Future Bright for Troop Side Filled With New Talent
The Schuylkill River Troop (D3) side may not have gotten the result we wanted over the weekend in a 34-22 loss to Lehigh Valley but the future looks bright with a lot of new faces stepping into the squad and making a big impact. This match also marked the return of Skill Rugby Hall of Famer Chris Bailey to the sidelines. Coach Bailey’s experience provides these players with an excellent opportunity to continue developing on our player pathway.
Making their league match debuts over the weekend were starters Kevin Allison (flanker), Louis Snyder (8 man), Alex Ruiz (scrum half), Bryan McCorkle (outside center), Evan McKeever (wing), and James Lesniak (fullback). There were joined by reserved Rob Palladino, Seamus Meekes, Colin Sullivan, Pete Scuderi, and Kai Killebrew.
The match started off well for Troop who took a 17-15 lead into halftime and were tied with Lehigh Valley 22-22 with 10 minutes to go. Unfortunately the boys ran out of steam a bit and gave up two late tries. Our tries were scored by Jeff Hall, Alex Ruiz, Kevin Allison and Jabari Johnson. Notable performances were had by Allison, Snyder, Hall, Ross McMonigle and Matt Zebrowski.
While disappointed in the loss, Coach Bailey, as well as Captain Ryan Tower, were happy with the overall effort. “Lehigh Valley is an experienced side who was in Division 2 last year, and their cohesion showed. The good news for us we had 11 new guys of the 23, and still hung in there. Once we get more comfortable playing together this is a championship caliber squad,” noted Bailey, Tower echoed a similar response, “ it was a great showing by all of the new guys making their River debuts. We ran our system effectively for 60 minutes and once we can clean up the remaining 20 we will be a tough team to compete against.”
Other highlights included: Kevin Allison making an 80 meter run featuring 3 dummy passes and scoring his try on a great hustle play, Louis Snyder being extremely active all day earning Man of the Match, Jeff Hall providing solid play as usual and being a force in lineouts, Evan McKeever flashing on a number of plays, Alex Ruiz providing vocal leadership, and Bryan McCorkle having a strong defense match.
Troop returns to action this weekend with an away match vs Hibernian while the Exiles (D1) host Rocky Gorge.
Troop Season Stats:
Tries: Kevin Allison (1), Jeff Hall (1), Jabari Johnson (1), Alex Ruiz (1)
Cons: Ryan Tower (1),