The MIAA remains the only local high school association to offer rugby as a sanctioned varsity sport and as the league’s program prepare to get underway witht he 2011 season, plenty of talent and competition has emerged. Here is a team-by-team look at this year’s squads.
Coach: Kevin Ruddy – 5th Year
2010 Record: 3-4-1
Returning Starters: Freddy Lohn (2), Rob Jaseph (3), Tyler Tippet (4), Brady McCaffrey (6), Josh Martin (9), Steve Stolarski (10), Donnie Abey (13)
Lost Players: Sean Reedy (1), Chris Neutzling (7), Rob Swatta (8), Josh Zellner-Fing (11), Austin Baldea (12), Scott Sharik (14) and Taylor Schulden (15)
Players to watch: Senior – Steve Stolarski (10), Senior – Josh Martin (12), Junior – Austin Adams (15), Senior – Tyler Tippet (4), Senior – Jake Duckett (3)
2011 Outlook: Although losing three standout players to graduation in Austin Baldea, Scott Sharik and Taylor Schulden, the Cavaliers are excited for the season. With many starting players returning there are some juniors that are going to need to step up for the team to be successful. Matt Decker, Brady McCaffrey, Austin Adams and Ben Lemanski are four of the juniors that Coach Ruddy is looking at to be a big difference this year for the team. Senior Steve Stolarski had a good junior season but will need to be more of a vocal leader this year. Josh Martin was a very good scrum half for the Cavaliers last year but is moving to inside center this year. “The entire team worked very hard in the offseason”, stated Ruddy. “The seniors really stepped up to embrace the off-season workouts and vision of where we want this team to be. They deserve a lot of credit.”
Coach: Tom Fan – 3rd Year
2010 Record: 8-5
Returning Starters: Stefan Janik (#5), Nick DiPietro (#8), Alex DeRito (#9), Kenny Rothmann (#10), Donnie Carroll (#14), Nick Hudak (#2), Stephen Petr (#12)
Lost Players: Tim Horsey (#3), Garrett Roden (#1), Mike Caddick (#4), Corey Boliek (#7), Adam Hearn #(13), Mike Streb (#11), Kevin Marron (#15), Tony Maranto (#6),
Players to watch: Seniors: Kenny Rothmann, Nick DiPietro, Stefan Janik, Donnie Carroll, Nick Hudak, Juniors: Joe Maranto & Jeff Mattheiss
2011 Outlook: The 2010 season ended with a difficult loss to Mount St. Joseph. Not only were the Cardinals eliminated from playoff contention, but it marked the end of the three year varsity careers of standouts Adam Hearn and Corey Boliek. The loss of Hearn and Boliek coupled with the graduation of Tim Horsey, Tony Maranto and Mike Caddick leaves the Cardinals with a gap in leadership and experience. Coach Tom Fan is hoping that Seniors Stefan Janik, Nick DiPietro and Kenny Rothmann fill the void on leadership while looking to backs Donnie Carroll and Jeff Mattheiss to provide both scoring and speed. With more than half of their schedule to be played in March, the team needs to get in game shape early and remain healthy to be competitive to make a run at the MIAA championship. As Coach Fan put it, “this season is all about March for us, if we can play to our expectations and get off to a good start, then I think we got as good of shot as anyone in the league.”
Coach: Chris Powell (10th season)
2010 Record: 0-8-1
Returning Starters: 12
Lost Players: 3 (1 moved, 2 graduated)
Players to watch: Forwards: Andy Hamilton, Rob Clingerman, Matt Crane, Ryan Eilerman. Backs: Brett Prochazka, Julian Van Der Steur, Zack Frink, Nick Rodriguez
2011 Outlook: The Patriots bring a renewed confidence into the 2011 season. JC boasts a solid pool of seasoned and new players alike, thus providing some much needed competition for starting roles and depth at back- up. The Patriots began to find their mojo late last season and intend to build upon that late found success.
Coach: Bob Schlichtig – 11th Year
2010 Record: 9-0
Returning Starters: Loyola returns only two starters from the 2010 campaign, Dave Rogers and Collin Marshall.
Lost Players: The Dons started 13 seniors last year and while all of them will be missed, props Ben Carroll and Ben Cranston, scrum half Kris Wilson, and bBacks Brendan Salvo, James Schreiber and Vince Snarski were excellent role models for this years’ team to follow.
Players to watch: Seniors: Dave Rogers, Brad Randall, Collin Marshall, Mike Zito, Cameron Alexander, Kevin McKeown, and Bob Bollinger, Juniors: Bennett Sipes and Zach Greeley
2011 Outlook: Loyola faces an uphill battle as they attempt to replace 13 starters who were lost to graduation. While Loyola’s returners are experienced rugby players and there are plenty of juniors and seniors to fill the ranks, the key to success this year will be the team’s ability to establish their own identity. It will take some time for this group to unify, but there are high hopes on Charles Street that this squad will make their fellow Dons proud.
Mount St. Joseph
Coach: Mike Finley – 6th year
2010 Record: 7-4-0
Returning Starters: Anthony Grago (2), Nick Mastracci (3), Dave Smith (5), Andrew Siske (7), Tyler Tippett (8), Eric Sweeney (9), Matt Clash (12), Tyler Storm (13), Uriah Cunningham (14), John Schuberth (15).
Lost Players: Tom Proctor (1), Andrew Lewis (4), Connor Corkrin (6), Jack Hisky (10), Collin Woodyard (11, he is a senior this year but is pursuing AAU hockey)
Players to watch: Senior – Nick Mastracci (3, All PRU last year & All-MIAA), Senior – Eric Sweeney (9, All-MIAA), Senior – Matt Clash (12, All-MIAA), Senior – Tyler Tippett (8, All-MIAA)
2011 Outlook: Mount St. Joseph will have a strong, experienced team coming back from 2010. They are highly motivated after losing to Loyola Blakefield in the Championship last year, 24-17. Eighteen of 25 varsity players are returning. The remaining seven spots will be filled with highly capable players off MSJ’s JV team, which won the MIAA JV Championship with a record of 9-0-1. Most of the potential varsity and JV players participated in the MSJ Fall Sevens Intramural League (touch) for the camaraderie and to keep their skills sharp for the spring season. Lead by a pack of nearly 2,000 pounds, key players to watch will be Nick Mastracci (3), Andrew Schatz (1), Eric Sweeney (9), Matt Clash (12) and Joe Tynes (14)