TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Fall 2001 season
PLAYING AWARDS FOR FALL 2001
Outstanding Forward – Harry Kuan (sponsored by Kyle Kuhlman, 1999)
Outstanding Back – Greg Gallagher (sponsored by Jason Buschman, 1992)
Outstanding Rookie – Tom Tajkowski (sponsored by Bob Hirth, 2000)
Most Improved Player (tie) – Justin Carley (sponsored by Scott Miller, 1997)
Most Improved Player (tie) – Joe Donley (sponsored by Chris Donnelly,1996)
Allan Chapman Service Award – Joe Rothermich (sponsored by Guy Hagen, 1995)
NEW OFFICERS ELECTED FOR 2002
Elections were held recently and the results are as follows:
President: Joe Rothermich
Treasurer: Joe Donley
PR/Recruiting: Nick Welchert
Fields: Kevin Hunn
Jerseys: Andy Holmes
PARTING THOUGHTS FOR THE FALL 2001 SEASON
So ends another fall season. Truman Rugby had a mix of successes and disappointments this fall. However, the good points considerably outstripped the bad, and this was a very good season for us. Why? …many rookies proved themselves, some experienced players stepped-up to the challenge of the first side, there is a strong and renewed sense of “team” among the players, the players are having fun at practice and on the pitch, there is the prospect of a strong spring season, and there is a strong resolve to return to the Western Rugby Union Championships. Recruiting and off-season training are critical components to this goal.
Heart of America Collegiate All-Stars take 2nd at Territorial Championships
Eight members of the Truman Rugby team were invited to compete with the Heart of America (HOA) Rugby Union Collegiate All-Star team at the territorial Collegiate All-Stars Championships. The championships were held at the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK) November 3-4. The Truman players’ names are listed below. The HOA won their opener in a tough match against the Rio Grande RFU All-Stars (New Mexico) by a margin of 12-0, with Greg Gallagher scoring one of two HOA tries when he a intercepted a pass 20 meters out. The HOA team won their semifinal match again the Great Plains RFU (Nebraska-South Dakota) 25-5. Brian Wilson of Truman opened the scoring in this match with a hard-driving “banger” under the posts – his first try of the season. The HOA team was beginning to gel and their play in the finals against a very strong Texas RFU, surprised many, including (I think) the Texas team. The HOA struck first and controlled much of the play taking a 11-5 lead into half-time. Unfortunately, Truman players Greg Gallagher (broken bone in hand) and Harry Kuan (bruised hip) had to leave the match soon after half-time, and while their replacements played very well, their leadership on the field was missed. The score remained 11-5 until Texas slipped wide for a converted try with 5 minutes to go, to take the lead 11-12. At this point the HOA increased the pressure in an attempt to retake the lead with only minutes to go. Unfortunately, a clearing kick near the HOA goal line was blocked and a Texas player fell on the ball to seal the win for Texas in injury time. Final score 11-19. Full credit to the Texas Collegiates who played very well and snatched the win in the closing minutes. Special credit to the HOA players who made the commitment of time and effort play at this level and who equitted themselves so well on behalf of the Heart of America RFU and their home clubs.
TRUMAN PLAYERS ON HOA COLLEGIATE ALL-STARS
Harry Kuan (senior, prop) *
Kevin Hunn (senior, prop)
Kyle Stephens (freshman, prop)
Nick Welchert (junior, lock) *
Andy Holmes (senior, lock)
Brian Wilson (freshman, flanker)
Greg Gallagher (senior, scrumhalf) *
Christian McKeel (graduate student, center) *
* denotes selection to “All-Tournament Team”
Truman closes season with win at the Halloween Havoc Tournament!
Truman rebounded from last week’s disappointing injury time loss to KU, with much better performances this weekend at the University of Missouri’s Halloween Havoc Tournament. Truman opened a bit slow against Mizzou in the first game of the day. Trailing 0-7 at the half, Truman made adjustments and picked-up the intensity, and put over three tries en route to a 19-7 win. Tries came from lock Nick Welchert, center Luke Walczewski, and scrumhalf Greg Gallagher, while Walczewski was good for 2 of 3 conversions. In the second match, the Columbia Outlaws downed Central Missouri State 27-22, to set up a Truman – Outlaws final. MU defeated CMSU for 3rd place by a large margin.
In the final, Truman pushed through several early phases to put flyhalf Turk Satterly in for a try at 1:46, with a conversion by Walczewski for the early 7-0 lead. Truman played some of their most effective rugby of the season in the final, defending against the Outlaws’ powerful forward attack time and again, showing discipline and patience at the tackle line. Walczewski added a penalty before converting a try by prop Harry Kuan try to go into half-time with a 17-0 lead. Truman struck quickly in the second half with freshman wing Chris Bell scoring for a 22-0 lead at 1:25. However, the Outlaws are never to be counted out, and their forwards went to work and drove in a converted try minutes later. Then, following a mishandled deep kick, the Outlaws put over their second converted try to bring the score to 22-14 with just over 7 minute gone in the second half. It was time to “bear down!”, and Truman responded with a try and a drop-goal from Gallagher, two tries from fullback Justin Carley, and a well-executed driving lineout (with 3 of 4 conversions). The Outlaws put in a try in injury time to bring the final score to 49-21. Truman received a very nice trophy – their first hardware in almost two years – nice! Truman defended well, attacked space, finished strong – and more importantly, they had FUN! Everything you expect from a good side. This bodes well for this young team as we look to the spring season.
Two other pieces of news…
After Saturday’s matches, I went to Damien Busold’s wedding reception in St. Louis. Damien and Holly were married Saturday afternoon in what was described at the biggest church in St. Louis,and everyone said it was very nice. The reception was good fun. Truman Alumni Pat Kozemski and Jeff Gilsinn were in the wedding party. In addition, Dan Brady, Kyle Kuhlman, Brandon Hamberg, Bryan Eichholz, and Adam Bossler represented the Truman Alumni. Damien’s father, John Busold (now living in West Palm Beach, FL) was there and remains a strong supporter of Truman Rugby. Congratulations to Damien and Holly!!!
Zak Wilson has taken a new job in Virginia. He and Annie are moving east next week. Zak’s e-mail address will stay the same, so you can stay in touch with him at email@example.com.
Truman Rugby slips in closing seconds to KU
It was a heart-breaker – with 4′ 24″ of injury time gone and Truman leading 18-13, Truman had only to win their own 5 m scrum and clear the ball to touch. However, the ball shot out the side of the KU scrum, was gathered up and flipped to the KU flyhalf who cut-back to slip into the try zone. The conversion was good and Truman lost 18-20. This is a game that should have been won. No excuses. Sure we are a very young team. But we need to develop a “killer instinct” – that ability to turn it up a notch when the opportunity presents. It will come, but not without some hard lessons.
An early try by Kevin Hunn put Truman to a 5-0 lead after 18 minutes. Truman was in control and playing well, but making too many mistakes. Credit to KU as they picked up their game and scored and converted an opportunistic try at 27 minutes. KU’s flyhalf, Oliver Parkinson – Truman’s “nemesis of the day”, added a drop goal 5 minutes later to take a 5-10 lead. A late penalty goal by Luke Walczewski made the half-time score 8-10. Truman made some adjustments and came out regrouped and playing better after the half. Center Luke Walczewski converted his own try after some hard forward work 5 minutes into the half to re-take the lead 15-10. However, rather than capitalize on the score (i.e., go score again!), we sputtered and looked to be holding on. (This drove team captain Greg Gallagher crazy, since he was not playing after spraining his knee against the Alumni.) With 10 minutes to go, KU slotted a penalty goal to pull within 15-13. Luke put through another penalty to take the score to 18-13 with 7 minutes left in regulation. At this point, I told the team we needed to score again to win – and it proved right! KU scored at 44′ 24″ of the second half to win 18-20. (KU’s flyhalf accounted for 15 of KU’s 20 points! The best news is that he will be on the HOA Collegiate All-Stars, so the Truman players will be playing WITH him for a change!) Truman used two second half converted tries from Chris Bell and Joe Donley to slip past KU in the “B” game 14-12.
This puts Truman at 2-3 against KU since fall 2000. Why? KU is a team with good numbers, and some strong mature players who are getting better. Truman is a young team, with some strong mature players, who are getting better, but our numbers are too low. KU seems to have the upper hand for now…however, I suspect it will change. Thanks to Paul Askeland who gave up his KU-MU football tickets to come out to the game – we loved having Paulie in the cheering section!
Index Article (by Andy Meyer) – Thursday, October 19, 2001
Young Truman team unwilling to roll-over for the Alumni.
Yeah, I know that sounds bad, but it is meant to be a compliment to the Alumni and their reputation. Truman’s team this year is very young with four freshman in the starting lineup, and our depth is not what it should be. And the reputation of the Alumni is formidable. The Truman players were taking nothing for granted, and (I suspect) expecting to get handled by the bigger, more experienced Alumni. However, on this day, youthful exuberance, team quickness, and some ferocious defense helped Truman to a surprising 38-12 win over the Alumni. Truman got on the board early with a try from flanker Joe Donley to hold a 7-0 lead after the first 20 minute period. Donley went on to score twice more, to gain the season’s first hat-trick, and earned the Alumni’s “Truman Player of the Match” honors. Junior center, Luke Walczewski, score two tries and Senior prop, Harry Kuan, scored one. In the “make it-take it” format for conversion, Truman was a remarkable 4 for 6 in conversions! Tony Sauceda and Tracey Grant scored for the Alumni, with Sauceda making his conversion. The Truman players selected Bob Andresen as the “Old Man of the Match” award, for which he will have his name inscribed on the perpetual cane. As always the Alumni were extremely generous in their support of the Truman program, donating nearly $3000 for the endowment fund, which is used to support team activities at Western and National events, capital expenditures, and support for newly proposed “New Player Scholarship Program” which is planned to begin in 2002.
Truman hang on for win over University of Nebraska
Truman watched as the UNL conversion attempt sailed just wide of the posts, and was followed immediately by the full-time whistle – they had won 17-15. Truman and UNL battled back and forth all afternoon, both playing stinging defense and not allowing the other team to get much started. The halftime score was 3-3 and reflected the hard-fought game. After some adjustments, the second half went a little better with tries from center Luke Walczewski and hooker Tom Tajkowski. Both tries were converted by Walczewski to give Truman a handy 17-3 lead with about 10 minutes to play. However, UNL was not to be denied and the increased pressure. UNL earned a converted well-earned try with less than four minutes to regulation time to pull within 17-10. Truman pushed the ball down-field at the restart. Then well into injury time, UNL had a scrum at their own 40 m and managed breached the Truman defense, and with some deft handling, went 60 m to put the ball in for a try on the left side. Now all that remained was for Truman to watch – if the conversion was good, we have a tie game with no time – a miss and Truman takes a win. The kick was wide, and Truman breathed a sigh of relief – Final Score: 17-15.
Kudos to freshman hooker, Tom Tajkowski whose hard work around the pitch and good lineout throws, earned him praise from the host, Kansas City RFC, who named him “Man of the Match“, for which he received an etched KCRFC 35th anniversary mug. Thanks to KCRFC who provided the team a terrific post-match meal, and who were great hosts!
Truman Stumble in County Match 12-27
Coming off of last week’s win over the Hornets and a good week of practice, Truman was expecting a better result. Unfortunately, we made too many mistakes and County was relentless in attack and determined in defense. County controlled most phases of the game and played havoc with our lineouts. Truman didn’t show the continuity, player support, ball-retention, and defense that marked their success last week. County opened scoring from a blocked kick in the first four minutes. (We would see three “panic kicks” blocked before the day was over.) Meanwhile, Justin Carley’s 40 meter break up the middle found only Turk Satterly in support and the attack was stopped within a meter of County’s try line. Truman later squandered two consecutive attacking options from 5m scrums. County added a penalty goal at 25 minutes to play, and then stole our lineout to drive through for a converted try with less than three minutes in the half. Halftime score: 0-17. In the second half, Truman was determined to regain their form, however, too many turnovers and not enough players in support of attacking players, left Truman struggling. Two unconverted County tries brought the score to 0-27 with less than 20 minutes to go. Credit to the Truman players for beginning to execute better – at this point there was little to lose. Some good forward efforts were rewarded with a converted try by freshman hooker Tom Tajkowski at 64 minutes. Then at 77 minutes, freshman wing Chris Bell scored a nice try in the left corner. The score was 12-27 but time was out. No one was very happy with our performance, and we are hoping this will be an important stimulus to take our game forward one more step. We will have to play better, as we will face a strong opponent in University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Kansas City next weekend.
Index Article (by Andy Meyer) – Thursday, September 27, 2001
Truman upsets St. Louis Hornets
With several key players either injured or unavailable, Truman fielded one of it’s youngest teams in years. Then within the first two minutes, Chris Gray was injured (not serious) and was replaced by freshman Matt Robertson. Truman now had five freshman on the field! The Hornets’ pack was huge and their backs weren’t much smaller! With leadership from captain and flyhalf, Greg Gallagher, strong work by the forwards, and good tackling defense in the backs, Truman was able to implement a game plan that took advantage of our overall team speed to “overachieve” and come away with a deserved 31-5 win. Tries came from Christian McKeel, Harry Kuan, Greg Gallagher, and Justin Carley. Luke Walczewski converted 4 of 4 tries, and added a penalty goal.
Truman draws with University of Illinois while the “Killer B’s” roll.
Truman played very well for the first 25-30 of each half this past weekend against a steady Illinois team. However, late lapses in both periods allowed Illinois back into the match. Most of the first half was played inside the Illinois half, thanks to solid defense and probing attacks. Truman scored from a well-executed scrum move near the 50 m with wing Justin Carley covering all but the last few steps before off-loading to scrumhalf, Joe Rothermich for the try (conversion from the touch line was no good). Truman was leading 5-0 with about 8 min to go in the half when Illinois mounted some effective movements to score a converted try to go up 5-7. A well executed move from a 5 m scrum resulted in a try for lock Andy Holmes in injury time, and Greg Gallagher’s conversion made the halftime score 12-7. Truman regrouped after the half and began to control the flow of play. Truman stole an Illinois scrum put-in, which lead to a try by center Turk Satterly (conversion no good; 17-7). At this point, it looked like Truman had control. But then they went flat. Illinois was not to be denied, and with 13 minutes left they went on a try-scoring rampage – dotting-down three times (no conversions) in an 8 minute period to take a 17-22 lead. Shell-shocked, Truman rallied in the dying seconds and were rewarded with a try by Justin Carley on a nice pop pass at the try line from rookie wing Chris Bell. The tough conversion was just wide, and the game ended in a 22-22 draw. With only two weeks of play under their belt, Truman clearly can play effective rugby. But, we will need to play the entire 80 minutes in the future! Fortunately, after the match the players themselves recognized the need for additional fitness training – so we’re hittin’ the Burma Road next week!! (Match rosters.)
Because we traveled with only 24 players to Illinois, players from the first game split halves to support the Killer B’s (some early fitness training!). The “B’s” got two tries from Christian “the cherry-picker” McKeel, as well as tries for rookies Matt Robertson, Chris Bell and second semester flanker, Kevin Orcutt. The final score of 38-0 reflects the fun that the team had playing this afternoon.
Index Article (by Andy Meyer) – Thursday, September 13, 2001
Truman Rugby took a giant step towards regaining their competitive form this weekend in St. Louis at the annual Royals’ Tournament, a men’s club tournament. While the score-line didn’t always favor Truman – we went 1-2 – the style of play, the heart of the team, and the fun of playing were clearly evident to all. Truman traveled with a core of returning players and a host of new players, and everyone contributed. Truman opened with a 15-0 win over the Sunday Morning RFC to enter the “winners” bracket. Unfortunately, we came out on the short end of a 0-20 defeat loss to the Little Rock RFC. It was a very good and hard fought game, that was closer than the score reflects. At one point, Truman received an ovation from the crowd for a display of open field running rugby that covered about 60 m. And at the conclusion of the match, the players received praise from both their opponents and the referee. Most notable was the marked improvement in overall play between the first and second games. Truman played the St. Louis Ramblers Sunday morning, and lost 0-17. This game was also well-played and the tenacity and commitment on defense was remarkable. Again, an improvement in overall play and very respectable match. Most notable were the contributions of a number of rookies who played their first ever matches this weekend, and several young returning players who are putting their mark on first team play. Needless to say, everyone is very excited about the season to come.
Columbia 10’s Tournament
Where were you last Saturday? It was sunny and hot, just like every 10’s tournament! Truman was represented by 5 current players (Gallagher, Rothermich, Newcomb, Kuan, Pieper), 2 alumni (Dodson and Sauceda), and one freshman to be, Tom Tajkowski from DeSmet High School in St. Louis. In addition, we had some guests – Brian Venable (Park Hill H.S. Alum), Steve Purdy (Pieper’s large friend), two players from Fort Leonard Wood (Tyson Ackerman and Ernest Urquieta), and those Wilson brothers from Jeff City. It was all fun, even though we went 1-2. We defeated the Outlaws “B” 14-0 in our first game. We lost Springfield RFC in the semifinals 5-24. We ran out of gas against a good Hornets team losing 7-34. While is it was not a great day for results, I think everyone had a good time and no one got hurt. The Outlaws were good hosts and put on a great hog roast after the games were over. [ Kevin Hunn was also there, but he didn’t play because he left his kit and boots on his doorstep when he left Kirksville, and was unable to find a pair of size 15 boots to borrow! He did a good job as touch judge and watered his dog a lot. ]
John Tarpoff make Collegiate All-American for 2001
Former Truman Rugger, John “Tarp” Tarpoff, was selected to the USA Rugby Collegiate All-American Team at the close of the National Collegiate All-American Trials in Boulder, CO in June. As a member of the All-American Team, Tarp will travel to Dublin, Ireland for two matches against Trinity College and the Irish Universities Team. Tarp played with Truman from fall 1998 through fall 2000, before transferring to Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL. He is presently playing rugby with the St. Louis Bombers, the top men’s club in the Missouri Rugby Union.
Spring 2001 Post-Season Awards
Outstanding Forward – Martin Garcia
Outstanding Back – Greg Gallagher
Outstanding Rookie – Luke Walczewski
Most Improved Player – Joe Donley
Gallagher and Pieper Elected Captains for 2001-2002
Greg Gallagher was elected team captain and Matt Pieper was elected vice captain for the 2001-2002 rugby season. Gallagher is a scrumhalf and Pieper is a flanker. Both will be seniors next year. Gallagher and Pieper are also members of the Heart of America Collegiate All-Stars and bring talent and leadership to the captaincy. They are taking the reins from last years captain and vice captains, Turk Satterly and Harry Kuan, who lead the team in 2000-2001.
Rothermich Elected Club President
Joe Rothermich was elected president of Truman Rugby to replace Brain Newcomb who graduated this summer. Joe is a very active and dedicated member of the team, and headed-up PR efforts this past spring. Joe, who plays scrumhalf and wing, will be a junior next year. Junior, Joe Donley was elected to replace Rothermich as the PR secretary for the club.