Author Archives: Coach Cole

Roedel and Gentry Top Backs in USA!

The Goff Report has continued to assess the play of ruggers in the USA and have named two more Tigers as top players in the USA.

Brittin Roedel is named one of the top 16 halfbacks in the USA and Calvin Gentry was named one of the top 24 Centers in the USA.

Brittin and Calvin engineered the winning season that the Tigers experienced in the fall of 2019. Their exciting play was a pleasure to watch. They were both tough on defense as well, with Brittin dropping folks twice his weight and with Calvin poaching multiple balls each match.

Congratulations to Brittin and Calvin on being named Top players in the USA!

Fall Tiger Awards Announced!

Calvin Gentry was recognized as the MVP of the club for the tough running that he added to the Tiger offense. He also helped other players improve their play as he would set them up for scores. He scored critical tries that kept the Tigers undefeated through conference play and he teamed up with Brittin Roedel to score critical tries in the Sweet 16 match in Greenville, South Carolina to send the Tigers to the Elite 8. Defensively, he kept the players properly aligned and was ever a poach threat, stealing ball on a regular basis.

Ethan Scott, Leroy Taylor, Calvin Gentry, Musa Banat and Brittin Roedel

Brittin Roedel was awarded the Best Back for his contribution at 10, slicing runs, and points from the foot. He clearly opened up the offense by being unpredictable. Defenses had a difficult time managing his sharp foot which kept them on their back foot. He drew a lot of attention which provided Calvin space to exploit. Brittin also tackles 50 pounds above his weight, and was eager to aggressively drop men twice his size.

Captain Musa Banat was elected Best Forward. His leadership of the team this season was a key to he team’s success. He was truly in command of his troupes, giving them heart, instruction and sometimes a kick in the tail when needed. He was a leader not a driver and was the first to pick up his game when needed. He also played above his size and weight as many great hookers do. He was strong in the scrums and lineouts, taking all of his ball, even getting some of theirs.

Tiger Scratch is an award provided to a player who plays through adversity, being scratched as a Tiger. Also, it is awarded to players who play with abandon, leaving a Tiger Scratch on the opponent players. The definition is interpreted differently over the years but the right person is always chosen. This year we had a tie at Tiger Scratch. Ethan Scott and Leroy Taylor were both awarded the Tiger scratch award for playing top level rugby giving and taking in true Tiger Scratch form. They played each match giving it their all and making their mark.

Congratulations to the Top Tigers of fall 2019.

Tigers Make Top 150 in USA

Tiger hooker and team captain, Musa Banat, and Tiger prop and club treasurer, Austin Kelley, make the top 150 tight five players in the USA in the Goff Report. Goff ranked Austin as one of the top 17 props and Musa was found to be one of the top 7 hookers in D2. You can see the report here.

“The Tigers team success has made this happen”, said Musa. “We are a team and I share this recognition with my fellow teammates. If we had not done so well as a team, this recognition would not have happened.”

Austin concurred and added, “Coach Tony Brooks taught me how to prop and made our front row the tops in our conference. We share this recognition with him and the other coaches.”

This is the first time in club history that Tigers have been nationally named as the top in their field of expertise. Congratulations to Musa and Austin.

Thanks to the folks who saw the vision and who stepped up with donations this fall. We are still raising money to offset our cost. If you have a few dollars please consider a gift today. You can donate here.

Also, please consider joining The Tiger Rugby 100 Club. To properly fund our program, we need 100 supporters to give us at least $10 per month for the year. You can sign up to be a monthly supporter here. Thanks to our many others for being monthly supporters.

Many others purchased bling to support the Tigers at the last match. Bling will be available at the match on Saturday and may also be purchased at our store at Tytan Rugby or check with Steve Williams. He has some great swag that he is selling and giving to donors. Contact Rick Cole through the Contacts page and I will get you Steve’s info.

Finally, Kroger will give us free money if you sign up your Kroger card.  This can be done here. We get a small piece of every dollar you spend at Kroger. This is easy and does not negatively impact you in any way. Please sign up your Kroger Card today.

Thanks to all. Every dollar donated helps. Please donate today!

Share this:

Tigers Named to All-Conference Team

The Tigers won the SCRC D2 conference title this year which led to the selection of several Tigers being honored on the All-Conference team. You can read the official SCRC announcement here.

The Tigers on the all-Conference team are: Musa Banat, Austin Kelley. Brittin Roedel, Calvin Gentry and Alex Sisco.

Congratulations to our All-Conference Tigers!

Austin Kelley Named SCRC D2 Conference MVP

Austin Kelley was named All-Conference MVP by the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference on Friday December 13, 2019. He was honored for his solid play at prop through the fall 2019 season.

Austin Kelley

” Austin Kelley is an excellent rugby player and a true gentleman.”  Said head coach Marc Holley. “He possess leadership qualities and demonstrates these traits each and every day at practice.  He is well respected by both teammates and coaches alike. On the field, he is a wrecking ball, demonstrated by his hard nose offensive attack and stingy defensive posturing. He plays above his weight with his tenacious play-making and defense. Words to describe Austin, Leader, Reliable, Respected, Tenacious, Coachable, A True Teammate. Conference MVP is an honor among all honors and I personally want to congratulate Austin, on behalf of all the coaches, The U o M Tiger Rugby Club and Tiger Rugby Nation.”

Austin is a pre-law/History major in his sophomore year at Memphis.

Congratulations Austin!

Tigers Climb to #4 in Nation

As the playoffs were finalized over the weekend the Goff National rankings were posted and the Tigers ended up ranked #4 in the nation in D2. The Tigers beat Villianova (#7) in their sweet 16 match and were beaten by Wisconsin-Whitewater (#2) by one try in a close Elite 8 match.

USA Rugby D2 Number 4 ranked Tigers – SCRC D2 Conference Champs!

Wisconsin-Whitewater fell to D2 champion, Queens in the final match yesterday. Wisconsin-Whitewater dominated in the Quarterfinal on Saturday, besting Missouri S&T (#5) 59-25. Since the Tigers played Wisconsin-Whitewater close they were able to sneak in front of Missouri S&T to take the #4 spot.

The Tigers have scheduled Missouri S&T (Rolla, Mo) for home and away matches in Spring 2020. These are non-conference developmental matches, which will be good for both clubs to test players in a competitive platform.

Thanks to the folks who saw the vision and who stepped up with donations this fall. Drs. Carol and Dale Smith have joined with Kevin RoedelTom Roedel, John Roedel, Renee Shelton, Robert White, Paul Bauer, Stacy Cotton, Steve McCune, Dan Hall, Marty and many, many others who have contributed to the Tigers post season run. We are still raising money to offset our cost. If you have a few dollars please consider a gift today. You can donate here.

Also, please consider joining The Tiger Rugby 100 Club. To properly fund our program, we need 100 supporters to give us at least $10 per month for the year. You can sign up to be a monthly supporter here. Thanks to Tiger Alums and supporters Dave Hill, Steve Ballard, Chris Lemons and many others for being monthly supporters.

Many others purchased bling to support the Tigers at the last match. Bling will be available at the match on Saturday and may also be purchased at our store at Tytan Rugby.

Finally, Kroger will give us free money if you sign up your Kroger card.  This can be done here. We get a small piece of every dollar you spend at Kroger. This is easy and does not negatively impact you in any way. Please sign up your Kroger Card today.

Thanks to all. Every dollar donated helps. Please donate today!

Tigers Ranked #8 in the Nation

Goff Report now ranks the Tigers #8 in the nation in D2. You can view that ranking here. The Goff Report is an independent rugby sports news service that provides a national ranking as part of their rugby coverage.

The Tigers jumped into the top 40 this year for the first time with a ranking of #33 due to a strong showing in conference play. After the Tigers beat MTSU to win the conference championship, the Tigers moved up to #27. Success in their playoff run moved them up to #8.

The Tigers success in post season play helped advance conference rival MTSU into the top 20, placing two SCRC teams in the top 20 D2 ranking for the first time.

“We had a great run this fall,” said head coach Marc Holley. “The boys learned a lot. This is a better team for the experience in post season play. They played their hearts out and that is all you can ask.”

Memphis will receive the SCRC D2 champion trophy this week from conference Commissioner Marty Bradley. The trophy will find its way to a new trophy case dedicated to Tiger success in the University of Memphis Rec Center.

Tigers in the Playoffs

The Tigers were in the USA Rugby D2 playoffs at Furman University this past weekend scheduled to play two matches…. Sweet 16 on Sunday and Elite 8 on Sunday if successful on Saturday.

Tigers Best Villianova in a steady rain!

The Tigers beat Villianova on Saturday in what became a mud bowl. This was one of the sloppiest fields that I have ever seen, but the Tigers maintained composure and handily took the match.

On Sunday, the Tigers challenged Wisconsin-Whitewater. This is a strong program, regularly ranked high in D2 and has had Eagles on its team in the past. The Tigers fell behind early due to a pressure offense that they have never seen before. However, as the match progressed, the lads adapted, learned how to play at a higher level and clawed back into the game. In the end the Tigers fell short and their playoff run was ended in a 31-24 loss.

(l-r) Kevin Wright, Nick Nickelson, Jay Hawkins, Jim Wilson, Rick McGhie, Marc Holley, Rick Knowles and Tony Brooks

The Tigers showed plenty of heart through this series and impressed the old boys that were there to support and cheer the lads. “I can’t tell you how PROUD I was of our young men this week end.” said Rick McGhie. “They played with tremendous ability and heart all week end, giving the higher seeded teams a HUGE lesson of how good Tennessee Rugby really is.”

Hawkins, McGhie, and Knowles fed the team on both Saturday and Sunday with their tailgaiting equipment. The food was delicious and made the weekend very special.

The Tigers are very grateful for the outpouring of support that we received from those who cheered us, encouraged us, fed us and financially supported us on our run. A very special thanks to all of Tiger Nation!