PROVIDENCE, RI (July 5, 2023) – The Providence Gay Flag Football League (PVDGFFL) has secured two national tournament championships – the first in the league’s history – with wins in two divisions at the annual Pride Bowl tournament in Chicago.
Held on the banks of Lake Michigan, this year’s Pride Bowl drew more than 750 players from the U.S. and Canada, who made up 47 of the best flag football teams in North America.
PVDGFFL sent three teams to compete at the tournament and came home with championship titles in the B2 and C Divisions.
“We’re so incredibly proud of all our players and thrilled to share these titles - and all they represent – with our PVDGFFL family and the community that’s supported us,” said Chris Almonte, PVDGFFL’s Commissioner and Captain of the Lobsters Blue team that secured the C Division Title. “At these tournaments, we face the best of the best, including teams that have been playing together for years. Our league is still incredibly young by comparison, so to take home two titles is a testament to the talent we have in our league and the hard work that our players put in over months of practice. These wins are the culmination of years of growth in our tournament program and they put the Providence league on the map. They affirm our league’s values and the fact that our community is so much stronger when we work together.”
The Providence Lobsters Blue team was ranked as the #5 seed in the C Division and kicked off tournament play by upsetting the #4 seed DC Delta Force to advance to the semi-finals. There, they faced off with the top seed in the division – and the tournament hosts – the Chicago Renegades. After falling behind 13-0, the Lobsters rallied to force overtime. With their championship hopes on the line, the Lobsters scored a game-winning touchdown on fourth down to knock off the #1 seed. In the Championship Game, the Lobsters earned a rematch against the Philadelphia Revolution Blue squad, whom they had beaten in overtime the prior day. The Lobsters led most of the game and closed out Philly 38-28 to become the first team in PVDGFFL history to secure a tournament championship.
About an hour later, the Providence Lobsters Gold team matched the feat, securing the B2 Division Championship. After going 3-0 on the first day of the tournament behind the division’s highest scoring offense (35 points per game) and the stingiest defense (9 points allowed per game), the Gold team entered tournament play as the #1 seed in the B2 Division. They completed PVDGFFL’s first-ever perfect tournament record (6-0) by shutting down teams from Minnesota (35-0), Atlanta (20-19) and New York (25-12) on Day 2.
“This extraordinary achievement represents far more than a trophy; it symbolizes the strength, unity, and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Kah’Reem Copeland, Captain of the Lobsters Gold team. “Through our unwavering spirit and support for one another, Lobsters Gold has etched our names in National Gay Flag Football League and PVDGFFL history, inspiring future generations to embrace their true selves and strive for greatness.”
PVDGFFL’s tournament teams now turn their focus to Gay Bowl, the largest tournament of the year. More than 1,000 players from the U.S. and Canada will compete in Seattle on October 5-8.
About the Providence Gay Flag Football League
The Providence Gay Flag Football League, a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization, serves the Rhode Island LGBTQIA+ community. Founded in 2018, the organization's goal is to create a safe and inclusive environment where people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can participate in a competitive and friendly team sport, develop a social support system, and build lifelong friendships. In addition to football, the league has partnered with other area non-profit organizations to donate time and resources to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ people in Rhode Island. Learn more at www.pvdgffl.org.
Commissioner & Executive Director