Difference between revisions of "Portal:2019 02 Alumni Newsletter"

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Latest revision as of 14:52, 11 September 2019

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AFA Alumni Rugby Newsletter

February 2019

Coaches Corner.

Men's Team (Denny Merideth). The team has an amazing level of excitement going into the season and their work ethic is awe-inspiring. We have bounced through a series of practice locations in the last four weeks to prepare for spring matches. We have used the actual pitch on a few days, squeezed into a small portion of the field house, used the lacrosse field (while the lacrosse team practiced inside), Combatives rooms, and the Holaday Athletic Center (HAC). Every Wednesday the players encourage each other in the HPL (High Performance Lab) where they are put through a series of aerobic, anaerobic, and eye-hand coordination stations before reviewing film in the Boxing Room.

Our focus now is on the Las Vegas 7s at the end of February. The competition will be tough, but the team is committed to finishing strong. Key players to watch include team Captain Elliott Higgins, Nick Waterman and Alexander Goirigolzarri. Exciting newcomers with high expectations are Barrett McDonald and Kyle Roshong. The team will be seeking to garner an invitation to the Collegiate Rugby Championships through their play at Las Vegas and at the Heart of America Tournament in Kansas City on March 30th and 31st.

Jeff Burrows (USAFA 81) and Mick Harper (USAFA 92) have been doing a great job coaching the team to a higher level of play. Their dedication to the team is essential to the continued development of the players and greatly appreciated. In February we will be gaining the assistance of two additional coaches who will bring a high degree of inspiration and drive to the team. Thomas Leonard is a 2006 West Point grad with a Harvard MBA and experience as a Ranger with assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shane Sherman served as an NCO in the Special Forces and used the GI Bill to graduate from San Diego State and then earned a master’s from Northeastern. Shane has experience giving leadership and motivational training to teams in the NFL. We welcome their addition to the coaching staff!

The Canterbury team store will be open next week, and we welcome everyone to shop for clothing and accessories. The team gets a percentage in sales for its own use to put towards kit and every little bit helps.

A big thank you to all for their support of the team. Please let us know if you will be at any of our matches so we can connect. Las Vegas, Kansas City, Annapolis and Philadelphia will be great opportunities to see your team play!

The team's schedule is on our alumni Facebook page and website: http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:2019_Spring_Men

Women's Team (Amy Rusert). The women will not begin playing again until April; at that point, we anticipate competing in at least two 7s tournaments before the celebrations of Ring Dance and graduation. The team's schedule has not been finalized as of yet. Prior to that, however, three of our players; Sarah Cook (19), Adrian Yoder (20) and Davon Doyle (20); will join the USAF 7s team at the USA 7s Rugby tournament in Las Vegas, 28 Feb - 2 Mar 2019 (provided Scheduling Committee Approval is granted). [Amy would not say this, but please note that she was recently selected as the 2018 National Collegiate Coach of the Year!].

Join the Ruck (JTR) Status. If you want to contribute, please go to one (or both!) of the following sites and make your tax deductible donation.

It is important to note that gifts to either the men's or women's team all count toward our $10.5M target. Vern Francis Perpetual Fund for Men's Rugby https://www2.usafa.org/Give/perpetualrugby Alan Osur Perpetual Fund for Women's Rugby https://ww2.usafa.org/Give/wrugby

Here is their current status:

We have $711, 208 towards our 10.5 M goal (9.9%). We had a good amount to start with ($226,000) but the JTR committee added another $500,000 before we even kicked off the campaign. We urge you to Join The Ruck and contribute! We will keep you appraised of status as we go along, but rest assured, every penny donated will go to this campaign.

Questions Asked and Answered.

Intercollegiate vs NCAA Status. A question came up recently about the difference between Intercollegiate status and NCAA status. Currently, there are two intercollegiate sports that reside under the Athletic Department (AD) that have Intercollegiate (IC) status but are not NCAA sports: Boxing and Cheerleading. When we say "make men's and women's rugby intercollegiate sports" we are talking about pursing the same path as these two sports. Of note, there is a chance that the women's team could get added as an NCAA sport under the AD because, in 2017, women's rugby was added by the NCAA as a sanctionied sport. There are presently twenty-five women's programs that are NCAA division I, II or III (including Army).

Collegiate Rugby Levels. Our women are the current D1A Collegiate Club national champions--an amazing achievement for our ladies and coaching staff. Our men play in a similar competitive tier for collegiate club rugby. Both teams and coaching staffs earn impressive achievements despite their club status and limited resources. Garnering IC status would ensure both teams receive IC athlete support (e.g., trainers, team meals) and compete at the elite level.

As is, our teams compete at the D1A Collegiate Club level; interestingly enough, an entire collegiate division, D1 Elite, includes IC rugby programs playing at a premier level. Examples of teams in this division are Lindenwood, Life, Quinnipiac, Central Washington, Dartmouth, Penn State, Harvard, Army, and BYU. Just to show the difference, our ladies played BYU in a friendly in the fall, losing 72-5; last year they lost to Army 55-0. This past fall, our men lost to Army 42-0. Our teams are well respected in club rugby circles but do not possess a dominant position in the game. Securing IC status provides our athletes the support they need to compete at this level and a professional coaching staff to prepare them.

Staying Connected. If you’re looking for information about our men’s team, a variety of options exist: · Website: http://www.zoomierugby.com/ · Instagram: @zoomierugby · Twitter: @zoomieRugby · YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFuXSkEJxi19pTHxKcP5REQ

         And the men’s team booster club has a Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/ZoomieRugby/.  

Our women’s team has two sites available: · Website: http://afclubrugby.wix.com/wzrfc · Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/115971358484614/ Alumni have a couple choices available as well · Website: http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:Main · Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1278288132270630/

Looking Back. (New Links for February) If you were a member of the team during one of the seasons below, click on the link to see what information we have about that season; please let us know if you have more! This site is the only place where the history of our teams are recorded...and an important resource once we hit intercollegiate status!

Spring 1969: Men - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1969_Spring_Men Spring 1979: Men - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1979_Spring_Men

                      Women - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1979_Spring_Women

Spring 1989: Men - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1989_Spring_Men

                      Women - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1989_Spring_Women

Spring 1999: Men - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1999_Spring_Men

                       Women - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:1999_Spring_Women

Spring 2009: Men - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:2009_Spring_Men

                       Women - http://usafarugbyalumni.com/index.php?title=Portal:2009_Spring_Women

Again, if you see errors or have more information you wish to share, please email us and we will upload it.

Letters to the Editors. We'd like to know what you wish to see in these newsletters, so please let us "editors" know: Harry Laws, '69: harryflaws@gmail.comSarah Emory, '98: sarahlemory@yahoo.com