With the 2013 school semester wrapping up this week and two key leaders graduating from Thunderbird, the rugby club would like to take a moment to recognize the service of exiting leadership members. President Jay Stahlman (yours truly) and Treasurer Jeff Hillam have both played rugby for the last 18 months while serving the club in various capacities over that time. Jay joined the team the first week of school as a way to stay in shape and make some friends. He was immediately thrown in to the fire as scrum half, became VP three months later, and has served as President for the past nine months. Jeff joined the club during his second semester at Thunderbird and inherited the Treasurer position while serving as alumni relations chair. Both players enjoined fruitful careers on the pitch and (I hope) will be missed.
Although it is always sad to say goodbye, the club will move forward with a more than capable new team. New President Chase Ficklin (seen right breaking someone’s collarbone) has also played rugby his entire time at Thunderbird and has served on the leadership for two semesters already as treasurer and vice president. Similar to his wrecking ball style on the pitch, Chase will take no prisoners in promoting the club on campus and throughout the community.
Taking over the roles of Vice President and Treasurer are a pair of first-time ruggers just now concluding their first trimester on campus. Colin Agnew, nicknamed Lil’ Coco (below) is a MA in Global Affairs student who plans to articulate to the MBA program when in a year. He plays (or tries to play) hooker and is infamous for his lineouts, or as we call them, turnovers. As Colin becomes more familiar with the sport, I am confident he will develop the skills to match his enthusiasm and bubbling personality that make him an excellent teammate and leader. The role of Treasurer will be filled by Coco’s classmate Sean Slattery, a lanky forward who’s work ethic will help the new leadership team focus and execute effectively.
As always, the future is bright for Thunderbird rugby with Rugby Alumni Weekend and the MBA World Championships on the horizon.
Former President, Thunderbird Rugby Football Club
November 11, 2013
Hooray! What a prestigious, glorious event! Of course I am talking about the annual Thunderbird Rugby Invitational hosted at Thunderbird School of Global Management. This year’s tournament involved a new, much more competitive group of clubs from the Phoenix area due to limited availability by traditional participants. In addition to the Thunderbird RFC squad, Phoenix RFC, Camelback RFC and Red Mountain RFC all made an appearance. The tournament was round-robin style and kicked off at 10am on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The tournament began with a very solid Red Mountain team, who ended up making quick work of an undermanned Phoenix squad. The second and third matches of the day featured Thunderbird RFC in a back-to-back scheduling error against the host team. First up, Thunderbird took on a strong Camelback team and played very fundamentally strong rugby. The scrums were dominated by the blue and white, encouraged by outstanding hooking from Veteran Luis Vidal and Rookie Colin Agnew. Rookie back Nikhil Nair excelled throughout the day with great tackles, beautiful rucks, and the first try of his young career when he chased and pounced on a grubber in the try zone. Successful conversions on all tries by Rookie forward Bryce Jahner helped secure the win as Thunderbird was victorious 28 – 14.
After a ten-minute break, Thunderbird was back on the pitch against Phoenix RFC for a war of defensive attrition. A relatively young, inexperienced group started the match to allow others to catch their breath. A brave showing on defense by the new ruggers and a quick thinking try by President Jay Stahlman had Thunderbird up 7-0 at half time. In the second half, Thunderbird came out strong to dominate a Phoenix club depleted by injuries. An iconic, full-pitch sprint try by Veteran Steve Preator and a great, flowing try capped of by Rookie Nikhil Nair on the wing helped the club solidify a 17-10 victory just before lunchtime.
The next match saw Red Mountain defeat Camelback, which meant that the final match of the day (Thunderbird vs. Red Mountain) would determine the winner of the TRI Cup. The Phoenix squad was forced to forfeit their final match against Camelback due to injuries, so the grand final kicked off at 3pm.
Thunderbird kicked to start the match, but jumped out to a 12-0 lead thanks to a fortuitous scrum and some friendly refereeing. However, Red Mountain, being the most experienced side at the tournament, did not back down from the challenge. They strung together two impressive tries with some very good play out wide to take the lead in to halftime at 14-12. The second half saw some incredibly scoring plays thanks to some mental errors and poor tackling from tired ruggers. With about 5 minutes left, Thunderbird was on the wrong end of a 26-12 spread when the unthinkable happened. We shot back with two consecutive tries, the first off a Red Mountain scrum that we won and immediately ran for a try followed by a one play try off the ensuing kick. Two conversions meant the score was all tied up at 26-26 with only seconds remaining. Unfortunately, the clock struck midnight on this Cinderella story when a Red Mountain winger back broke five tackles for the game-winning try on the last play of the tournament.
Despite the crushing defeat in championship match, Thunderbird was in quite good spirits at The Australian during the tournament social. It was an invaluable experience for a club that has grown by leaps and bounds this trimester and a significant building block on which to continue to grow when we pick back up in the Spring.
Before I pass the torch to the next leadership team, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to my current group of leaders and all of the ruggers, supporters, and alumni who have made the Fall 2013 campaign a wonderful success. I believe the club is in a great position for future growth, both on and off the pitch, and I look forward to being an active member of the alumni association for years to come.
President, Thunderbird RFC
Red Mountain RFC vs. Thunderbird RFC
October 26, 2013
After a very successful career week, full of professional development and networking opportunities, the rugby club returned to the pitch excited for an opportunity to measures ourselves against superb competition. It must be noted that, due to career treks and a week with limited obligations, the club was missing several key contributors. Regardless, we were ready and willing to fight for glory, and were buoyed by the presence of alumni ruggers David Snowden (’12) and Ian Shiller (’13) in town as recruiters from Michigan-based Delphi Automotive.
Red Mountain showed up in force with about 20-25 ruggers and a travelling fan base that far outnumbered the Thunderbird faithful. The club consisted of maybe 5 or 6 rookie ruggers and several large, Polynesian veterans: just enough inconsistent production to be labeled as a “B” side. Meanwhile, Thunderbird had about 17 ruggers present, limiting our ability to substitute and testing our fitness level. The match kicked off at noon and we agreed to play two 30-minute halves.
The match began rather inauspiciously as both squads struggled to gain momentum. Field position was key, and after some fundamentally sound rugby that included several winning scrums and lineouts, Thunderbird took the as President Jay Stahlman jumped on the ball after a penalty, took a quick restart, and dove in for a try between three Red Mountain forwards. At halftime, the score was tied at 5-5. The second half was a war of attrition and ultimately the size and strength of the visitors prevailed. Thunderbird’s discipline and cooperation made it a very close competition, much closer than I think a lot of people were expecting, but ultimately a tired squad fell to after conceding a try in the last five minutes, losing 22-15.
At the end of the day, it was this match was a fantastic learning opportunity for the squad and a great confidence booster. The team now knows that by playing together and supporting each other, we can compete with even the top teams in the valley. This next week will be used to prepare for the annual Halloween fundraiser party, followed by the Thunderbird Rugby Invitational on November 9.
Photos taken by the Rugby Queen, Tsvetelina Dincheva
We are pleased to announce that The Australian is now the official bar Thunderbird Rugby Football Club after agreeing to sponsor the team for the 2014-2015 seasons.
The Australian will now appear on the new club jerseys, to be printed in December, and all after-match social events will be held at the bar.
Please check out their website at http://www.theaustralianaz.com/.
Oct. 19 – Thunderbird vs. Prescott Black Sheep
By Jay Stahlman
On a beautiful, sunny Arizona Saturday, the Thunderbird Rugby Club took to the pitch to test our grit against a rag-tag group of guys from Prescott. Being our first competitive match since the tragic accident to one our rugby brothers at Flagstaff 10s tournament, the team was naturally a bit uneasy during pre-game warm-ups. However, I was extremely proud of the courage our boys showed throughout the day. It was truly an inspiring display of teamwork and cooperation as we dominated the 70-minute match from start to finish 38-7.
Prescott arrived a bit under-manned as only 13 people were able to make the trip. We accommodated them with three whores to make for an especially friendly, competitive environment. We could not have written a more perfect start to the match, as we forced an immediate turnover after the kick and marched straight down the field for a powerful try by rookie forward Bryce Jahner. At the end of the first 30 minutes, Thunderbird led 19-7 with especially strong play from veteran forward Chase Ficklin and Captain Matt Erley, who was later named man of the match (but unfortunately feel short in the accompanying boat race).
The highlight of the afternoon was the development of our rookies as a group. The newcomers finally were able to put together everything we have been working on in practice to effectively run, ruck and scrum without penalties. We will continue to work on defensive cohesion and executing line-outs, but overall I am very optimistic about the direction of the club and the talent we can field each weekend. That being said, Thunderbird faces a very difficult test this upcoming Saturday (Oct. 26) against Red Mountain RFC B Side, a local semi-professional team.
Everything Thunderbird rugby is about!
After two years of working with the guys from The Australian, Thunderbird Rugby FC would like to announce a new sponsorship partner. Ruck Science is coming on board to support the club as part of their program to support all amateur rugby clubs. We’re the first graduate level business program to join up and receive donations from Ruck Science. The deal starts on September 1st and everyone on the club will be receiving an email giving us a discount on our first purchases on ruckscience.com.
More about Ruck Science
The company is based out of Austin, Texas. Their warehouse is in Atlanta, Georgia. The founders at Ruck Science are all rugby players. They say that they were sick of buying supplements that were designed for bodybuilding and wanted to make a nutrition company that was 100% focused on the needs of rugby players. They’ve been operating for a little under a year now and were developing and testing their product line with a product testing team for around 24 months prior to that.
About their range of products
Pretty much any kind of supplement that should be part of your regime is in their range. This includes stuff like Whey Protein, BCAAs and a signature Cognitive Enhancer they’ve developed. Right now, they don’t have anything with creatine in it. So that might mean you need to get your muscle-pumping supps elsewhere. But everything else is in their store and they have some really great reviews online.
About the agreement
Our deal with Ruck Science starts in September, but you can order now. Just be sure to enter “Thunderbird RFC” in the rugby club field when you’re going through the checkout process. For every order that someone makes in this way, the club receives a donation of up to 20% of the value of that order. The exact donation depends a little on the size of each order. But whatever size order you make, the club gets something. So please consider buying from ruckscience.com if you’re using supplements and ask your friends to do the same!
Getting started with Ruck Science
There are 4 things to keep in mind if you want to try the products on ruckscience.com and compare them to other supplement manufacturers:
- Register for Rucks (their rewards program) and you’ll get $5 to spend before your first purchase.
- Have a look at their sample stack – for $20 you get to sample all 4 of their custom supplement blends in a handy carrying stack.
- Enter “Thunderbird RFC” as your rugby club during the checkout process so they know where to send the donations!
- There’s a bunch of free stuff on their site including rugby-specific nutrition and training protocols on their rugby training blog.
Contact the company
If you have comments or questions for the company, the best way to get in touch with them is via email. Please speak to either Tim or Chris and they’ll do their best to provide feedback and recommendations.
DATES: All travel to Miami Friday, Sept.4 (mandatory pre-tour briefing). Depart to Havana Saturday, Sept. 5. Return to Miami Saturday, Sept. 12
The tour provider is aiming for a price of approx. $2,000 per person. They’ll work to keep it well under $3K/person. (We are just waiting for confirmation to make this tour a reality)
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
The goal is to secure some corporate sponsorships to help cover gear costs. $500 to get the corporate logo on the tour T-shirt, $2K for front of jersey, $1K for back of jersey below number, $500 for sleeve.
Jerseys will be dry-fit, short-sleeve.
Measurements will be needed for the Guayabera (chest in inches, also belt size), which is a traditional, loose-fitting, short-sleeve shirt popular in Cuba and the Caribbean.
Interested? Contact Chuck Hamilton: email@example.com
If you didn’t attend RAW last year, READ THIS!:
Guys, we are having too much fun for just 70+ old ruggers to keep to themselves. Put RAW 2015(March 5-8) on your calendars and start calling your old teammates. We have golf, BEER, sunshine, spring baseball, BEER, skeet shooting, parties, food, BEER, a rugby match, and BEER. No exams! No IPE! No IF&T! There is NO downside! Get down to Glendale and relive the glory days of being on campus. Let’s make RAW 2015 a blowout with 100+ Rugby Alumni!
Thursday 3/5: Plenty of golf for those so inclined, spring training baseball for others. Thursday night includes Pub Night, where the Rugby Alumni own the Pub, four deep along the length of the bar.
Friday 3/6: More golf, as well as skeet shooting with Range Master Ed Decker ’90.
The Friday night TARA Social at the Pub will include our usual speed networking with the student club. It may also take place at the ‘Old Pub’, and include cigar and whiskey tasting, courtesy of the student club. Pending scheduling, the new CEO and Director General of Thunderbird, Allen Morrison will attend as well.
Saturday 3/7: Rugby Day! The match will be on the Pitch at 1pm. Post-match will be poolside at the Fish. The Rugby Banquet/Auction will be in the usual location, just off the Commons. If you have interesting Rugby items to donate to the Auction, please bring them with you or make arrangements to get them there!
Bring a teammate that didn’t come last year. (Rocket doesn’t count. I want Metcalfe/Turbo/Evil Dave/Not-so-evil Phil/Brian Tague/Grant DeBruin/Steve Franklin and others from across the years).
Upcoming Reunion years for RAW 2015 (March 5-8):
· 2010 – 5 years
· 2005 – 10 years
· 2000 – 15 years
· 1995 – 20 years
· 1990 – 25 years
· 1985 – 30 years
· 1980 – 35 years
February 1st: Yuma @ Thunderbird
February 8th: Thunderbird @ Prescott
February 15th: Salt River @ Thunderbird
February 22nd: Thunderbird @ Yuma
March 1st: RAW Weekend
March 8th: Prescott @ Thunderbird
March 15th: Thunderbird @ Salt River
For the more match schedules, please see the following link:
Thursday, Feb 27:
Old Boys Arrive. Golf, spring baseball, Pub Night
Friday, Feb 28:
Firearms Friday/Skeet, more golf, spring baseball, etc.
6pm, TARA Social at The Pub. Gather in the Pool Room for announcements, State of the School, speed networking. Scheduled guest speaker, Dr. Larry Penley, Thunderbird President
Saturday, Mar 1:
1pm, Rugby Match, Alumni v. Students. Post-match at the campus pool
6pm, Rugby Banquet at The Commons. Prime rib dinner, awards, auction
Retire to The Pub