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The Talon

Sheboygan rugby team charges up for another season

Connor Pierce, Staff Writer

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On Friday, March 10, the Sheboygan Chargers embarked on an eight hour drive to St. Louis, Missouri.  The Chargers arrived on Friday afternoon, unpacked and got right to work.  They did some last minute training from 2-3 p.m.  Shortly after, they returned to the hotel to clean up.  After, they had their jersey presentation to see who the starting 15 for each division would be. This is a tradition in rugby all across the world to have a jersey presentation the day before a big match or tournament. The starting line up for the division 2 team was as follows:

#1 Isaiah Lewis (West Bend) at loose head prop

#2 Luke Morgan (Sheboygan Falls) at hooker.

#3 Conner Bayer (Sheboygan Falls) at tight head prop.

#4 Sam Leighton (Sheboygan Falls)  at lock.  

#5 Matt Feyona (Sheboygan North) at lock as well.

#6 Nick Kisiolek (Sheboygan Falls) at blindside flanker.  

#7 Aaron Schlicher (Sheboygan Falls) at openside flanker.

#8 Collin Beyutine (New Holstein) at eightman.  

#9 Levi Poss (Fond Du Lac) at scrumhalf.  

#10 Mason Miller (Sheboygan Falls) at flyhalf.  

#11 Isaac Poss (Fond Du Lac)  at wing.

#12 Danny Jenkins (Sheboygan Falls) at inside center.  

#13 Connor Pierce (Sheboygan Falls)  at outside center.  

#14 Avery Bayer (Sheboygan Falls) at wing.

#15 Devin Knapp (Sheboygan Falls) at Fullback.

 

The starting line up for the Division 1 team was as follows:

#1 Trevor Beyutine (New Holstein) at loose head prop

#2 Sam Kohler (Kohler) at hooker

#3 Deryk Labinski (Random Lake) at tight head prop

#4 Kameron Bell (Sheboygan North) at lock

#5 Klayton Bell (Sheboygan North) at lock

#6 Caleb Rutherford (Sheboygan Falls) at blindside flanker

#7 Vinny Hoderny (Sheboygan Falls) at openside flanker

#8 Matt Ruppel (Port Washington) at eightman

#9 Dylan Hoffmann (Random Lake) at scrumhalf

#10 Andrew Kue (Sheboygan Falls) at flyhalf

#11 Derek Matz (Sheboygan Falls) at wing

#12 Beau Goudreau (Sheboygan Falls) at inside center

#13 Bailey Fetterer (Sheboygan Falls) at outside center

#14 Thomas Lepak (Port Washington) at wing

#15 Cody Struebing (Sheboygan Falls) at fullback

The D2’s played the first two matches of the 2017 season against Penn’s D2’s and The Royal Irish D2’s.  The first match was against Penn, the number 5 ranked team in the nation.  This match was most of the players’ from the chargers D2 first ever match.  The coaches were very optimistic going into the first match knowing that it would be a test to see how this group of inexperienced players would stack up against some of the best in the nation.  The score at the end of the first half was only 0-21.  The Chargers pulled it together scoring two tries, only to let up 3 more tries. The score ended up being 14-35 against a very tough opponent.  The next match was against The Royal Irish, the number 1 team in the entire nation.  The Chargers fought hard regardless of the score throughout the match.  The final score being 7-48, the only try for the Chargers coming from Matt Feyona.  Regardless of the score, the coaches were impressed on the work ethic of the players knowing that they are down and out, but they never gave up.

Up next was the Chargers D1’s;  they were ranked 34 in the nation at the time.  Their first match was against the Missouri Bears, a select side team that took the best players throughout Missouri and put them on one team for this specific tournament.  Even though The Bears didn’t have a national rank because they were not an official team until this tournament, the team was still composed of the majority of the Kansas City Blues.  The Kansas City Blues are the number 16 team in the nation who the Chargers will face in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 25-26.  The Chargers D1 was very excited to face the Missouri Bears because they were said to be a great team with some of the best players, but the Chargers didn’t sweat it one bit.  The Chargers knew that they were fundamentally sound and were all very strong athletes.  The Chargers came out of the gate looking very good, making solid tackles, great passes and crushing rucks.  The Chargers went down 0-3 in the first 5 minutes of the match but gained lots of momentum after scoring a try.  The Chargers continued their momentum and kept scoring, not letting the Bear gain possession for more that only a few minutes.  The Final score was 31-3, the chargers would advance to the quarterfinals where they would face Penn’s D1 team.

With the way the Chargers looked in their first match, they looked unbeatable.  They played with extreme intensity and they played well as a team, being from all different schools from all over Wisconsin.  The Chargers had a full head of steam going into this match knowing that if they could knock off the number 5 team in the nation, their ranking would sky rocket.  The match was very exciting to watch, with hard hits, great rucks, and amazing teamwork.  The match ended up being very close going into halftime, the Chargers only being down 0-7.  The game continued to play out with the same intensity as the first half.  The Chargers wouldn’t hold off Penn from scoring in the second half,  the Chargers also struggled to find the try zone in the second half as well.  The final score being 0-42, a crushing loss for the Chargers.  They kept their heads high though, knowing that if they win the next match they will take third in the tournament.
The following day, the Chargers D2 played Penn again.  The Chargers showed improvement but the outcome change for the worse.  The chargers got blown out 0-63, never giving up throughout the whole match, trying to score at least once against Penn. Later that day, the Chargers D1  played St. Edwards, the number six team in the nation for third place in the tournament.  The Chargers kept it very close throughout the first half but again struggled to find the try zone.  In the second half, the Chargers lost two starters due to injuries.  Bailey Fetterer sprained his ankle and Andrew Kue messed up his knee.  Regardless of the injuries, the Chargers continued to play very tough.  With the two starters out, the Chargers let up two more tries, admitting that a large factor of the loss of the match was due to not being as conditioned as St. Ed’s.  The Chargers took 4th place in the tournament, and learned what it takes to truly be one of the best teams in the nation.  Head coach Niel Mattek is very impressed with how both divisions played and has no doubt that in Tulsa, both divisions will be dominate and show everyone how Wisconsin rugby is played.  The Chargers will leave Friday, March 24 for Tulsa.

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