|University of South Carolina Men's Rugby||
Carolina Foundation Urges Supporters to Donate
Columbia, SC - As the new Chairman of the Carolina Foundation, I would like to congratulate Head Coach Mark Morris and all members of USC Rugby on their accomplishments this spring. This team has certainly set the bar for all future USC rugby teams by making it to the Sweet 16 round of Division I-AA finals to be played in Knoxville, TN the weekend of April 27th & 28th. South Carolina will face Clemson in the opening match, while Tennessee will face Central Florida in the opposite bracket.
The team has made several significant strides towards the goal of competing for a national level championship. Taking down last year’s SEC champion, Florida, on the road, leading against perennial power Tennessee deep into two matches, and beating LSU twice speaks volumes about our ruggers ability to compete. Having personally competed in a 50+ over tournament in New Orleans last weekend, I can assure you that beating LSU twice was recognized as a major accomplishment by all in the Deep South, to include former USC player, Mark Avery:
“The big message around the pitch this past weekend was USC beating LSU, not once, but twice! The New Orleans Old Boys are almost all ex-LSU players and many of them are big contributors in money, high school development, recruiting, and coaching. I spoke to several of the ex-LSU players/coaches (all of whom I have played with for years) and they were very impressed (surprised) at USC's accomplishments. It was a big deal down here in LSU Rugby Country!
Well done by Mark Morris and others coaching that team!”
The challenge that this success presents to the team is the more you win, the more money it takes to play in the next round. Each of these weekend trips costs roughly $ 3,000. The following is a break down for the upcoming trip to the USA Rugby Sweet Sixteen playoff in Knoxville.
($80 per Hotel Room x 8 Rooms x 2 Days) = $1,280
($155 per Van rental x 2 Rentals x 3 Days) = $930
($4 per Gallon x 38 Gallons x 2 Vans) = $304
($11 per Dinner x 1 Dinner x 32 People) = $352
($6 per Lunch x 1 Lunch x 32 People) = $192
(Grand Total) = $3,058
As the team advances, we must continue to raise funds for each leg of the journey. Our challenge is that we are starting with zero dollars in our account. I''m asking that all of our Carolina alumni and team supporters reach into their pockets and donate to the Carolina Foundation. Mark Morris and the team have done their part through hard work. It's time that we come together as an organization to support the efforts of our USC Rugby Team.
Give what you can. This is an urgent call to support our team and coaching staff so that they may focus on playing the game at hand rather than worrying about how to get there. To officially kick start this fundraiser, Howard Hunt, Mark Rockefeller, Mark Avery, and I have each pledged to contribute $500 a piece, immediately, towards our goal. Here is how you can too:
P.O. Box 2023
Columbia, SC 29202
By this weekend, we will also have an option to donate online for quicker turnaround. In the next few weeks you will see follow up emails that will describe our goals as a foundation going forward.
Committees have been formed for the following functions:
Rugby Operations - including day to day finance - Jim Farrar / Butch Setser
Communications - Jim Farrar / Bruce Wilson
Membership - Mark Rockefeller / Howard Hunt / Butch Setser
Fundraising - Bruce Wilson
School Liaison - Pat Hanly
COB activity - Not assigned today
GO COCKS !!!
Chairman, Carolina Foundation
Carolina Finishes Runner up, Receives At-Large Bid to Nationals
Atlanta, GA - The Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference’s second annual XVs Championship Weekend took place on April 13th & 14th at the Atlanta Silverbacks Soccer Complex, hosted by the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Atlanta Renegades, between the top four teams from the conference. With an opportunity to advance to the national tournament, each team came prepared to lay it all on the line, with South Carolina being no different.
The first match of the day was between the top seed from the West, Louisiana State University, and the runner up from the East in South Carolina. The contest saw many lead changes throughout the eighty minutes and the attacking play was a treat for all in attendance. In the end, LSU fell short on their conference title hopes to an eager, young Carolina side. Despite their positive play and stellar defense, the Gamecocks were just too much in their ability to counter attack and set the defensive line speed. The Gamecocks found space out wide multiple times keeping the LSU backline, and especially the back three, busy in defense throughout the match. At the final whistle, the score stood 31-23, advancing the Gamecocks into their first SCRC Championship final.
In the second match of the afternoon, the Eastern conference winners from Tennessee faced the Rebels of Ole Miss. The scoring started with the Volunteers dotting down the first try, yet the Rebels quickly responded with a penalty of their own. After a few lead changes, the Rebels were leading at half 17-14. Following the break the Rebels came out attacking the same as they had in the opening stanza. Tennessee, halfway through the second half, pulled away to an eleven point lead. Ole Miss scored two tries in quick succession giving them the edge by one point with ten minutes to play. The last try of the day was scored by Tennessee giving them the final and deciding points of the match. Ole Miss showed that they would be contenders for years to come, though fell short on the day 36-32.
Day two of the competition saw the winners from day one, the University of South Carolina and the University of Tennessee, face off for the crown inside the Atlanta Renegades Soccer Stadium. After a solid victory over LSU, South Carolina struggled in the second half against Tennessee, finishing the match with a final score of 46-34. Controlling much of the game throughout the first half, they capitalized through aggressive attacks on the Tennessee backline and forcing turnovers. Going into the second half, Carolina held a two-try lead, but felt the pressure of the adjusting Tennessee forwards as they focused on using their size to keep the ball in their possession. At the 50 minute mark, the Volunteers scored multiple tries, gaining a substantial lead.