By ANNE BAGGETT
For The Catholic Week
MOBILE – The 71st annual Toy Bowl Classic was once again a week full of excitement, a few firsts and plenty of fun for the participants, coaches and families of our CYO youth. The court, comprised of 180 members of our eighth-grade parishes, was reigned over by Queen Mallory Ryan McCorkle and King Kyle Joseph Tomlinson representing St. Mary School. These outstanding young court members raised over $70,000 to help ensure the continued success of the CYO programs.
The weeklong festivities began on Nov. 6 with Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrating Mass at St. Mary Parish. Archbishop Rodi reminded the young people that while it is fun to wear a crown and be winners, the main crown we are all trying to win is our crown in Heaven.
Following the Mass, the court processed to McGill-Toolen Catholic High for the banquet. Pat Greenwood, director of multimedia/corporate sales for the University of South Alabama, served as emcee. Fr. W. Bry Shields, pastor of St. Ignatius Parish and president of McGill-Toolen, gave the invocation. Queen Mallory, King Kyle and all court members were introduced to a full room of principals, family and coaches.
The evening continued with the introduction of the 2018 Toy Bowl Speaker Jim Nagy. Taking over as the executive director of the Senior Bowl in June, Nagy has spent 18 years in the National Football League working in scouting in the West, Midwest and Southeast regions, and in a national scouting capacity for the Kansas City Chiefs. He has been a part of six Super Bowl teams and four Lombardi Trophy winning clubs. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Nagy has worked in New York representing NFL players and as a consultant on NFL Today for CBS.
His incredible career has also included writing his own football column in The Sporting News magazine. He and his family reside in Mobile.
Nagy’s message was that his focus would be “on how you can go about being a good teammate.”
After relating an effective story about Tom Brady, he explained that “Glue Guys” were the most important members of the team because they “hold the team together” and “carry out the message of the leaders.” Nagy noted that “as a parent, the times when I’ve been most proud is when I saw my kids being good teammates.” He continued that “The two aspects of being a good teammate are thoughtfulness and willingness to serve others.”
Nagy surmised “The good news is most of you have parents that care enough about you to make sure you are close to the Catholic Faith on a daily basis.” He wrapped up saying “please take away two things from tonight …be a good teammate (be thoughtful and serve others) and pick a good team (surround yourself with people doing the right things.)
David Weems, executive director of the CYO, thanked Nagy for meaningful comments and also the court for their hard work in helping raise money for the continued success of the CYO programs.
The soccer games were weather delayed on Wednesday but continued on Saturday with the following results: Division 2 Girls-St. Ignatius Gold def. Christ the King 1-0. Division 4 Girls-St. Ignatius Gold def. St. Ignatius Black 1-0. In the Co-ed Division 2, St. Dominic def. St. Ignatius Green 3-0. In Division 4- Co-ed Christ the King Blue def. St. Ignatius Green 4-3. Division 6 Co-ed Corpus Christi def. St. Dominic 3-2. St. Dominic Seniors def. Christ the King Silver 6-1.
Toy Bowl games commenced on Thursday night with a “first.” St. Dominic and St. Ignatius Gold played in the inaugural Flag Football Championship game for the first and second grades.
This exciting new game resulted in St. Dominic taking home the trophy with a 44-18 victory.
The Division 4 Football contest followed with Christ the King holding off St. Mary 36-8.
Kicking off the Senior football event on a chilly, but glorious, Saturday morning at Lipscomb Field was St. Dominic versus St. Ignatius. St. Dominic rallied for a 16-14 win.
The final football event followed with another closely contested battle on the turf. St. Ignatius Green won 16-8 over St. Mary in Division 6. The football contests exhibited a new format this year with all divisions playing 8 on 8 teams on narrowed fields.
The events of the day were highlighted with the presentation of the Toy Bowl Court and crowning of Queen Mallory by Fr. W. Bry Shields.
By ANNE BAGGETT