Fall 2003 Match Reports
INDEX: Click link to go directly to a write-up, or scroll down.
Eleven Truman players represent the Heart of America Rugby Union at the Western Collegiate All-Stars Championships
Index article – November 6, 2003
Sean Foley selected “Outstanding Back” of the tournament!
PHOTO: Tuman players on the HOA Collegiate All-Stars
Week #8: Truman Rugby ends season with 40-12 win over KU
Index article – October 30, 2003
Week #7: Truman stand up to Alumni during annual match
PHOTO: Truman and Alumni – Post-match
Index article – October 23, 2003
Week #6 – Truman avenge early season loss, with 38-0 win over Iowa State
Index article – October 9, 2003
Week #4 – Truman record league win over Nebraska
Index article – October 2, 2003
Week #3 – Truman defeat St. Louis Hornets
Index article – September 25, 2003
Week #2 – Truman tops KCRFC “B”
Index article – September 11, 2003
Current and Former Truman Players at the NASC Championships
Current Truman players, Sean Foley and Tony Giubardo, were invited to play with the Western Rugby Union Senior Development Team at the National All-Star Championship (NASC) in Orlando, FL last weekend (Dec. 5-7). Foley also got some reserve playing time in the senior match against Mid-Atlantic on Sunday. Former Truman player John Tarpoff played for the West Seniors and Matt Strangeway played for the Southern California Seniors. Doug Bratcher, who played on the Southern California team that won the championship in 2002, is recovering from neck surgery and was an assistant coach and manager of the Southern California Seniors. Lastly, former Truman Bullets players, KJ Abel (West Women) and Sara Corcoran (Midwest Women) were there as well. Sara scored the winning try for the Midwest Senior women as they won the women’s NASC championship match.
FALL 2003 BANQUET – OFFICERS AND CAPTAINS ELECTED FOR 2004
The fall banquet was held early this year so that team captain, Joe Donley could attend. Joe got called up to National Guard duty and will have to miss his last semester at Truman (he was supposed to graduate in May 2004), and forego his last season of rugby. Joe was presented an engraved mug on behalf of the team, and everyone made their goodbyes.
With Joe’s departure, the team needed to elect a new captain. Brian Wilson (junior #8) was elected, with sophomore flyhalf, Sean Foley re-elected as vice captain. Elections were also held for officers for the 2004 school year. Chris Bell, who was elected president mid-term in 2003, was re-elected president. Several young players were elected to officer roles; with Kurt Albin being elected treasurer and his little buddy Brennan “Buck” Delaney elected to handle public relations. Jeff Wright was re-elected to handle field preparation and equipment, in absentia, on the basis of his sound performance this past fall.
|Club Officers Elected for 2004
President – Chris Bell
Treasurer – Kurt Albin
Field and Equipment – Jeff Wright
Public Relations – Brennan Delaney
|Captains Elected for Spring 2004
Captain – Brian Wilson
Vice Captain – Sean Foley
Playing awards were also announced for the Fall 2003 season. Brian Wilson and Sean Foley garnered Outstanding Forward and Back, respectively, reflecting the team’s opinion of their contributions and supporting their election as captain and vice captain for 2004. Leonard Stephens, a freshman prop (and no relation to Kyle Stephens) who had never played previously, took the Outstanding Rookie Award. Most Improved went to junior scrumhalf Richard Schuessler, who really stepped-up his game this fall. Joe Donley was presented his second consecutive Allan Chapman Club Service Award, reflecting his hard work on behalf of the club as treasurer for two years, and captain for the past three seasons. Joe’s leadership on the field will be missed. Lastly, in the unofficial category of “Player who inspired you most”, Tom Tajkowski was the leading vote getter, although many names were offered.
*** Fall 2003 Awards ***
Most Improved Player
|Allan Chapman Service Award||Joe Donley||OPEN|
TRUMAN PLAYERS AND THE HEART OF AMERICA COLLEGIATE ALL-STARS
Truman players have long been committed to participation on the HOA Collegiate All-Stars. The All-Star team provides an opportunity for collegiate players to partner with the best players from other local college teams and play at a higher level. In addition, the team provides a chance for Truman players to play with and get to know the best players from the other local college programs. While the fact that Truman’s coach also coaches the All-Stars has some part in their involvement, I (the coach) suspect that the Truman players participate in this program in spite of that! Regardless, this is a great opportunity and always a great time.
The HOA Collegiate All-Stars (click here for a team photo) traveled to Bernalillo, NM (20 miles north of Albuquerque) to play in the Western Rugby Union Collegiate Championships, November 1-2, 2003. Twenty-four players representing Truman, Kansas, Nebraska, Pittsburg State, Southwest Missouri State, Kansas State, and William Jewell (KC) played. The HOA Collegiates is a very good team, with some very talented players and a great “team feel”. We finished the Western championship tournament with a 0-2-1 record … not exactly what we had hoped for, but certainly our performances were better than the record reflects. We came out very flat against the Ozark RFU, and had to come back to tie the match 22-22 at full time. In our second match against Eastern Rockies #1, we struggled in the second half and they capitalized for a 14-37 loss. Part of our let-down was related to the loss of our scrumhalf (pulled hamstring) and strong-side flanker. We managed to make it into the 3rd place game because of the tie against Ozark and the same losing margin against ER #1, but we scored two tries compared to the Ozark’s two penalties. Tim Russo (Truman and HOA Collegiate Alumnus and current team assistant coach) conducted a great “kangaroo court” session on Saturday night, and the team had a great time relaxing … the details are highly confidential!
Because of Saturday injuries (Smith-hamstring; Worth-knee; Carlson-cheekbone), we had to make some adjustments to our lineup for the 3rd place game against Texas. I knew that it would be a special game, and I was right! The HOA team achieved stronger and more effective purpose, and played much better rugby. The Texas 3rd place match was a see-saw battle that ultimately went Texas’ way, as they won 29-39. However, the HOA team was in it the entire way if not for a few bad bounces. Everyone was very positive and the mood of the team was great, as we look forward to our next campaign.
The HOA Team graduates five seniors who will not be with us next fall (school and years on team): Kevin Hunn (Truman, 5 yrs), Nick Welchert (Truman, 3 yrs), Kyle Ricketts (KU, 2 yrs), Morgan Knotts (Pittsburg, 2 yrs), Brian Lubacz (Pittsburg, 2 yrs), Kevin Orcutt (Truman, 1 yr).
Sean Foley (Truman) was voted “Outstanding Back” of the all-star tournament. Sean played flyhalf in both games Saturday, but because of the injury to scrumhalf, Conner Smith (K-State), Sean played his first-ever game at scrumhalf in the 3rd place game. His performance cemented his selection as the outstanding back in the tournament.
Eleven Truman players participated on the team (click here for a photo of the Truman players); Chris Bell, Brennan Delaney, Sean Foley, Tony Giubardo, Kevin Hunn, Matt O’Brien, Kevin Orcutt, Tom Tajkowski, Nick Welchert, Brian Wilson, and Ryan Worth.
TRUMAN TOPPLE KU COLLEGIATE IN SEASON FINALE
The final match of the season against KU Collegiate was probably the most important. Not only was this a KU game – something special in its own right – but it was also a league match in the new Western Rugby Union Regional Collegiate League structure. A win against KU would put Truman at 2-0 going into the spring, and the lead in the Central North League and chance to host Pool D in the Round of 16 next March 22-23. Truman had been working towards this game all season, and are fully aware that KU always plays hard, is very opportunistic, and they never quit. They are a tough opponent any time you play them. In fact, that is precisely what we found again!
KU missed a makeable penalty kick about 90 seconds into the match, and then scored a try to open the scoring at just two and a half minutes to take a 5-0 lead. Needless to say, Truman was stunned. KU had come to play, while Truman looked pretty lackadaisical. Sean Foley got Truman on the board with penalty goals at 6:30 and 16:45 to put Truman up 6-5. During this period, Truman began to settle down and begin to take control of the match. Fortunately, we did not panic. Justin Carley, playing his final game for Truman (Justin graduates in December 2003) scored an unconverted try at 19:35 to put Truman up 11-5. A few minutes later, with Truman attacking inside the KU 22 m, Foley lifted a little chip kick into the KU in-goal and the chase was on … however, to everyone’s surprise, the first person to touch down was Foley – he had scored on his own chip ahead, and then converted to give Truman a 18-5 lead at the half. Justin Carley opened the scoring just 2 minutes into the second half. The conversion was no good, and Truman had a 23-11 lead. Prop Jeff Wright got dinged a few minutes later, and Kevin Hunn, who is also graduating in December 2003, came on at loosehead. Despite Truman having good control, the match was stalemated for the next 20 minutes before Foley slotted another penalty goal to push the lead to 26-5. However, KU was not going to lay down, and they scored a converted try at 32 min to close to 26-12. Two more Truman tries – center Tony Giubardo at 34 min and wing Ryan Worth at 39 min (both converted) sealed the 40-12 victory. Truman leads the Central-North Collegiate league with fall wins over University of Nebraska (44-5) and KU. Truman received 4 points for each win, and a bonus point in each match for scoring 4 or more tries in the match.
TRUMAN PREVAIL OVER THE ALUMNI
The Truman / Northeast Missouri Rugby Alumni returned to the ‘Ville. The 2003 turn-out was lower than the previous year, with 18 Alums suiting up, and a couple Alums taking sideline critique roles. As is always the case, the Alumni came determined to show the “younguns” their place, and to re-establish their dominance. The match was hotly contested, and according to some Alumni – poorly officiated. Regardless, it was a hard, bruising game with lots of great skills displayed by both sides. It was probably the most physical match the Truman team has played this season.
The first half was a closely contested match with both sides attacking, and both sides playing great defense. Truman tighthead prop, Brennan Delaney, scored the only try of the first 20-min period. One of the Alumni game rules is that you must convert your own tries by drop-goal. Delaney started off the proceedings with a nice “whiff”, and by day’s end only one try was converted! Alum Bryan Lay scored at the start of the second period, and was matched later by Truman Captain, Joe Donley/ The half-time score was Truman 10 – Alumni 5. Kevin Hunn scored a pair of tries for Truman in the third period to put Truman up 20-5, before Bryan Lay scored his second of the day to bring the score after three periods (60 min) to Truman 20 – Alumni 10. Alum Jason Naber scored early in the fourth period to bring the Alumni with 5 points (20-15). However, Truman center Tony Giubardo answered back and converted his try for the only successful conversion of the day to give Truman a 27-15 lead. Donley scored soon after to stretch the lead to 32-15. But the Alums didn’t fold. They drove down the field and Martin Garcia drove over to bring the Alums back into striking distance (32-20). Sean Foley closed out the scoring with a final try (and even he missed his straight on conversion!). Final Score: Truman 37 – Alumni 20.
The Truman / Northeast Missouri Alumni selected junior #8, Brian Wilson as the Truman “Man of the Match”. Wilson will add his name to the “Bull” (with previous winners Bryan Lay, Tony Sauceda, and Joe Donley). The Truman team selected Alumnus, Brandon Hamberg as the Alumni “Man of the Match”. Brandon’s name will be added to the “Cane” with previous winners Mark Dodson, Scott Lay, and Glen Baumgarth).
Many thanks to the Truman Alumni who returned to Kirksville this past weekend: Mike Arnold, Jerry Ashley, Paul Askeland, John Brooks, Mark Dodson, Dave Ethetton, James Ethetton (Dave’s father), Greg Gallagher, Chris Geisert, Jeff Gilsinn, Dave Goring, Brandon Hamberg, Bryan Lay, Christian McKeel, Jason Naber, Matt Pieper, Joe Rothermich, Turk Satterly, Archie Thomas, Luke Walczewski. A total of $1930 in donations were received by the club this weekend. Thank you, Alumni!!
TRUMAN AVENGE EARLY SEASON LOSS TO IOWA STATE 38-0
Truman lost their Sunday morning match at the KU Collegiate Tournament to Iowa State 8-13 the first weekend of the season. Despite victories over Wyoming and John Brown that weekend, the loss to Iowa State seemed to weigh heavily on the team leading into this re-match. Iowa State is a big, physical and well-coached team – they are a handful! Today, however, Truman got the upper hand and the momentum early, and finished well to post an emphatic 38-0 win. The “Killer B’s” took the field, and posted a comparable 38-7 score.
In the first match, Truman gave away some early penalties before getting to business. Fullback Justin Carley collected his first try of the season when he fielded a ISU kick and counter-attacked. Carley chipped ahead, and the wild bounce avoided the defenders long enough for Carley to take the bouncing ball on the full, to score untouched between the posts at 5 min. Sean Foley’s conversion was good for the early 7-0 lead. At 14 min Truman executed a nice driving lineout from about 10 m out. Brian Wilson touched down, but credit goes to the entire pack for their patience and execution in working the ball to the try line. The conversion was no good (12-0). At about 19 min, Truman to a quick tap from about mid-field, and quickly moved the ball wide for Ryan Worth to accelerate through the defense and to score the converted try under the posts. (Worth leads the team with 10 tries so far this season!) Late in the half, ISU had a scrum inside their 22m. Truman’s scrum (who played extremely well in the scrums all day!) took the ball against the head, and Brian Wilson picked-up and attacked left before dropping off to Richard Schuessler who juked several ISU players to score the converted try. HALFTIME SCORE: Truman 26 – Iowa State 0
The second half saw ISU play with more purpose and intensity, while Truman appeared to let down and/or tire a little. Despite a number of attempts – and three knock-ons inside the opposition 5 m – there was no scoring until the 70th min, when Sean Foley squirted over for a self-converted try (score: 33-0). With time winding down, Ryan Worth received ball from a counter-attacking Justin Carley. The conversion was wide. FINAL SCORE: Truman 38 – Iowa State 0
Tries: Worth (2), Carley, Wilson, Schuessler, Foley
Conversions: Foley (4 of 6)
In the second game, in which a number of players had to double up after a tough first game, everyone showed great improvement. Kevin Hunn opened the scoring, while Richard Schuessler converted the try. A short time later, Taurean Johnson scored his first try ever when an attacking lineout was driven in for a try. The conversion was no good. The HALFTIME SCORE: Truman 12 – Iowa State 0
In the second half, Joe Donley opened the scoring, while Kevin Orcutt added two tries, and Johnson got his second try. Richard Schuessler, was 4 of 6 for conversions.
Tries: Johnson (2), Orcutt (2) Hunn, Donley
Conversions: Schuessler (4 of 6)
TRUMAN RECORD WIN OVER NEBRASKA
Truman Rugby opened up their 2003-2004 championship season with a decisive 44-5 win over the University of Nebraska. The West Men’s Division I Collegiate structure has Truman playing home and away matches with Nebraska and the University of Kansas during the fall and spring seasons (Central-North sub-region). At the end of the competition, the three will earn seeds in first round of the Western Rugby Union Collegiate Championships in late March 2004. Truman earned maximum points in the competition scoring system by recording the win, and receiving a bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match.
Truman captain, Joe Donley, had military duty so vice captain, Sean Foley, took the reins. Nebraska is a big, physical team, and definitely made an impression. Everyone was nervous before the match, knowing how much rested on our first league game of the season. However, once the whistle blew they all went to work, and boy did they ever!
Truman applied pressure early, and after running the ball through at least a dozen phases, left wing Mu Kupara scored in the left corner after just 4 min. Flyhalf Sean Foley slotted the tough conversion from the sideline for a 7-0 lead. Truman continued to dominate possession with quick and effective support. Lock Nick Welchert, drove through the UNL defense and over at 7 min; the conversion was not good. Truman continued to press Nebraska, and were able to put away right wing Ryan Worth down the right wing for a try in the corner. Foley again made the tough conversion and Truman lead 26-0 with 10 min left in the half. Two late penalty kicks (30 and 40 yds) from Foley left the half-time score at Truman 32 – UNL 0.
Nebraska came out fired up in the second half, and the game slipped into a back and forth affair with no scoring until 24 min, when #8 Brian Wilson scored. The conversion was no good (score: 37-0). Four min later Truman drove a lineout more than 15 yards for a Wilson to score in the right corner. The drop-kick conversion from the touch line was good (44-0).
By this time some threatening clouds were rolling in and the wind was picking up. Suddenly, with less than 5 min in the match, it began pouring – with some hail! However, this storm blew over in a matter of minutes, and the game finished with Nebraska pressing their advantage, and scoring a try at full time. FINAL SCORE: 44-5
TRIES: Wilson (2), Kupara, Welchert, Bell, Worth
CONVERSIONS: Foley 4 of 6
PENALTIES: Foley 2 of 3
Truman has next week off. Many of Truman’s better players will be traveling with the Heart of America Collegiate All-Stars to participate in the HOA Tournament in Wichita, KS. Truman’s next home games are: Oct 11 vs. Iowa State and Oct 18 vs. Truman Rugby Alumni. Truman finishes the competitive season on Oct 25 with a league match against Kansas University in Lawrence, KS.
TRUMAN OPEN HOME SEASON WITH WIN OVER ST. LOUIS HORNETS
Truman Rugby continued their winning ways September 20, defeating the St. Louis Hornets at home by a 33-0 score. The weather was perfect for rugby – clear and cool – and the field is completely grass covered (yeah, you read correctly!) and soft (thanks to last Thursday’s downpour). Unfortunately, the Hornets traveled with only 15 players, so there wasn’t a “B” game, but we were able to get almost everyone subbed in for some playing time. In the end, we appreciate the Hornet’s commitment to honoring the match, rather than taking the easy way out.
Flyhalf, Sean Foley started the scoring at 4 min, and converted his own try. #8 Brian Wilson scored on a good break 10 min later, which Foley converted for a 14-0 lead. Later, from a scrum 25 m out, Wilson picked and passed to scrumhalf Richard Schuessler, who fed wing, Ryan Worth speeding down the blind side. Worth went in un-touched, and the score was 21-0. Five min before half, Truman took a Hornets ball in a 5 m scrum, Wilson picked-up and drove in for his second try of the day. The conversion was missed and the half time score was Truman 26 – Hornets 0.
Unfortunately, the more constructive play that marked Truman’s first half was less apparent. Combined with greater Hornets pressure, there were too many stoppages, and only one second half score (despite many opportunities). Once again, center Tony Giubardo made a crashing run through the defense at mid-field. He drove to within 5 m of the try line before off-loading to fullback Justin Carley supporting in depth. The conversion was good, and the final score was 33-0.
Despite the lopsided score, there were a number of aspects that need to be addressed. However, that is the name of the game – practice, play, identify problems, address them, and practice some more. Hopefully, performances get better week by week. This weekend we play the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at home in a Western Rugby Union league match. Game time is 1:30 PM with a “B” game to follow.
Tries: Wilson (2), Foley, Worth, Carley
Conversions: Foley (4/5)
TRUMAN TOPS KANSAS CITY RFC “B”
CMSU cancelled Saturday’s scheduled match. But it just so happened that Kansas City RFC had been looking for a match for their “B” side. It all worked out! We left Kirksville in the pouring rain, and it rained all the way to KC, let up in time for KC RC to play their match against the GOATS, and started-up again right at the start of our match and rained the whole way. The ground was soggy, and the ball was wet and muddy making for difficult handling. We had a number of regular players unavailable (Donley, Delaney, Hunn, Jones), but the personnel adjustments worked well together, as Truman adapted to post a strong 32-10 win. Sean Foley opened the scoring with a penalty at 7 min, and the scoring remained quiet until 25 min when outside center Tony Giubardo exploded through the defensive backline to take the ball within 5 m, where he off-loaded to inside center, Chris Bell following in depth support. Giubardo broke through the defense again at 41 min to score beneath the post. Foley converted the later try, for a halftime lead of 15-0. 5 min into the second half, wing Ryan Worth blocked a KC clearing kick, and touched the ball down for a try, which Foley converted. Lock Nick Welchert continued his fine play, scoring two tries at 24 and 32 min. Nick dislocated his pinky scoring his first try, and after getting it back in place and taped, he promptly went back and drove over for his second. KC was able to put in two second half tries, for a Final Score of 32-10.
Lots of credit to Truman rookie Leonard Stephens, who debuted for Truman at tighthead prop in his first game ever. He scrummaged very well, and played well in the loose. Leonard looks to have a great rugby future! In addition, Taurean Johnson made an inspiring debut at flanker, and Kurt Albin came in right before half to replace Brian Wilson (deep muscle bruise) and played very well. Lastly, hats off to rookie wing Brendan Loula. He came on at half, and within 8 min came off with a half inch cut above his eye! It was a tough break, and he was disappointed to have to come out so soon.
Thanks to the parents and to alumnus Jason Scherfenberg who braved the rain to support the team. Alumnus Mark Dodson played for KCRFC against us.
Tries: Bell, Giubardo, Worth, Welchert (2)
Conversions: Foley (2/4), Schuessler (0/1)
Penalties: Foley (1/1)
TRUMAN GOES 2-1 IN THE JAYHAWK CUP
Truman Rugby opened the fall 2003 season with a strong showing at the Jayhawk Cup, hosted by the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. Due to availability issues, we traveled with only 17 players and, although we played very well, in the end we just couldn’t put in three games and maintain our pace. It was however, a great showing and we have great expectations for the coming year. Index article – September 11, 2003
TRUMAN – UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
Truman started the fall 2003 season with a strong 24-7 victory over nationally ranked University of Wyoming at the “Jayhawk Cup” collegiate rugby tournament in Lawrence, KS. Wyoming opened the scoring at 4 min with a quickly converted try to take a 0-7 lead. Senior lock, Nick Welchert, opened the scoring for Truman at 17 min after a series of driving rucks near the goal line. Sophomore flyhalf, Sean Foley, converted to tie the score at 7-7. Seven min later, junior flanker, Tom Tajkowski, broke quickly from a 5 m Wyoming scrum and blocked the clearing kick, and then won the chase to touch down the ball in goal. Foley’s conversion was good, and Truman took a 14-7 lead into half-time. No sooner had the second half started, when Foley slotted a penalty goal to give Truman a 17-7 lead. Junior wing, Ryan Worth, closed the Truman scoring at 17 min with a converted try, to close out the 24-7 victory over Wyoming.
Tries: Welchert, Tajkowski, Worth
Conversions: Foley (3/3)
Penalties: Foley (1/2)
TRUMAN – JOHN BROWN UNIVERSITY
In the second match of the day, Truman faced John Brown University, from Siloam Springs, AR. JBU is an athletic team, but their game was not very cohesive on the day. Truman ran to a 22-5 half-time score on four tries from Ryan Worth (2), senior hooker and captain, Joe Donley, and freshman center Tony Giubardo. Foley converted 1 of 4 tries. Truman opened the second half with a quick try from junior prop, Brennan Delaney. Scoring was followed by junior, Chris Bell, who recently moved from wing to inside center. Donley added a second try before sophomore scrumhalf, Richard Schuessler put on a display of “juke” moves. Worth closed the scoring with two more tries, for a personal haul of 4 tries in one match. Final score: 56-5.
Tries: Worth (4), Donley (2), Giubardo, Delaney, Bell, Schuessler
Conversions: Foley (2/8), Schuessler (1/2)
TRUMAN – IOWA STATE
Sunday morning pitted Truman against Iowa State in a cross-over, semifinal match. Iowa State is a well-coached team with big, athletic players. Their game is very similar to ours, their forwards to a good job of protecting ball at the tackles, and they ruck and run well. Truman opened the scoring on a hard crash try from Tony Giubardo (conversion no good) for a 5-0 lead at 16 min. Just before half, ISU slotted a penalty goal for a 5-3 score at half-time. The game continued to be a see-saw battle through the second half with neither team getting a score, until ISU made their second penalty kick of the match to take a 5-6 lead with 14 min to play. Six min later, an ISU back broke free with great support and scored a converted try under the post, to give them a 5-13 lead with about 8 min to play. Truman tried to pick-up the pace in the dying minutes, but were unable to score before a Foley penalty goal just before the final whistle. Final Score: 8-13.
Conversions: Foley (0/1)
Penalties: Foley (1/1)
Truman was supposed to play KU for 3rd place, but because both teams were exhausted after two hard days, the captains mutually agreed to hold the trophy for the winner of the merit table match to be played on October 25th in Lawrence, KS. Although losing to ISU was not desired, in many regards, it may have been best for the players. We only traveled with 17 players this weekend, and everyone was pretty tired after the ISU game. To have played another game in the finals may have been too much. NOTE: Wyoming prevailed of KU 25-0 in the other semifinal, and defeated ISU 15-12 in the final to win the tournament.
Overall, it was a great weekend of rugby. We played extremely well for our first weekend, and most would agree that we are ahead of where we finished the spring 2003 season. We look to continue to improve in the next few weeks, in preparation for league matches with Nebraska (Sept 27 – home) and KU (Oct 25 – Lawrence), and a return match with Iowa State (Oct 11 – home).
Special thanks to the parents who traveled to Lawrence to cheer on the players! Your presence is greatly appreciated!!
Truman Wins Outlaw 10s Tournament in Columbia
Truman retained the Outlaw 10s title – captured in 2002 – with a great turn-out of players, and some very good rugby. 19 players, alumni, and a two new players showed-up in Columbia (the listing of attendees is below). With the unlimited substitution rule in effect, Truman was able to use 18 players (Kurt Albin played with the Springfield team) in each of the first two games, and 14 players in the finals. The weather was sunny and hot, and the subs allowed us to maintain pace and pressure into the second half of each game.
GAME 1: Springfield RFC
Springfield traveled understaffed, and got the services of Truman player and Springfield resident, Kurt Albin. Tim Russo opened the scoring. Those who scored had to take the conversion – a drop-kick, which made for few conversions … and some comedy. Still in the first half, Truman newcomer, Tony Giubardo from DeSmet H.S. scored a nice try, and was able to convert for a 12-0 half-time lead. We made 8 subs at half. Luke Walczewski was able to score and convert for the final 19-0 score.
GAME 2: Columbia Outlaws
We faced the host Outlaws in game 2. Kyle Kane (a transfer to Truman this fall from UM-Rolla) opened the Truman scoring with an opportunistic try. Brian Wilson, Tony Giubardo, and Richard Schuessler scored before half-time – however, none were able to convert giving Truman a 20-0 half-time lead. Subs were made, and Matt O’Brien and Tom Tajkowski scored in the second half (again, no conversions), while giving up a try to Columbia, for a final of 30-5.
GAME 3 (Championship) St. Louis Ramblers
Going into the finals, the sentiment was to go for the win and use subs as needed. Greg Gallagher opened the scoring for the early 5-0 lead. However, some interesting “no calls” lead to a converted Rambler try for a half-time 5-7 score. We made a hadfull of subs at half. We also regained our composure and began hitting the gaps harder and faster, with less concern for the bizarre officiating. This paid off, as Tom Tajkowski broke away down the sidelines, out-running defense. Tom then slotted the left-footed drop-lick to give Truman a 12-7 lead. No one looked back as Turk Satterly and then Kevin “The Bushwacker” Orcutt went in for scores to close out the final with a 22-7 victory.
The 2003 championship trophy was a cow’s skull with the tournament information on it – fittingly appropriate … now we will have two skulls for the trophy case! ( BTW – The bull skull that we acquired during our spring break trip to Arizona several years ago – but “lost” in recent years has been recovered!! It was recently spotted and “re-stolen” and returned to the rightful owners!!)
Outstanding performances were too numerous to mention, as current players and Alumni m ade great moves all over the park on Saturday. Everyone contributed to the tournament win. Probably the most notable performance was from Tony Giubardo, an incoming freshman player from St. Louis, who signaled the beginning a great college rugby career! He fit right into our attacking style, showing pace and aggressive defense. You gotta love hard-running and hard-tackling centers!
Thanks to everyone who turned-up … and tough luck for those who missed it. Perhaps you can attend next year as we make a bid for the “three-peat”!!
How to make your tax-deductible donation to Truman Rugby …
You can now make your tax deductible donation to Truman Rugby online through the Truman State University secure website. Click on the following hyperlink to directly access the Contribution Form. You can make donations using your MasterCard or Visa credit card. [The web address is https://secure.truman.edu/alumni-s/contribution_new.asp.] Alternatively, you can go to the Truman website, www.truman.edu, click on “Alumni and Friends” – then “Giving Opportunities” and then the “Online Contribution Form“. Be sure to denote the gift should go to “Other – Men’s Rugby”. Also, if you do make an online contribution, please drop us a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so we know you have done so and we can track the appropriate credits to our account (to be on the safe side).
If you prefer to donate the old-fashioned way – via check, we are also happy to work with you! Simply make the check payable to “Truman Rugby” and mail to Truman Rugby c/o 1405 East Meadow Lane, Kirksville, MO 63501.
Truman Rugby announces 2003-2004 Alumni Awardees
Through the generous support of the Truman (Northeast) Rugby Alumni, we were able to initiate the “Alumni Awards” program last year (click here to link to the information and application). The awards are designated for incoming first-year players with previous high school experience, who project to having a significant impact on Truman Rugby. The awards are for the first year only, and total $500 – payable in two $250 installments at the end of the fall and spring seasons. They are recycled for new incoming players the next yeat. The first recipient of an Alumni Award was Sean Foley (flyhalf) for the 2002-2003 year. Sean was outstanding on the field, earning Outstanding Rookie and then Outstanding Back awards his first two seasons as a freshman. In addition, Sean was selected to the Heart of America Collegiate All-Stars, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team during the Western Rugby Union Collegiate All-Stars Championships in November 2002.
We have made two awards for the 2003-2004 season. They are Tony Guibardo (DeSmet High School in St. Louis) and Adam Levin (International School of Brussels). Tony is a 6′ 0″ 200 lb outside center who has four years of high school rugby experience, and has recently played with the USA Rugby Under-19 team. His Desmet team took 3rd place at the Western High School Championships, earning them a spot in the USA Rugby High School Sweet 16. Tony scored three tries for Desmet, during their 19-15 victory over the Junior Blues to take 3rd place. Adam is a 6′ 0″ 220 lb prop (plays both tighthead and loosehead), who began playing rugby at age 12 in England. He has lived and played rugby in Belgium for the past two years. Both players come to Truman Rugby with great experience and superlative references from their respective coaches. I have met each of these young men, and am very impressed with both. I believe they will be great additions to the Truman Rugby family. Many thanks to the generous contributions from our Alumni who make these awards possible!
Chris Bell elected Club President
Citing heavy school commitments, Kyle Stephens, who was elected club president in December 2002, has stepped-down. Chris Bell, was elected unanimously to succeed Stephens as president.
Spring 2003 Playing Awards announced at Spring Team Dinner
The recipients of the spring 2003 season playing awards were announced Tuesday evening at the spring post-season dinner. These awards are voted on by the players. Each award is sponsored by an Alumnus, who pays $50 which covers the awardee’s dues for the next semester. The sponsor’s name is placed at the bottom of the award plaque.
Many players were nominated in each of four categories, and the top vote-getters were:
Most Improved (tie)
Most Improved (tie)
We also bid farewell to our two graduating seniors, Joe Rothermich and Luke Walczewski. Rothermich was president of the club from 2001-2002, and received the “Allan Chapman Service Award” in 2001. Joe is headed back to St. Louis to work in radio broadcasting. Walczewski was team vice captain in 2002-2003, the outstanding back in fall 2002, and was the leading points scorer each of the last three seasons. Luke is headed to Washington University, School of Law.
In addition, we said good-bye to freshman lock and award winner, T.R. Dilla. T.R. had been accepted to West Point during his senior year of high school, but a rupture anterior cruciate ligament and subsequent recovery kept him out. T.R. worked very hard on his knee strength and recovery to pass the West Point fitness test and get back on the list. Well, he recently heard that he had been accepted, and will be headed to West Point at the end of June. Best of luck with Army – our loss is their gain!