Monthly Archives: April 2014

Jonathan Bauer Graduates

Bauer drives for a try in  win over KSU

Bauer drives for the line in
win over KSU

We’d like to take this time to acknowledge our graduating senior, Jonathan Bauer.

Jonathan will graduate this year with a degree in English and a 3.7GPA, demonstrating his capacity as a true scholar athlete.

As a rugby player, he started all 4 years for the Tigers, standing second row, flanker and #8.  With Bauer, the Tigers moved up from Division 3 rugby to Division 1, demonstrating their ability to compete at the highest levels.  He was on the team that won the 2012 Ozark Cup (Little Rock) and Vanderbilt University 2012 Oak Leaf Cup.

Bauer as an All Star

Bauer as an All Star

He was honored by his peers for distinguished play multiple times over his last 4 years.  This spring, he achieved best forward honors in the Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State Matches this year and was chosen the Man of the Match against Georgia Tech.  He scored a try against Georgia Tech in Atlanta to secure the Tigers first SIRC win.

He was chosen to represent the Tigers on the South Independent Rugby Conference (SIRC) All-Star camp in 2013 and was one of four Tigers selected to SIRC Select Side this year.

Bauer as senior leader awards medals  in captain's absence

Bauer as senior leader awards medals
in captain’s absence

He provided critical club leadership by serving as the Tiger’s Rugby Club treasurer and secretary, and as forward leader and team captain.

“He is the most cerebral player I have ever coached,” stated Coach Cole.  “He understands even the more nuanced aspects of the game, and uses them to his team’s advantage.”

“He will give you all he’s got,” stated Coach Swatzyna. “He doesn’t hold anything back when he’s in the game.”

Bauer gets his bling

Bauer gets his bling

Jonathan played his last game as a Tiger in a 46-5 win over Georgia Tech. Standing #8, Jonathan provided a stable platform for solid ball service to the backline.  He also led the defense by solid tackles, consistently shutting down the Georgia Tech attack.

Jonathan will be further acknowledged at the team dinner at the season end Tiger Banquet on April 17th.  Please join us in acknowledging Jonathan for his contributions to Tiger Rugby over the past 4 years.









Tigers Trounce Georgia Tech

April 5, 2014, Memphis, Tennessee – In the locker room before the match, Captain Adam Hairston peered into the eyes of his mates and challenged them to bring their best game.  Reflecting on how far they had come this year, they committed to finishing strong in front of the home crowd.  And finish strong they did.

Georgia Tech, no pushover, came to town in search of a win.  They have powerful forwards and some very quick and cagey backline players.  But today, the Tigers decided to play out of their minds.

Anthony Smith Best Back

Anthony Smith
Best Back

In practice this week we worked intently on getting the ball to our wings. Speed is one asset we’ve had a hard time consistently using. The added practice paid off.  It worked like a charm.  Early in the match, Anthony Smith, standing on the left wing, lit up the scoreboard with a 35 meter dash to center the ball under the posts.

Before the dust could settle, Anthony got loose again, sprinting 30 meters to take his second try.   Then it was Donovan Thomas’ turn.  The GA Tech defense shifted to handle Anthony, so Donovan, coming from inside center, spied a crack in the defense.  Hitting the hole hard, he shook off the tackler, swerve moved the fullback to the ground and dotted the try.   Tigers lead 15-0 at the half.

The second half started the same way as the first half, with Anthony taking third phase ball and dashing 45 meters for his “hat-trick” try.  Kyle Baker, brought in at wing to help with the kicking duties took the conversion.  Later, Baker chipped in 15 meter penalty for three more points.

Not to be deterred, Georgia Tech committed to play their game and completed three successive drives up the middle using their powerful forwards.  They controlled the ball, dominating possession for over 20 minutes and drove deep into Tiger territory. The Tigers kicked out of trouble two times but the last drive ending in a Tech try.  25-5

And then it began to rain Tiger tries.

  • Thomas Strickland playing scrum half went weak-side from a ruck and ran 40 meters up the west sideline to score. Baker chipped in the conversion.
  • John Elmore standing fly-half had been delivering the ball to his centers all day.  But, feeling the try line, this time sold a hard dummy to open up a hole that he exploited scoring under the posts.  Baker chipped in the conversion.
  • Just before the end of the match, TJ Hardaway standing inside center broke a tackle and sprinted 65 meters up the east sidelines outrunning all GA Tech defenders.  As he dove for the try the crowd went crazy.

Tigers win 46-5.  The crowd at Halle enjoyed a great demonstration of rugby.  It was even enjoyable for the coaches to watch.

Jonathan Bauer Man of the Match

Jonathan Bauer
Man of the Match

Today was senior day and we honored our graduating senior, Jonathan Bauer.  At the half, Freddy (The Face) Hodges, our stadium announcer, listed Jonathan Bauer’s accomplishments on and off the field and led the stadium in three cheers for Jonathan.  Jonathan, playing his last game as a Tiger, played out of his mind and was awarded the Man of the Match for his tough tackles, ferocious rucks, and offensive ball carrying against a powerful opposing pack.

Anthony Smith was honored as the Best Back for his hat trick.  He demonstrated extreme prowess at wing today and using his combination of speed and power to get three tries.  He also consistently shut down the GA Tech attack, and connected with his brother Scott in defending against the long kick.

Another treat for the day was the appearance of the Whitten Baptist Youth Group, who cooked burgers and dogs for the fans free of charge.  Whitten is where Josiah Shipley and JC Russell worship and many in the youth group are Tiger Fans.  The presence of the Whitten Youth Group added a carnival atmosphere to the day and made the Saturday win even more enjoyable for the fans and players.

Freddy (the face) Hodges handled the press box duties with JC Russell giving him a hand.  He played the music and announced the match.  Having Freddy on the microphone added positively to the experience of the 200 fans who showed up.

Fans in attendance included the family, friends, the Lady Tigers, Tiger Old Boys, and several high school rugby players from the inner city rugby program.  The players truly appreciate the support of the fans.

As the last whistle blew, three cheers for the opposition and Freddy cranked up the Tiger Fight Song.  The Tigers and the Tiger fans enjoyed soaking up the feeling of the Tiger win as the fight song rang through the stadium.

That’s the way to end a season.


Side:  1. Justice Houston, 2. Josiah Shipley, 3. Matt Hill, 4. Ronnie Roberson,  5. Chris Lemons, 6. August Myers 7. Adam Hairston (Captain), 8. Jonathan Bauer, 9. Thomas Strickland 10. John Elmore, 11. Tezman Mosley 12. Donovan Thomas 13. Cameron Walton 14. Anthony Smith, 15. Scott Smith, 16. TJ Hardaway, 17. Hector Marquez, 18. Willie Lacey, 19. Bert Milam, 20. Kyle Baker

Injured Reserve:  Nick Harrison, Sam Kordab

Man of the Match:  Jonathan Bauer

Best Back:  Anthony Smith

Referee: Eric Fleming

Field: Halle Stadium

Announcer:  Freddy “The Face” Hodges

Thanks to Connie Griffin for taping the match.  Video available soon.


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Memphis Hosts Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech

Memphis will host Georgia Tech this Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 1:00.  Memphis beat previously undedfeated KSU at home three weeks ago and hopes to extend its home streak with a win over Tech.

Georgia Tech, struggling this year is eager for a conference win.  They have a big forceful pack which will be a handfull.  This promises to be a heck of a game that you won’t want to miss.


Match: April 5, 2014

Pitch: Halle Stadium – 2616 Mt. Moriah Road   Memphis, TN

Kickoff:  1:00 pm

Referee:  Eric Fleming

Social:  Ubee’s Restaurant – 521 South Highland   Memphis, Tennessee


Support the Tigers by using your Kroger Plus Card- Here’s how! 

You can also suport the Tigers by joining the Tiger Rugby 100 Club.  More details here!