The inaugural 2023 USWRA Low Point Division National Championships took place in Houston, Texas over Labor Day Weekend and featured the top 6 teams from across the United States. Going into the competition the home team TIRR Memorial Hermann Texans were slight favorites to win it all followed by, the Mary Free Bed Grand Rapids Thunder, WWAR – Wounded Warrior Ability Ranch, Magee/Medstar, the Sportable Possums, and the Northridge Knights. The first day of competition went easily according to the rankings.
Day 2 featured crossover matchups between the bottom 2 teams in each pool. The first game featured WWAR versus the Northridge Knights where WWAR handily beat the Knights. Game 2 was the first competitive game of the tournament pitting the Sportable Possums, led by all-tournament 1.5 Joshua Burch, versus Magee Medstar. Although the Possums put up a great fight, ultimately, Magee/Medstar would pull away for the victory. Game 3 was highly anticipated with #2 Grand Rapids taking on #3 WWAR. However, the anticipation was short lived as the Thunder made easy work of WWAR. Game 4 went according to plan with the #1 TIRR Texans beating #4 Magee/Medstar by a large margin to set up the final day’s competition:
5th-6th the Sportable Possums versus the Northridge Knights
3rd-4th WWAR versus Magee/Medstar
Championship TIRR Texans versus the Grand Rapids Thunder
The Sportable Possums took home 5th place with a victory over Northridge. WWAR took home 3rd place with a big win over Magee/Medstar.
The 2023 USWRA Low Point Championship would prove to be an instant classic. The TIRR Texans starting line-up was led by all-tournament .5 Mike DeYoung, all-tournament 1.0 Daniel Ortiz, and veteran 1.5s Earl Bowser and Steve Kearley competing against the Grand Rapids Thunder starting line-up led by MVP 1.5 Ryan Engelby, 1.0 Katie Brim, 1.5 Paul Garrett, and .5 Matt Milstead. These teams had battled it out all low point division season with both teams having victories over the other; however, this was the first match where both teams had their full rosters so you knew it was going to be good and it did not disappoint. In the end, the Grand Rapids Thunder earned the inaugural 2023 USWRA Low Point Championship in an overtime thriller 32-31 over the TIRR Texans.
The USWRA and the Low Point Committee would like to thank TIRR Memorial Hermann, Harris County Houston Sports Authority and Weekly Family YMCA for hosting the 2023 USWRA Low Point Nationals as well as the 9 teams that registered and all athletes that competed during this historical season. We also want to extend a huge thank you to the low point division tournament hosts: WWAR Tampa, FL, the Sportable Possums Richmond, VA and Reno, NV. Let’s run it back and plan for an even bigger and better low point division in 2024!