Name: Jeremy Smith

Home Town: Nashua, NH

Height:5’10

Weight:190

D.O.B.:1/29/92

Position:Scrum-half, Fly-half, Center, Wing

Year of school: Junior

Major/Minor/Concentration:Criminal Justice, concentration in Homeland Security

 

I really hadn’t played an organized sport since sophomore year of high school and I wanted something new to try. I transferred to Da U my sophomore year of college and I wanted to get more involved in some sort of community on campus. Also, my mom refused to let me play football, so I had always wanted to try some sort of contact sport. And while I was searching for schools to transfer to I noticed the rugby team here, which played into part of the reason I came.

 

One of the best things I get from this sport I’m able to constantly challenge myself. The first challenge for everyone is figuring out how the hell to play this crazy sport and not really knowing until you play your first game. And it’s a constant challenge of figuring out how to develop techniques, become a smart and quick thinking player, and still keep learning how to play the game.

 

I think one of the things I really learned from rugby is to be successful you have to be prepared for anything. In my case, I’m not the best player in any position, but I get playing time from being solid at many different positions. In my short career I’ve had only a handful of starts, but coming off the bench I’ve play at every back position, and the playing time I get comes from being adaptable and ready to either call the plays at fly-half or run like hell at wing.

 

Currently I’m the president of the club it’s been a learning experience of its own. In the course of a few months I had to switch from the mindset of just focusing on practicing and preparing for the game every week, to now thinking about the big picture of the club and everything that goes on behind the scenes to make it to game day. While it’s a lot to think about and work on, it has helped me become more open minded and steadily become a better problem solver.

 

When I graduate I’d like to work for the DHS. I’m not quite sure what exactly I want to do. I have interests in emergency management, crime analysis, and security so there is a lot of things I’d be happy doing. Even though law enforcement typically has odd hours, I’d still like to fit rugby in my schedule somehow when I’m older by playing, coaching, or reffing.

Name: Patrick Brennan

Hometown: Maynard, Ma

Height: 5’10

Weight: 180 lbs

D.O.B.: August 11th 1990

Position: Fly Half

Year of School: Senior

Major: Criminal Justice

 

I have been around the sport of rugby since I was a child. I had three uncles who played for the Mystic River Rugby Club and grew up around the sport. I began playing rugby in their youth programs as a teenager and haven’t stopped since. When deciding where to pursue my college education, rugby was a big factor. After finding out UMass Lowell had a long standing rugby program my decision was made. My greatest memories with UML RFC was being elected President and serving as a team captain for 2 years. I’ve never been prouder than leading a group of Riverhawks onto the pitch and waging battle with my teammates. I will never forget wearing the UML patch on my chest and playing four awesome years with my brothers.

 

Upon graduation from UMass Lowell I will be joining the United States Army and serve my country. After my service in the military I hope to pursue a career in the criminal justice field or security management field. It has been a personal goal since childhood to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a member of the criminal justice community

Name: Anthony Gervase (AC/DC) (Honest Abe)

Hometown: Lebanon, CT

Height: 6ft

Weight: 210lbs

D.O.B.: 6/6/94

Position: Lock/ Prop

Year of school: Freshman

Major: SRT (Concentration in voice)

 

I’ve wanted to play rugby for quite some time and took up the opportunity when I saw it here; having done so, I haven’t regretted it. Not only have I been more active than I’ve ever been, but everyone on the team has made me feel welcome. On the field, every player is important for the team to act as one unit and these guys have shown me just that. Many of the veterans have worked with me to help heighten my skills as a player and a teammate no matter how much work it took. Of course, even off the field, everyone is treated as a brother. One of the most unforgettable moments I shared with the team off the field was when they came to my mother’s wake. It was unexpected to say the least, as I had not told any of them about it, but nevertheless, they showed up. It had sincerely touched my whole family and illustrated just how close the team is.

I plan on one day becoming a producer. After graduating college I plan on moving out west to follow the music scene and start making a career out there. Although I do hope to one day have my own recording studio, for now I am working on getting an internship at Mohegan Sun.

Name: Mike Begonis (Mailbox)

Home Town: Tewksbury

Height: 6′ 3″

Weight: 187

D.O.B.: 9/28/92

Position: Lock

Year of school: Sophomore

Major/Minor/Concentration: Computer Science and Mathematics

 

I was an awkward kid growing up. In elementary school I was that weird kid who sat by himself at the lunch table. My very first day of high school I ran into a mailbox attempting to run cross country. Hence the nickname. At the start of 2012 I was a scrawny nerd who never took his nose out of the books to have some fun. I was barely pushing 160 lbs and while I had great grades, I wasn’t really enjoying my college life. So I first decided to start hitting the gym everyday and actually eating healthy, which was possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. At the start of the fall semester I was about 180 and was finally in decent shape. While wandering around the club fair, I was approached by one of my teammates, Tim, who asked if I was interested in rugby. So naturally I felt like a big tough guy because someone had noticed I no longer looked like an engineer and immediately signed up.

 

I don’t think I could have been any more sore after my first week. I had never played a contact sport before and my body was just straight up not prepared for the beating I took on at times. On top of that, my head hurt just trying to remember all the rules. But my teammates were patient with me everyday, and always lent a helping hand when needed. Even when I made a huge mistake, which still happens very often, I never felt like idiot after. We all usually ended up just laughing it off and I ended up learning from the experience. Today, I still forget the rules on a regular basis, and I still leave almost every game with some lame injury, but I have fun doing it and to me that’s what matters most.

 

I’m still unsure of what I really want to do after college. I know two things, I love programming, and I love math, and I’m pretty good at both. Lately I’ve been trying to sample as much of the computing world as I can to see where I truly want to end up. Right now I am a founding member of the UML Cyber Security Club and Treasurer of the UML Association for Computing Machinery. Clubs like these help me explore new career possibilities and open new doors for me everyday. Math is something that above all else seems to just come naturally to me, so lately I’ve been trying to look deeper into things like cryptography. I usually end up overwhelmed with school because I always bite off more than I can chew, but I know that I can always look to rugby as a stress reliever.

Name: Albert (Al) Marsocci

Home Town: Southborouh, MA

Height: 6’

Weight: 220

D.O.B.: 8/26/1994

Position: Prop

Year of school: Freshman

Major/Minor/Concentration: Undeclared

 

I got involved in rugby after the club fair when I was approached by several

members of the team asking if I was at all interested. It sounded like fun and the

guys seemed nice enough so, the next day I showed up to the practice and instantly

fell in love with everything about the sport and the team. I love the way the game

moves and how aggressive it can be. I have to say my favorite part of the game is

the tackling and the scrums. The best part of UML Rugby is the team itself the team

has bonded and become like a brotherhood supporting each other both on and off

the pitch. I am very proud to be part of this team and call myself a rugger.

As I have not declared a major yet it is still very difficult to see where I will be

after graduation although I am interested in biological sciences and could see myself

doing something in that field.

Name: Zach Stone [Stones]

Home Town: Shrewsbury, MA

DOB: 08/21/94

Height: 5′ 8″

Weight: 185

Position: Flanker

Year: Freshman

Major: Business (Marketing)

I had taken a hiatus from playing sports during high school to help balance working and my studies. Which in hindsight was a decision that I wish I did not make. I had played football throughout middle school and it was a sport that I loved. I knew that I could not play football in college because I had not played in high school, this was a disappointing truth that I had to accept. So I made a decision that in college I would make an attempt to play a sport of some kind.

Over the summer going into my first semester I had happened to be surfing through the Class of 2016 group page on Face Book. I noticed a post from an upperclassmen asking incoming freshman what their thoughts on Rugby were, not knowing anything about the sport I did a quick Google search on the sport. My search ended with me watching highlights from the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

After I finished watching I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of. I got in contact with the other members of the team and I was able to attend some of the preseason practices with the members of the team. Instantly the bond of brotherhood was very noticeable and I knew that I had made the right decision to start playing rugby.

Every time I lace up my boots, whether its practice at the Boathouse field, under the lights at Costello or even after a drive to an opposing school, I know I am going to have a great time playing alongside my teammates.

I am very happy with my decision to join the team because I have many people that I can turn to for support. On the team we all help each other with problems that arise, which being a first semester freshmen was something that has helped me greatly with my transition into college.

After college I hope to continue down the path of working in the sales and marketing aspect of the mechanical engineering field. I have always had an interest in how things work, disassembling and reassembling toys when I was younger to helping my father (who works in this field) on his service calls when a flow meter is not working to proper order.

But most importantly I plan on playing rugby for the rest of my life.

Name: Tom Murray [Specs]

Hometown: Dunstable, MA

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 198 lbs

Date of Birth: September 4, 1992

Poistion: Lock

Year: Sophomore

Major: English, Professional Writing and Journalism

 

During a club fair that I accidentally went to when I was looking to play basketball at the rec center, I had a few members of the team come up to me and ask if I wanted to play. I declined the first few, until the 4th player showed up, Baby Jake, and at that point I was convinced. Perhaps I am UMASS Lowell rugby material. It could have been my size, or the way I walked. Regardless, I made the right call.

 

At UNH, the school I spent my first year at, I was an hermit and a recluse. UMASS LOwell rugby has morphed me from being the weird guy in the corner to the Specs I am now. I am glad to be a unique player, Specs, while we are all unique and bring a positive element to the team, and I feel comfortable among my brothers.

 

In my future I see many difficulties with leaving college. I am an English writing major and writing in newspapers and journals is diminishing, albeit the words of Steven King when he addressed writing’s survivability directly to me. I hope my skills in writing will distinguish me among the crowd of other effective writing. For now, peer editing essays and working my laptop’s keyboard rigorously is all that my writing talents ask for.

Each week a different player will be put up describing his bio, rugby experiences, and potential life goals. It will serve as a good way to see whose really wearing the badge now and representing DA U!!!

Justin Kennedy

Name: Justin Kennedy

Home Town: Townsend, MA

DOB: 11/15/90

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 205

Position: Loose Forward

Year of Schooling: senior

Major: Electrical Engineering

Rugby Bio:

Throughout high school I played football and spent my free time in the gym. I spent a year and a half at Western New England College and had a friend that played rugby. I used to make fun of him for wearing the short shorts and had no understanding of the sport at all. After transferring to DA U, and talking to some friends who were on the team, I decided to give it a try. At first I was tentative; it was very different from any other sport I had played in the past.

When I finally showed up to the Boat House field for my first practice I remembered the only advice Seth Barron (Former Club President) had gave me, “to be good at rugby you need to be a physical beast or crazy.” Most of my time at practice was spent realizing how awesome this sport was while dodging the pot holes and goose poop.

My first game on the turf was under the lights. I felt free without any of my football pads to slow me down. Looking back I remember that I was so confused and lost on the field. Even after two and a half years of playing, I still have a lot to learn about the game. I am so grateful to have been a part of this team and look forward to my remaining seasons. I wish I had been introduced to this sport years before; it is a truly unique and rewarding experience.

Favorite Moments during games:

               My favorite moment from playing was this last fall during the Merrimack game. I was rucking over my teammate, when an over ambitious Merrimack player tried to counter ruck me. Despite his best efforts, I didn’t budge. We exchanged a few friendly words about his shortcomings and I limped on the rest of the game. A second favorite experience for me is when the opposing scrumhalf is slow getting the ball out of scrums, and as a Flanker, I get to hit him before he knows what happened.

Life Goals:

              After graduation I hope to continue my studies of Electrical Engineering as a professional and specialize in either control systems or analog circuit design. I have been experimenting with electronics since 5th grade and knew I wanted to pursue a career in Electrical Engineering since then.

This Past Weekend Rugby Northeast held its inaugural 7’s tournament.  When you look at the UML roster you would not think that we could put together a highly competitive 7’s team. However through hard work and our brotherhood we were able to accomplish this. At the tournament UML was the only team to bring out a crowd it was 1 hour away yet we had close to 30 guys there 15 of which knew that they would never play in the tournament.  When we hit the pitch the noise was deafening from the crowd everybody was  just going crazy. This energy never stopped all day and gave the players an undeniable advantage over other teams. The team went undefeated all day and in pool play never once trailed. We had guys step and play in their first Aside game ever and contribute in huge fashion. The heart displayed by all the guys during the day was amazing. We had people playing with all kinds of injuries but not once did somebody say they couldn’t play. That willingness to sacrifice the body for the greater good was the theme of the day. The style of play we used  was not fancy or tricky instead it was typical UML rugby, Run straight, Run hard, Tackle. Those three skills won us the tournament. Other teams were more skilled than us but none had the discipline to play good rugby. The faith in leadership was amazing all day we lacked our coaches but not once did we look disorganized or unprepared. Instead we were the only team to take advantage of the fields and use them to warm up on and sequestered ourselves away from the other teams and the focus that gave us could have only resulted in one outcome. The championship match was the most hard fought game all day, at half time we trailed 7-0. During half time there was no finger pointing or blaming yet instead something happened guys began to help each other and a fire was ignited that we used to power us to victory. We scored almost immediately after half time however a missed conversion made it a necessity that we score again. In the final minute of game play our wing broke the line and was brought down through a vicious horse collar. This resulted in a penalty try because he clearly was going on to score. We never gave up and displayed amazing energy and heart. CHAMPS

Frozen Tundra or Heated Gym?

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

That is the question that the team answered resoundingly yesterday with a strong showing in freezing temperatures.  They showed up with a fire and passion that would be expected in the week before the first game not a month away from it. The team ran hard and worked until it was dark outside. They played rugby until passes could not be made due to the darkness but instead of stopping it turned into a lesson in crash ball rugby until the game was over and a winner could be declared.  Even though this was just an inter-squad match the hunger to win made it into a well contested 7’s match.  Cold weather might be a deterrent to some but to this team it has become a source of pride, the ability to overcome all obstacles that stand in our way is what is going to form this team into a great rugby team. “Most people have the will to win, Few have the will to prepare”