Fall 2015 Season Preview
By Mathew Garrison
Well ladies and gentlemen;
Rugby is back in the low country for the College of Charleston!
After having a disappointing 2014 matrix, the men’s team has begun training for the 2015-2016 season with high expectations. The Cougars are returning many upper classmen including 2014 All-Conference hooker Cody Ashy as the forwards captain; 2014 All-conference Outside Center, Marcus Rojas as the backs captain, and Nick Conners as club president, to name a few. The veterans have returned to campus in shape, in mid-season form, and hungry to get the matrix season rolling and to add more names to the all-conference list.
The start of the season has also seen the rise of new members to the club. Recruiting efforts over the spring and summer have paid off for the club, seeing a larger number of new players training hard and competing for starting spots. The club also has a larger number of freshmen who played rugby in high school, which has added to the level of play. Underclassmen who played high levels of Rugby in Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia hit the ground running and are expected to be early contributors.
The Cougars will need all hands on deck for the upcoming year. Not only will they be competing in their matrix season in the fall, they have been invited to compete in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Playoffs in the spring 2016. Beginning with a playoff on Nov 7 against Elon, Lander and UNC-G, the Cougars have the chance to face the Champion of the Cardinals Rugby Conference then on to the sweet 16 in April in Charlotte, NC and culminating in the National Championship game at Glendale, CO. May 1st 2016. Needless to say, there is a lot on the line for the club this year.
With a mix of veteran experience and leadership coupled with new blood and energy, the Cougar Men are slated to great things this season.
The Charleston Outlaws just returned from their 40th Anniversary celebration tour of the Emerald Isle. Five C of C Alumni made the trek hailing from as far away as Anchorage, Alaska. The Outlaws brought two full squads, a competitive side and an Old Boys Side, each with two matches scheduled. Although they could not come up with any wins, each match was close and the hitting from the Americans was far superior.
C of C Alumni on the tour:
The Cougars lost a hard fought matrix match against Coastal last weekend 38-15. The team put up a big fight in the first half but fitness was their downfall as Coastal pulled away.
THIS SATURDAY, C of C Rugby kicks off their Matrix Season @ The Yard on James Island (See LINK below for directions). Come out and support the Cougars as they begin their trek towards the playoffs!
1:00 pm: Women’s Rugby hosts UNCC
3:00 pm: Men’s Rugby hosts Coastal Carolina
Practice officially starts on Monday, 26AUG13 @ 4:00 PM! Let’s get the season started off right and get right back into rugby. For more information check out the Practice Information page. The first Matrix match is only one month away so all the incoming freshman need to get up to speed quick.
Former C of C Rugger Chris “Grandpa” Sigmund ’06 (pictured second from the right), dressed out last Friday for the Eagles, the US National Rugby Team, warm up match against Life University. The match was held on the parade ground at the Citadel and gave locals the chance to see the national team up close. Chris played most of the second half at wing and although he did not score, he was involved in quite a few plays near the try line. Congratulations to Chris and his upcoming season as one of the back leaders on the Charleston Outlaws RFC.
The Southern Rugby Conference would like to announce the first conference all-star team. The team is comprised of members from the majority of Division II teams in the conference, including (alphabetically): App State, Citadel, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina, Elon, Furman, Lander, UNCC, UNCG, and UNCW. Coaches for the side include UNCW’s Jim Wiseman and Coastal Carolina’s Robert Kegler. The team will be hosted by Lt. Col. Bill Bell of the Citadel. As the official apparel provider of the Southern Conference, Darren Scott and DNA Sport will supply the kits for the team.
The team will compete against the Deep South Conference All Starts on the weekend of August 17th in Charleston, alongside the USA Eagles test against Canada. “The all star match is a great opportunity to showcase the high performance rugby that is epitomized by southern schools at the D-II level,” said Coach Wiseman. “This is a big step forward for rugby competition in the south and the Southern Rugby Conference,” Wiseman continued, “and we look forward to the challenge that awaits.” Below is a list of the of the all-star selections, followed by a link at the bottom to a google spreadsheet that includes the hometowns of each player. Congratulations to all players and coaches for the selection and good luck in Charleston!
Dylan Reid App State Thomas Smith CofC Chris Campion Citadel Joe Bruce Citadel Andrew Midgette UNCW Nick Rossano Furman Zaefala Anderson CCU Andrew Alvarado Citadel Graham Joseph UNCW Scott McClellan UNCW Denzil Mutongi App State Tyler Stiffler CCU John Marshall UNCG Thomas Barnett CCU Kendrick Evans CofC Dave Carrol Elon Michael Markofski App State Amro Guda UNCC Johnathon Fonville Elon Marcus Johnson CofC Chris Miledge UNCC Eric Dolan Furman Turner Morsches Furman Josh Cabrera Lander Halley Gartner Elon Coaches: Jim Wiseman UNCW, Robert Kegler CCU, Lt. Col. William Bell Citadel
The Southern Rugby Conference has decided to move its competitive Division II season to the fall and will drop the Division III competition structure for the 2013-14 season.
Members of the commissioner’s cabinet voted unanimously earlier this month to shift the competitive season as a wave of Division II conferences opted to do the same and USA Rugby announced plans for Division II national championship weekend, tentatively scheduled Dec. 7-8 at Furman University.
“Playing our matrix in the fall presents some scheduling conflicts with a number of our members,” says SRC Commissioner John Roberts. “This is a national movement, though, and we feel it is in our best interest to adapt the best we can.”
The SRC champion will be determined by November 16. The fall schedule has been posted online at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjvO8e0qQzc4dFY5TTUzRHVUZWtscDU2cmoxSHF3MkE&usp=sharing .