Portal:2003 Spring Men

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2003 Spring Men Portal

Team patch
Team logo
Team Jersey
National Champions! (posting the first win over Cal Berkeley after 8 previous Air Force losses since 1969). Coach Holder had tried to model the way we played tournaments off of Cal. They would always start essentially a B side on the first day and then their A was fresh on the second day (against in theory the better opponent). We did the same all year, building up great depth and keeping guys fresh. Unfortunately though, we drew Cal in the Semi’s so of course we had to start our A’s on Saturday but they still started some of their B's. We scored in the first two minutes and never looked back. By the 20th minute, they quickly substituted in all their top players.

In the finals, Harvard was an upstart (15 seed), so Coach Holder rewarded the B side and started them in the Finals. It ended up a little close for comfort, so many of the A's were in by the end of the game, but was a great full team effort all year.

Cal was so mad that they beat Army by around 75 points in the consolation 3/4 game and Coach Clark discredited the concept of having the consolation game. It was the last consolation game played.

Here are some documents that paint that picture: From Cal point of view [1], or [2], From the Harvard point of view [3]

Summary [4], Video of the first 20 minutes [5], Marc Ward's story [6]

Team Record

A Side Record
Date Opponent Score Notes
<date> Colorado University 31-5 ERRFU Tournament
<date> Colorado State University 29-6 ERRFU Tournament
<date> Wyoming University 72-3 ERRFU Tournament
8 Mar U of New Mexico 29-0 Western quarter final
<date> Truman State 38-0 Western Semi-final
<date> Texas A&M 45-12 Western Championship
<date> Indiana 52-26 National Collegiate Sweet 16
<date> Ohio State 38-18 National Collegiate Quarterfinals
May Cal Berkeley 46-28 Tries by Kelly (2), McKenny, Dean, Thornton, Dombrock, Waddel and PK and conversions by McKenny
May Harvard 45-37 National Champions McKinney 25 pts (2T, 3PK and 3C), and tries by Wilmes, Burley, Riedesel, Beckenhauer
Season Record 10-0
B Side Record
Date Opponent Score Notes
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
<date> <opponent> <score>
Season Record xx-yy
Last Name First Name Class
McKinney Mike 2003
Dean Josh 2004
Grady Tim 2003
Riedesel Joe 2005
Predovich Brock 2005
Kolzow Jimmie 2004
Foster Nolan 2003
Hansen Sean 2003
Beckenhaur Rob 2003
Johnson Aaron 2004
Walker Colin 2005
Brennen Butch 2005
Capell Eric 2004
Dombrock Ryan 2005
Latham Steve 2004
Hobson Mike 2005
Faucheaux Ryan 2003
Waddell John 2003
Sheridan Phil 2003
Dahlgren Wade 2003
Kelly Anthony 2003
Sanders Ryan 2004
Steinhiser Dan 2004
Edstrom Stephen 2003
Correa Nick 2003
Banga Brad 2003
Wilmes Ryan 2003
Pina Dave 2003
Gureckis John 2005
Green Todd 2003
Matchett John 2004
Hurley Mark <class>
Thornton Ryan 2003
Waddell Joe 2004
Johnson James 2006
Burley Mark 2005
Graham Kevin 2003
Kerschbaum Andrew 2003
Lang Eric 2005
Lockard John 2005
McCarney Chris 2004
Thornton Adam 2003
Ward Marc 2008

Post Season Experience/Records

Portal:2003 Spring Men/Post Season



Head Coach - Rob Holder

Assistant Coach - Capt Dan Marine '96

Assistant Coach - Mike Coyner

Assistant Coach - Rich Pohlidal

Assistant Coach - Bob Mckinney '70

Assistant Coach - Billy Burrows '81

OIC - Major Geoff Patterson, Capt Gil Ness and Capt Robert Webb



C1C J D Waddell

C1C Rob Beckenhauer


2003 National Champions

Standing: McKinney (assitant coach).Pohlida (assistant coach), Mckinney, Dean, Grady, Riedesel, Predovich, Kolzal, Foster, Hansen, Beckenhaur (captain), Johnson, Walker, Brennen, Cappell, Dombrock, Latham, Hobson, Faucheaux, Waddell (captain), Sherican, Dahlgren, Holder (Head Coach), Marine (OIC/assistant coach). Kneeling: Coyner (assistant coach), Waddell, Kelly, Sanders,Steinhiser, Edstrom, Correa, Banga, Wilmes, Pina, Gureckis, Green, Matchett, Hurley,Thornton

Click here for more photos for 2003 Spring Men

Memorable Events

Coach Holder on the Semi Final match with Berkeley who started some B side players: "By the 20th minute, they quickly substituted in all their top players. I remember when they brought in their Eagle prop off the bench and Hansen fed him his lunch. Later, Hansen told me that he thought the other kid was a better scrummager than the Eagle" Coach Holder goes on to coach the All Americans: http://www.erugbynews.com/goffonrugby/archive/Articles/allamerican052803.htm

Mike McKinney was Final Four tournament MVP.

Wade Dahlgren was co-MVP of the season with Ryan Wilmes.

Josh Dean selected for the Woodley Award, named in honor of American rugby pioneer Albert Woodley, is presented annually to the top collegiate player nationwide. Often referred to as the "Heisman Trophy of rugby," this honor not only recognizes superior athletic performance on the pitch, but also acknowledges outstanding character and leadership displayed both in competition and in life

From Stephen Edstrom, MD

I am a 2003 grad and played rugby between 2000 and 2003, including playing for the Combined Services in the All-American trials in 2001 and 2003. The last match I played as a zoomie was as the hooker in the national championship against Harvard. What amazed me most about the club was the depth of players. We would get 120 guys to a practice and were able to field five sides in five matches on a Saturday with three different clubs. During the playoffs, we would travel with 44 players. We could play 22 guys in the match on Saturday and then play the other 22 on Sunday. This was a wonderful advantage considering that most team we faced would have most of their players play two straight days. When we would take the field on the Sunday with a fresh team and play against guys that were still beat up from the match the day before, it sure made winning a lot easier.

The interesting part about the hookers on the 2003 team is that I was the third best hooker on the team. The best hooker was named Mike Hobson, class of 2005, who ended up playing on the US national team (I remember playing a rugby video game on Play Station that had Mike in the game. The game became a lot more interesting playing with a little video game version of Mike). However, we had enough depth at hooker that we moved Mike to center because he was just that talented and versatile. So during the playoffs, I would switch off playing hooker with Todd Green, class of 2003. I usually played on Saturday and he would play on Sunday, except in the Final Four in which Todd played on Saturday against Cal and then I played against Harvard. It was a fun time to play with the Zoomies, and most of the credit should go to Rob Holder for taking control of the club and really turning the team around.