Rugby Bits and Bites Over Lunch

With leftovers from my stellar lunch I made yesterday, of course. And Katy in PA – I have the same problem. When it’s good, you want to eat it early. 🙂

By the way, it seems everyone is too busy to blog lately in the rugbyblogosphere (ruckosphere?). Thankfully Katy and Emily are holding down the fort. Except I could do without the maggot stories. YUCK!

And I can’t forget P … because like all of us, she loves rugby!

• Last month’s Rugby Magazine profiled our pal – former Wisconsin Woman, current Minnesota Valkyrie and Eagle flanker Kristen Zdanczewicz – aka Ham. Is anyone else wondering if the commentators during the World Cup will give up trying to pronounce her last name and just call her Ham too?

• In the same issue, there’s also an interesting article with American Youth Rugby’s Marty Bradley, where he discusses the goals of AYR and whether they are possibly working away from USA Rugby.

• Southern Vermont College – which announced it would start varsity rugby teams last year for men and women – has hired a coach.

Southern Vermont College Hires First Rugby Coach
August 10, 2006
Contact: Ken Norris, SVC Sports Information Coordinator,802-447-4672, knorris@svc.edu

(BENNINGTON, VT) Southern Vermont College has hired Jeremiah David Madison – also known as “Jerm” on the rugby pitch – as the College’s first varsity rugby coach. He started work this week and will guide both the Mountaineer men’s and women’s rugby squads in their first season as varsity programs.

Madison takes over a rugby program which moves from the club level to the varsity level at a time when few New England small colleges have programs and those that do have very good teams.

“I recognize this is going to be the most difficult and challenging year of the program,” Madison said. “But I am more than eager to put forth the dedication and hard work to help make Mountaineer rugby one of the premier programs in the nation in the future.”

The new coach’s first chance to see his teams in action will be in the 1st Annual Green and Gold Scrimmage, set for Saturday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m., when the college and the community will be invited to turn out to be introduced to the game of rugby.

“Rugby is a natural fit for this College, and with his enthusiasm and experience, Jerm is a perfect fit for a program in development,” said athletic director Jason Bolgos. “For the men, this is a sport where a lot of high school football players can still see competitive action at a small school without a football program; for the women, it is a unique and popular choice, and one of the few contact sport opportunities for females.”

Madison received a BSE in Physical Education with an emphasis on coaching at Arkansas State University, where he played rugby. As a player, he played in a collegiate national championship.

He is currently working on Master’s degrees in Sports Coaching and Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama, and expects to graduate in the spring of 2007. While attending the USSA he played with the Battleship Rugby Football Club of Mobile, Alabama.

He recently served as an assistant football coach at Nettleton Junior High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and served as a volunteer coach the new men’s rugby team at the University of Mobile (Ala.).

For Madison, being able to coach rugby at a collegiate level is a “dream come true”, not only because of his love for the sport but for his desire to be a teacher and roll model.

“As the new rugby coach for SVC, I want to be a positive role model and impact my player’s lives,” Madison said. “I want give them the tools to be successful on and off the field, and more importantly, I want to be an example of how to follow your dreams.

“I also want to instill an extreme passion for the great sport of rugby not only in my players, but in the students of SVC, and the community of Bennington as well – I want them all to see why this sport is so great. I want to help promote rugby in the USA to a level that we can compete at the international level much more successfully.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams will continue to compete as part of the New England Rugby Football Union (NEFU) and the USA Rugby national organization. The women’s team may soon be able to compete under NCAA auspices.

According to the NCAA, rugby is one of the largest and continually growing club sports in the United States, with almost 350 collegiate women’s clubs in existence. The NCAA is working with USA Rugby to help colleges start programs. The International Olympic Committee Program Commission has recommended rugby be added as an Olympic sport for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

For more information about Southern Vermont College rugby, visit http://www.svc.edu/athletics.

And for the record, this release was posted free out on the web, even though some news sources reposted it and include it as subscription. But that’s all I’m saying about that …

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One response to “Rugby Bits and Bites Over Lunch

  1. P

    I rarely plagiarize, but in my post you mention above I did take the “fundamental love” part from the movie “Friday Night Lights”. Of course rugby & football are different – rugby requires more all around athleticism from all players and the rugby team/culture bonding is much closer. However, there was a very powerful scene when some college recruiters were having a very serious conversation the w/the Odessa QB Mike Wichell(Lucas Black) along w/his sickly mom. After several logistical questions about a scholarship, they softly dropped the tone of their voices and asked “Do you like playing football Mike?”. After Mike responded “Yes” they then gently, but candidly, stated that its important “for a player to have a fundamental love for the game”. I then got off the couch and wrote the blog entry. Rugby requires so much dedication that from the most elite Eagle to the smallest rural club player, everyone has a fundamental love for rugby.

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