Open Days on record occured yesterday with a 10 vs 10 game of all NEW players! Don't forget, there is still time to register for the SacFooty Current Season, no experience necessary! Come learn a new sport and make new friends.
Growing the game and getting the younger generation involved is one of the SAFC's long term goals. The SAFC has held footy clinics at several of the local area highschools. On March 10th, the Suns' were at Granite Bay High School, on May 5th at Laguna Creek High School and two clinics were hosted at Oakmont High School on May 9th and May18th.Oakmont High School is the first in the area to bring a full unit of Footy into the curriculum. The Sun's have helped lead the skills and scrimages and the course is complimented with a written exam!
If your school or youth group is interested in participating in Youth Footy, please email email@example.com for more information.
Save The Date for the Sacramento Australian Football Club's first ever Youth Footy Camp. This will take place on Saturday Mornings beginning July 2017. More details to come!
Official Suns' pracitces began May 16th at 6pm hosted at McClatchy Park. For more information about upcoming events, be sure to check us out on Facebook.
The SAFC is hosting an Umpire Clinic scheduled for May 21st at 11 am at Doc Oliver Field in Land Park. This sesssion will instruct players and participants on the rules of the game followed by a Free BBQ thanks to our sponsor, Johnathan Spangler of Peterson & Grantham Insurance Brokers. For more information, click here.
April 8, 2017- The Sacramento Australian Football Club competed in the 2017 Sacramento Beer and Chili Fest. Two of our club members, Isaac Seckora and Makenzie Seckora (Carr) represented the club and prepared the chili they hoped would win! Loaded with grilled pork jowl bacon, beans, jalapenos, onions, green peppers and Isaac's secret spices, this batch of chili tasted like a top contender! It was a tough competition, however the Peoples' Choice award was just out of the clubs' reach. Better luck in 2018!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017-Kicked off the Suns' 2017 Season. Time to dust of those cleats and hit the field for some pre-season training sessions. Every Tuesday at 6 pm, join the Sun's for a Free Fitness Through Footy Session Powered by Inspired Wellness. These sessions include a full body boot-camp style workout designed by the experts at Inspired Wellness, followed by footy skills and drills.
Find us Tuesday evenings 6 pm at McKinely Park in East Sacramento.
Players of all skill levels are welcome to join these sessions.
Save The Date: SacFooty Spring League begins May 4th. Click Here for more information.
Saturday, March 18, 2017 - The 2017 schedule for the Sacramento Australian Football Club has been released, including dates for the SacFooty leagues and SacAFL season. Event details will be posted on our Facebook page.
Local footy events scheduled for 2017 include:
Fitness Through Footy – Tuesdays 6-7:30pm March 14 to May 2
SacFooty Spring League Open Days – Thursdays May 4, 11 & 18
SacFooty Spring League - Thursdays 6-8pm May 25 to July 6
SacAFL Open Day – Saturday June 17
SacAFL – Saturdays 10am June 24 to September 23 (Some exceptions)
SacFooty Summer League Open Days – Thursdays July 27, August 3 & 10
SacFooty Summer League – Thursdays 6-8pm August 17 to September 28
Sacramento Suns, the representative women's and men's teams, events scheduled:
Trainings – Tuesdays 6-8pm starting May 9
Stumptown Throwdown – May 20 Portland, OR
Roos/Maidens/Bulldogs/Lady Bulldogs – June 10 Concord, CA
USAFL Western Region Tournament - July 8 Denver, CO
USAFL National Tournament - October 21-22 San Diego, CA
Other events are being organized and information will be released once the events have been confirmed. Any questions can sent to the club via our contact page.
March 10, 2017 - The Sacramento Australian Football Club (SAFC) is happy to announce the appointment of Matt Bishop as the Suns head coach and Andy Jacobs as the Lady Suns head coach for the 2017 USAFL representative season.
Matt has an impressive resume with thirteen years of coaching experience that includes coaching the US Revolution squad. The Sacramento Suns have made three national championship finals under Bishop, winning Division 3 in 2014 and made the Division 2 final in their first attempt in 2015.
Andy began playing Australian football in 2011 and played for the Suns in four Nationals tournaments, including winning Division 3 in 2014. He has been part of the Suns leadership group and captain for various Sacramento leagues. Coach Andy is currently going through the process of selecting assistant coaches and has several talented applicants to consider.
Congratulations to both Matt and Andy on their head coach appointments.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - The Sacramento Lady Suns are looking for those interested in all coaching positions for the 2017 USAFL representative season.
The Lady Suns are the regional representative Australian Football team who compete in the United States Australian Football League. They are scheduled to compete in the Western Region Tournament (July 8th - Westminster, Colorado) and the National Tournament (October 21 & 22 - San Diego, California), as well as other USAFL sanctioned matches yet to be confirmed.
All coaching positions have been vacated to provide any potential coaches with the opportunity to apply. To begin the application process please email President Vicky Schoennagel (Vicky@sacfooty.
Applications are required by close of business on Sunday, March 5th.