TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Spring 2001 Season
Post-Season Awards for Spring 2001
Outstanding Forward – Martin Garcia (senior, flanker)
Outstanding Back – Greg Gallgher (junior, scrumhalf)
Outstanding Rookie – Luke Walczewski (sophomore, center)
Most Improved Player – Joe Donley (sophomore, hooker)
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.
New Club President – Joe Rothermich was elected president of Truman Rugby to replace Brain Newcomb who will be graduating this summer. Joe is a very active member of the team, and headed-up PR efforts this past spring. Joe, who plays scrumhalf and wing, will be a junior next year. Rothermich is a hard-working and dedicated player and officer for the club. Joe Donley was elected to replace Rothermich as the PR secretary for the club.
TRUMAN CLOSES SPRING SEASON WITH A 1-1 TRIP TO KANSAS CITY
Truman vs. Northland (March 31, 12 PM) A mix of Truman A&B and a couple of Alumni (Hagen and Ethetton) gave up some serious weight to this Northland team. It mattered in the first half, where everyone was fresh, and the game was close (Half: Truman 15, Northland 7). In the second half, Northland came out and scored in the first 10 minutes, making the score 15-14. It seems that Truman would try to hold on, like the week before. Then, it seems that here, at the end of the season, a light came on and our continuity game took a giant step forward. Younger legs (well, most of them!) may also have helped, but the game became an open-running affair, and Truman had control. Contributing to our 7 try tally were were Tim Dittmeirer, Sean DeCoursey, Guy Hagen (yeah, that’t right!), Turk Satterly, Christian McKeel, Tim Russo, and Justin Carley. Luke Walczewski added a penalty kick and 4 for 7 conversions. Final Score: 46-14
Truman vs. Kansas City Blues “B” (March 31, 3 PM) Unfortunately, too many players were done for the season, and our squad of 18 players was not enough to handle Northland and the KC Blues “B” in the same afternoon. Credit to the Blues for putting out a strong second team, worthy of a Super League team. They controlled the game from start to finish and despite never giving up, Truman was no match for them. The Blues “B” put up 11 tries for a Final Score: 63-0. That wouldn’t have been so bad – after all, we were outplayed – but the boots, punches and trash-talk wasn’t necessary and most Truman players were pretty disgusted by the end of the match. Poor form for a team trying to recruit college players.
Index Article – March 29, 2001
TRUMAN STUMBLES IN DISAPPOINTING LOSS TO LSU – Truman to miss WRFU Finals for first time since 1994. Last Sunday, Truman played adequately for the first 65 minutes in the WRFU Division I Collegiate Pool D finals against a game LSU team. However, too many mistakes and inconsistent execution, coupled with a stout LSU defense, ultimately cost Truman a game that was theirs to win. Truman was leading 6-3 at the 65th minute when LSU drove over for the first try of the match. At this point, it was not out of reach and Truman doubled their efforts – a try gives them the lead. However, LSU smelled blood and their killer-instinct kicked in, and they scored a second try with five minutes to play, virtually sealing the match. Truman attacked furiously from everywhere on the field, but were pinned in their half. A late injury time try left the final score at Truman 6 – LSU 24. LSU took the match, with aggressive play and determination – hats off to them and best of luck at the Westerns. As for Truman, there is a tremendous sense of disappointment for the seniors and the alumni and friends. Reviewing the videotape of the match revealed a number of mistakes that can and will be addressed. It is time to re-group and move forward with player recruitment and development, more meaningful matches.
TRUMAN GOES 1-1 IN KANSAS CITY – Truman split a pair of matches on Saturday, March 10 in Kansas CIty, hosted by the Kansas City RFC. Truman came from a 3-17 deficit to defeat the KCRFC “B” side at full-time, but was not able to repeat the performance later in the day against the KU Collegiates, losing a heartbreaker 13-17. Martin Garcia was selected as the “Most Valuable Player” from the Truman – KU match. His efforts were matched by the outstanding play from Paul McQuillen (who scored the winning try against KCRFC and our only try against KU), Greg Gallagher, Harry Kuan, Phil Hart, and Kevin Byerley (who has finally learned to kick!). A number of Truman players decided that spring break was more important, and that gave us a great opportunity to play some younger players. The results were very encouraging as a number of second team players stepped-up to play exceptional rugby. Further, a number of Truman’s veterans stepped-up their games, as well. Notable young players who impressed everyone were Chris Gray who was everywhere on the field, Joel White, who started both games (one at loosehead and one at tighthead), Joe Donley playing his first-ever game at wing forward, and Tim Dittmeier at outside center.
Truman over KU in a close one – Truman edged a 9-8 victory over KU on Saturday (Half-time score: 3 – 3). Both teams generally played well, although both made too many mistakes and errors in judgement. The weather was perfect (50 °F, snuny and a slight breeze) and, but the field was very muddy, which made for poor handling and some slow play. Tackling on both sides was ferocious and commited, with both teams putting on great stands at the goal line. In the end, Truman relied on 3 of 6 penalty kicking from Tony Sauceda, while KU notched a penalty and unconverted try. By all rights, Truman’s tactical errors and aggressive mistakes in injury time, should have cost them the match. KU spurned opportunities to go for points in the dying minutes and choose to run the ball from two makeable penalty kicks. Truman stopped them and the game was finally called after 5:50 of injury time. Truman will host Pool D of the WRFU Round of 12 on March 24-25, while KU travels to the University of Wyoming.
Credit is due to the members of both teams for their overall fine performance. With a number of Truman players unavailable, injured or ill, Truman relied on some younger players to step up. Special kudos go to Joe Rothermich who started at scrumhalf after Greg Gallagher came down sick on Friday. With the loss of a couple of other front row starters, Joel White stepped in and played very well at loosehead prop. Christian McKeel replaced Sam Merritt who busted his nose about 25 min into the game. McKeel had the tackle of the match, as he came across the field from the left wing to tackle a ball-carrier at the goal line with such force that the ball was coughed-up and preventing the try.
The “B” side match was played as a 10’s match (5 forwards and 5 backs) because KU did not have enough players. Truman played aggressive and notched a 10-5 win, on a Brian Dooley try, and a Luke Walczewski conversion and penalty.
Index Article – March 1, 2001
TRUMAN TOPS CMSU – Despite extremely wet and cold conditions, Truman put together a 12 try performance to defeat Central Missouri State University 70-10 on Saturday. Second season wing, Justin Carley scored three tries to record his first-ever a “hat-trick”. Benji Tinnin, Greg Gallagher, and Tony Sauceda scored two tries each. In addition, the entire front row of Brian Newcomb, Kevin Hunn, and Harry Kuan scored one try each. Despite the extremely soggy conditions, Sauceda managed 4 or 9 conversions, while Gallagher landed 1 of 3 attempts. The win also allowed Truman to get a number of reserve players into the game (match roster). Because of the cold, wet weather and CMSU’s lack of reserve players, the match was ended 5 minutes early, and the “B” game was not played.
TRUMAN DEFEATS OUTLAWS – Truman opened their spring 2001 season with a solid 26-15 win over the Columbia Outlaws. Truman opened the scoring with a nice forwards try from Benji Tinnin. Greg Gallagher and Matt Pieper answered with a tries of their own. Tony Sauceda made two of three conversions. Unfortunately, a late let-down allowed the Outlaws to drive up the field and score just before half, which gave them new life. Halftime score 19-5. The Outlaws came out fired-up in the second half, but they were held in check by some good Truman defense. Phil Hart slipped through for a nice try beneath the posts at the midway mark and Sauceda converted to bring the score to 26-5. However, a combination of increased Outlaws pressure and some Truman lapses, saw the opposition put over two unconverted tries in the final eight minutes. The final of 26-15 was reflective of a solid win, but the late let-down was unnerving. Generally, speaking, Truman performed very well in the set phases – lineout were solid, but our scrummaging needs more work. Our rucking was very intense and produced consistently good ball. Out tackling was very good around the field, especially fullback Phil Hart, who made several spectacular tackles in the open field.
The second team did not fare as well, losing by a score of 12-22. However, they showed great courage and tenacity. Tries were scored by Chris Gray and James Bredeman. Rookie Luke Walczewski converted 1 from 2. For a very young side with many rookies, the performance was very heartening, as about half of the Columbia players were experienced first-team players. A number of these players clearly have the ability to make an impact on the Truman first side before the season’s end. For the match roster for both games go to Match Roster.
ARKANSAS STATE GAME CANCELLED
Because of too much rain and freezing temperatures over the weekend, the scheduled match with Arkansas State was canceled. We tried to reschedule for Sunday, but too many players were unavailable.
Index Article – February 8, 2001
Index Article – February 1, 2001
Truman Rugger, John Tarpoff, selected to the USA Rugby National Team Pool
John “Tarp” Tarpoff was selected to the Western Rugby Union Senior Men’s All-Star Team this past fall. In December 2000, Tarp played with the West Men at the USA Rugby Interterritorial Championships in Tampa, FL. Tarp was part of a winning effort that saw the West Men win the National Championship. By all reports, Tarp’s play was exemplary and as testament, USA Rugby announced today (January 15, 2001) that he is one of ten players who were selected to be added to the National Team Pool. This means that Tarp will be invited to training camps this coming spring and summer as the “Eagles” begin preparation for the 2001 campaign, which will include matches against Canada, England, and South Africa. Unfortunately, for Truman Rugby, Tarp has recently transferred from Truman to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and he will be playing rugby this spring with the St. Louis Bombers, the top men’s club in the Missouri Rugby Union.
Congratulations and Good Luck, Tarp!!
The Spring 2001 Schedule is posted at Schedules and Scores
Spring 2001…Where do we go from here?
We have started training for the spring season and our annual quest for the Heart of America Rugby Union Division I title and a berth in the Western Rugby Union Championships. Last spring, things did not go as we had hoped, and we missed the WRFU Finals and a trip to the USA Rugby Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996. The problem with having several successful seasons in a row is that players and fans begin to expect that we will always win and that we will always be competitive with the top teams in the nation. What you have to realize is just how hard it was to get to where we are today, and how much harder it is to keep playing with the best. Despite the fact that Truman has won the Western Collegiate Championship 3 of 4 years between 1996 and 1999 and attended the Sweet 16 all four years, it did not happen in 2000. What happenend? Lots of things – graduation and/or retirement of some key players, injuries to some key starters the week before the Western Final Four, less player depth than in past years, and better rugby being played by the our competitiors. All of these factors have made the road to Westerns and Nationals more difficult than ever. For three seasons in a row, Truman’s goal was to get to the USA Rugy Collegiate Final Four. And, we made it to the quarterfinal match three years straight, losing each time to quality teams.
As we enter the spring 2001 season, our focus has to be more realistic. We have to set our sights on attainable goals, and must prepare for those. Our overall goal is to advance to the WRFU Collegiate Division I Finals. If we make the Western finals, we are assured of receiving one of two WRFU slots in the USA Rugby Sweet 16.
SPRING 2001 GOAL – To make the Western Rugby Union Finals.
To reach accomplish this, we must:
(1) defeat KU and secure the Heart of America #1 slot which gives us home field for Pool D of the WRFU Round of 12 playoffs, DONE
(2) Win Pool D to advance to the WRFU Final Four, LOST TO LSU IN THE CLOSING MINUTES OF THE GAME
(3) Defeat the University of Wyoming (ERRFU #1) in the semifinals of the WRFU Championships. LSU LOST TO WYOMING IN THE SEMINFINALS 39-16, LSU LOST TO TEXAS A&M 39-36 TO TAKE 4th PLACE
This is a tall order, but we know from past efforts, it is atttainable. It will require that we field a technically sound, physically fit, and mentally determined team every time we take the field. We need aggressive finishers – players with the heart and the will to win. We also need to recruit athletes who we can teach rugby and make a part of the Truman Team. We need numbers – at least 35 players – to make it through the spring season. So, begin talking to your buddies, talk to the guys you meet in the gym, recruit basketball players (they make great rugby players), football and soccer players who have completed their eligibility – find athletes with experience in competitive sports. Get more bodies playing rugby at Truman!!