Rugby Club Hands Out Fall Awards

SOCORRO, N.M. December 9, 2011 – The New Mexico Tech men's rugby club gathered Friday, December 2 for a rousing intrasquad touch match and team awards dinner. The Pygmies took the opportunity to review their fall 2011 season and recognize the valuable on-field contributions of certain members. In a rebuilding season revolving around the development of many first-year players the Pygmies managed a season record of 8-9.

In a team ballot Friday, Brock Romero was named the team's most valuable backline player and Jerod Aragon the key forward. Enrique Koerdell tallied a double, receiving his teammates' accolades as the outstanding attacking and defending player. The Rising Star award for best rookie player went to CV Harris, a Magdalena native.

The Pygmies opened their autumn 2011 campaign in heroic fashion by winning the collegiate championship of the Santa Fe Tens Tournament over the Labor Day weekend.

The following weekend the Pygmies hosted NMSU and the University of New Mexico Lobos in a round robin featuring full 15-man sides. Official scores were not kept, but ominously Tech brought up the rear in terms of scoring.

On September 17 the Santa Fe Rugby Club Santos exacted revenge for a rare loss to the Pygmies during the spring 2011 season, handily defeating the Pygmies 53-12. Tech traveled to Flagstaff, Ariz., where their three-year domination of the collegiate division of the Northern Arizona Tens Tournament came to an end.

Following midterms, Tech dove into a grueling three-week stretch of 15-man rugby, beginning with the 40th annual High Desert Classic tournament in Albuquerque on October 15 and 16. The Pygmies romped over two relatively weak sides before falling in the semifinals to their old rivals NMSU.

The Pygmies played host October 21 to New Mexico Tech's alumni rugby team, the Pygmy Ancestors, on the Friday evening of Tech's annual 49er celebration. This year's classic was a vast departure from the close Ancestor victory of 2010 or the Pygmy wins the previous two years as the old boys romped, 73-14.

Tech suffered a 45-7 shellacking at the hands of New Mexico State in Las Cruces to end the fall campaign.

Inconsistency unfortunately became the norm as the Pygmies were challenged all season by injuries to key players and conflicting commitments relating to school, work, and family. Looking forward to the spring 2012 season, much will depend on the progress of the younger players as they develop the confidence that experience provides.

– NMT –

By Dave Wheelock/Tech Rugby Director