Portal:2018 Spring Men

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2018 Spring Men Portal


One of the highlights of the Season was a rugby tour to England. The trip had a significant impact on every player and the team as a whole both professionally and as a member of the rugby community. The support from the RAF was simply outstanding and their hosting, as expected, was first class. The RAF’s 100th Anniversary was celebrated during our visit which only magnified the sense of history for the visit. The attached report contains a few pages that include some pictures and an overview of the trip which will hopefully give you some idea of the experiences of the young men on the trip.

The performance on the pitch exceeded our expectations and garnered a great deal of praise from our opponents, their coaches, referees and spectators. In the face of far more experienced teams our players grit and determination never wavered throughout 80 minutes of play in both matches. Winning against RAF College Cranwell at the 80th minute capped off an excellent first match. One of the spectators, USAF Vice Chief of Staff Stephen Wilson, sent a personal message to the USAF Superintendent praising the “outstanding USAFA Rugby Team” for the match. 48 hours later the team took to the pitch against a very experienced and talented RAF U-23 team. You would have been proud to see our young men launch into the match with an intensity and energy as if they had not played for a week! By halftime the score was essentially 12 to 0 in favor of the U-23s and at the end of the match the U-23s had pulled ahead to win by a score of 42 to 3. However, our players went the distance in driving rain and wind and gave their all until the final whistle. The U-23 coaches and players stated that our team played at a skill level far beyond that expected for the number of years of rugby experience. That coupled with the intensity and tenacity truly made for an exciting match. In a tweet from the U-23 coach he said that “I think this photo really sums up rugby for me. It rained constantly, players put their bodies on the line for 80 minutes and yet there’s always time for a photo with everyone involved, smiling from ear to ear. Thanks Zoomie Rugby!” Summing it up, your team did you proud on the pitch, without question!

Off the pitch the team enhanced their cohesion through a number of events and briefings. RAF leadership at the matches and briefings commented how the well the team represented the Academy and the USAF. Even the cook at RAF Halton made it a point to reach out to me and stated that the team literally was the best he had ever seen at the dining facility at Halton which is where teams from all over the world are hosted by RAF teams of every sport. The report has most of the events and briefings from the trip.

The trip was successful obviously as a result of outstanding cadets but also in large part due to our trip OIC (Maj Carman Leone), our trip Alikadoo (Trulan Eyre), our Associate Head Coach (Paul Emerick) and RAF Group Captain Blythe Crawford who was instrumental in making sure the trip was well coordinated and received superb support at every location.

Team Record

A Side Record
Date Opponent Score Notes
24-25 Feb Sevens Festival CU and Mines Did well, learned a lot
1 Mar Utah Valley U 29-7 LVI Sevens Pool Play; T by Hill, Vaught (2), Hanson, Johnston; C by Gorigolzarri (2)
1 Mar Montana State 31-5 LVI Sevens Pool Play; T by Hanson, Lyons (2), Gorigolzarri (2); C by Gorigolzarri (3)
1 Mar Pittsburgh State 28-0 LVI Sevens Pool Play; T by Hanson, Hinnant (2), Gorigolzarri; C by Gorigolzarri
2 Mar Utah State U 22-12 QF T by Johnston, Vaught (2), Hanson; C by Gorigolzarri
2 Mar Lindenwood 10-24 Semi Final, T by Hanson, Gorigolzarri
2 Mar U Utah 21-22 3rd and 4th, T by Hinnant (2), Swenson; C by Swenson (3)
17 Mar CU 58-46 T by Hanson(3), Griffith, Dalton, Campbell, Thorley, Hinnant, Hill, Johston; C by Gorigolzarri(3). Man of match awarded by CU to Jason Kyles
27 Mar at RAF CollegeCranwell 26-21
29 Mar RAF U-23s 3-42 at RAF Marham
28 Apr Navy 2 15-19 All Academy Sevens at West Point Pool Play; Tyler Vaught T, Austin Lyons T, Tristyn Hanson T
28 Apr Army 1 7-15 All Academy Sevens at West Point Pool Play; Elliott Higgins T, Alex Goirigolzarri C
28 Apr Coast Guard 46-5 All Academy Sevens at West Point Pool Play: Koby Hinnant 3 T, Tyler Vaught T, Tristyn Hanson T, Johnny Griffith T, Elliott Higgins T, Connell Swenson 2 C, Alex Goirigolzarri T & C
28 Apr RMC 27-5 All Academy Sevens at West Point Plate Semi Final; Tristyn Hanson T, Alex Goirigolzarri T & C, Austin Lyons T, Koby Hinnant T, Elliott Higgins T
28 Apr VMI 27-7 All Academy Sevens at West Point Plate Final; Henry Hill T, Austin Lyons T, Koby Hinnant T, Tristyn Hanson 2Ts, Alex Goirgolzarri C
19 May D1A Sevens Tournament <score>
2 Jun Life 0-34 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships Pool Play
2 Jun Penn State 5-19 Penn Mutual CRC Pool Play; Tyler Vaught T
2 Jun Notre Dame 27-7 Penn Mutual CRC Pool Play; Alex Goirigolzarri T & C, Tyler Vaught 2 Ts, Nick Waterman T, Austin Lyons T
3 Jun Delaware 26-15 Penn Mutual CRC Bowl Quarterfinals: Alex Goirigolzarri 3T & 3C, Tristyn Hanson T
3 Jun Temple 19-15 Penn Mutual CRC Bowl Semifinals; Alex Goirigolzarri T & 2C, Johnny Griffith 2T
3 Jun Kutztown 12-27 Penn Mutual CRC Bowl Finals; Austin Lyons T, Aex Goirigolzarri T & C
Season Record xx-yy

B Side Record
Date Opponent Score Notes
<date> <opponent> <score>
17 Feb UNC 26-24 CSU/Pueblo Sevens; Ts by Swenson, Bartholomew, Johnston, Hinnant; Cs by Hinnant and Connelly (2)
17 Feb Western 38-19 CSU/Pueblo Sevens; Ts by Johnston (3), Hinnant (2), Scott; Cs by Hinnant (2), Swenson (2)
17 Feb UCCS 21-7 CSU/Pueblo Sevens; Ts by Krause, Johnston, Nagel; Cs by Swenson (3)
Season Record xx-yy
Last Name First Name Class
Agmata Christian 2018
Arnaud Antoine 2020
Boyd Liam 2020
Brandt Curran 2019
Bui Treit 2021
Campbell Jacob 2020
Castenada Phyleoh 2020
Collins Chris 2021
Cox Thomas 2019
Daily Tyler 2020
Dalton Dominique 2018
Faulk Randy 2021
Fenton Patrick 2021
Ferrara Hedman Nico 2021
Goirigolzarri Alex 2019
Griffith Johnny 2019
Griffith Max 2019
Hanlon Matt 2021
Hanson Tristyn 2019
Hayes Jack 2021
Hennessey Rose Brendan 2021
Higgin Elliott 2019
Hill Henry C 2018
Hughes Jake 2019
Hurtado Emmanuel (Manny) 2018
Johnston Ryan 2021
Konst Logan 2021
Krause Joel 2021
Kyles Jason 2018
Langan Dylan 2021
Lavery Nate 2020
Linhart Chip 2021
Lyons Austin 2018
Menser Eric 2019
Mishler Sean 2018
Mott Phil 2021
Nagle Noah 2020
Reiss Evan 2019
Scott Trip 2021
Smith Nathan 2021
Swenson Connell 2020
Thompson Nathan 2021
Thorley McCord 2018
Turner Max 2020
Waterman Nick 2019
Zhang Han 2020
Bartholomew David 2018
Connelly Ryan 2019
Murphy Johnny 2019
Hinnant Kobe 2020
Byrne John P 2021
Vaught Tyler 2019

Post Season Experience/Records

Portal:2018 Spring Men/Post Season



Head Coach - Denny Merideth '73 [[1]]

Assistant Coach - Jeff Burrows

Assistant Coach - Paul Emerick [[2]]

OIC - Lt Col Joe Dan Cox, '98

Assistant OIC - Major Sean Huss '04

AOIC - Capt Terrence Knock

CIC - C1C McCord Thorley


C2C Elliott Higgins


Post match at RAF Cranwell - VCSAF is in the middle.

Click here for more 2018 Spring Men Photos

Memorable Events

CU match: In the absence of the team Captain outstanding leadership was shown by Austin Lyons as the Captain for the match, Ryan Connelly as the Back Leader and McCord Thorley as the Pack Leader.