Greetings from Academy Field,
Every time I drive past our frozen pitch, the memories of this past fall come rushing back. Starting with two-a-days in August, to our dominant victory of the University of Buffalo, playing in front of an amazing crowd at Fordham University, all the way to our freshmen getting a solid run out against Fairfield University to cap off our season. After the tough 2017-18, the work our student athletes put in over the last year helped improve our record from 2-8 to 5-5 this year.
Our offseason has proven useful, as our student athletes have been hard at work in the gym and on the pitch. The focal points have been building strength and mastering rugby techniques in order to begin tactic planning. With an active roster of 40, we are excited about our potential for continued success!
As our captain alludes to, we have quite a few freshman players who have injected great energy into our squad. What Mike doesn’t mention is the incredible leadership and work ethic our seniors have instilled in these young student athletes. Our continued success can and will be attributed to these wonderful men who have taken pride in wearing Colgate Rugby’s crest on their chest. As we shift our focus from off-season to 7s, these same leaders continue to work and lead our program into a national championship run. In doing so, they aim to leave a mark on our younger student athletes in order to instill our Colgate Swagger moving forward.
Go, ‘gate Rugby!
Although it took a few matches to get into a groove, we had our best season yet in D1A. We followed our annual tune-up match at Norwich University with solid road-wins at Cornell and Oswego. After subsequent losses to Binghamton and Albany, we underwent some crucial offensive personnel changes, and began to find our way in the conference. By inserting seasoned freshman recruit Ethan Gruber at flyhalf and moving grizzled senior backs captain Adrian Heath to scrumhalf, we were able to cap off a three-game win streak with a victory over Buffalo – as we became the first team in Liberty Conference’s Empire Division to knock off a Rugby East team. That same Buffalo team blew out Empire division champions Syracuse 52-10 including the previous year’s Empire division champions SUNY Cortland 45-17. Our overall record was a mixed-bag, but our biggest wins eclipsed our worst losses. With new freshmen additions of Gruber, flanker Mike Levinger, wings Patrick O’Hagan and Djbril Diallo, and scrumhalf Fred LeClair – all of whom started games this season – the program is in a solid place moving forward.
Union League Club Event
For the fifth consecutive year, courtesy of the clear weather, Greg Richter ‘85 P’14 P’16 and Paul Massey ‘82, the CRA celebrated another excellent year at the Union League Club. Coach Chapman, the senior co-Captains, Fundraising Chair Kevin Danehy ‘83, and CRA President Matt Hansen ‘02 all addressed the assembled crowd to discuss where we’ve been and where we’re heading during this Bicentennial year and beyond. Paul Massey was awarded this year’s CRA Cup.
Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight: Carl Eckert ‘14 and Pause
Carl Eckert ‘14 went into finance in Manhattan after graduation, where he worked for two years before relocating to Los Angeles to take a position with Brookfield (thanks to an introduction from Kevin Danehy ‘83). During his time with Brookfield, he worked on on investments in “space-as-a-service.” Inspired by his work and growing innovation in real estate, he left to start his own company in 2018 working primarily on a hybrid product of physical space and digital meditation for corporate landlords. From there, Pause evolved to a rapidly growing software-as-a-service business helping enterprises challenged by workplace mental health improve the emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of their employees. Carl and his co-founder are launching a first round of customer installations shortly. They also recently secured funding from Techstars and are living in Amsterdam, but expect to soon return to the West Coast to kick off a greater US-based expansion.
Membership Committee and Chairman
Cam Borriello ‘14 has stepped up and out of the CRA Secretary role to serve as our Membership Chair. He will build and lead a Membership Committee composed of regional leads for DC, Boston, LA, NYC, and the Bay Area, and our “era captains.” Their mutual goal will be to strategically plan and host regional events and build local networks, and to increase participation and the effectiveness of our communication with alumni. They plan to start with casual gatherings this spring around the last week of the Six Nations tournament (stay tuned to Social Media for updates). To find out how you can get involved, contact Cam at email@example.com.
Upcoming Alumni Events
Regional Six Nations Meet-ups
Our network of regional coordinators are hosting “watch parties” on Saturday, 3/16 for the last weekend of Six Nations! Locations and contacts below:
- NYC: The Australian, 10:45am (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Boston: LIR Boylston, 10am (email@example.com)
- LA: Red Lion Tavern (2365 Glendale Blvd), 10am PST (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Spring 7s Event
Similar to last spring, Colgate will host an official Liberty Conference 7s tournament. We intend to feature a joint men’s and women’s alumni weekend on March 29 – 31, replete with networking/mentoring sessions and conference 7s tournaments for both men’s and women’s programs at Andy Kerr Stadium . Stay tuned for details.
Summer Old Boys Matches
Fritz Richter ‘16, our Old Boys Captain, has marshalled the troops for a big summer. We will play one (or perhaps two) 7s sides in the Hell Gate Sevens on Randall’s Island. Then, for the first time, we will field an Old Boys 15s side in the Can Ams Tournament in Saranac/Lake Placid from August 2-4. Spectators and non-players are welcome to attend both. Register your interest in Can Ams here.
Supporting Colgate Rugby
Colgate Men’s Rugby enjoyed tremendous success with our 50th anniversary pledge drive. If you made a pledge and would like to pay your 2018 or 2019 installment, or if you didn’t make a pledge, we would appreciate your support to ensure our program’s security and success! Click the link below to make your gift online, visit colgate.edu/mrugby, or call our gift line at 800-668-4428 and mention “Colgate Men’s Rugby.”
Supporting Colgate Rugby
For alumni looking for a way to get involved, reconnect, or to give back, or who have another idea for us to pursue, please contact CRA President Matthew Hansen ’02 at email@example.com.
2019 Spring Schedule
March 15 – 16
May 25 – 26
June 1 – 2
Mike Dowgin ‘76
(Pictured at Left)
Mike was a football player at Colgate, but snuck into a few matches here and there, including the famous Mardi Gras tournament in Louisiana in 1975, where Colgate beat Atlanta Old White and lost to Duke. He majored in IR/Poli Sci at Colgate and attended Tulane Law until he was injured at rugby practice. He then went to Seton Hall Law, graduating in 1980, and opened his own law office where he still practices today. He also serves as the Municipal Court Judge in South Brunswick, NJ. Mike and his wife Cathy (Colgate ‘76) had both their kids attend Colgate: Laura ‘06 and Ryan ‘09.
Doug Wolfson ‘00
Doug didn’t play rugby at Colgate, but picked up the sport upon moving to Hong Kong in 2015. He started in the second row and moved to the back row, captaining the Sandy Bay RFC’s “social side.” Doug is enthusiastic about the HKRU’s work developing rugby at all levels, and in hosting “the world’s greatest rugby event” – the HK Sevens!