Brown Commencement Rugby
Brown Althletic Complex - Meister Kavan Turf Field
Brown University, Providence Rhode Island
Saturday, May 24th, 2014


Just like clockwork the undergrads and alumni sauntered out after Campus Dance the previous night to participate once again in the spring rugby ritual, pitting the graduating Brown seniors and undergrads against the alumni who had come back to Campus to briefly relive their college and Brown Rugby experience.

A cool cloudy day kept temperatures moderate with the match in the able refereeing hands of head coach Dave Laflamme, who was sure to keep everyone honest. Three, 20 minute periods were contested. Without goal posts on the turf field, there were no conversions and scoring was 5 points for each try.

The undergrads atoned for their 25-10 loss in 2013 with a come from behind 30-25 victory over the alumni in this year’s contest.

The match was immediately in the students’ favor as senior fly half Colin Schofield ran in try much too easily for a 5-0 undergrad lead. But then the contest tightened and most of the first 20 minutes although played in the undergrad end was scoreless. However, as the period closed, alumni fly half Nick Stoker’09 ran an angle through a gap and 20 meters later was over the line. Former team mate Nick Logan’09, playing fullback, then duplicated the move and scored, giving the Alumni a well deserved 10-5 lead.

The second period started out with more alumni possession as forward Moe Abdalah bulled over for a try from 5 meters and Stoker found another gap or was it a fatigued defender for 5 more. Suddenly the match was 20-5 in the alum’s favor and the route was on.

But no one told the undergrads and in rapid succession, senior lock Jared Kay made a quick head fake and ran in untouched, senior number 8 Joe Daou, broke several tackles en route to a second try and graduate student Guy Edwards beat the outside defense for try number three, tying the match at 20 after two periods of play.

It is usually at this juncture that the effects of  Campus Dance kick in and the waves of alumni take command, however not today. The third period began well enough for the alumni as number eight Chaney Harision”11.5 was unstoppable close to the line and the alumni were up 25-20.

But senior wing Dan Tonderys was the scorer as a back row scrum break by Joe Daou was passed to senior scrum half Matt Leonard and then to Dan to tie the match. Dan’s  line mate, senior  Ryan Jones, then broke a long run and the back and hearts of the alumni

With the matches final try and a well deserved 30-25 victory.

Special thanks to those from the older classes who distinguished themselves on the day:

Dave Mahan’72, Scott Coburn’77, who still has those scrum half skills, and Dave Waldron’84 (pictured with Jay Fluck)

Brown Director of Men’s Rugby, Jay Fluck, then took the microphone and thanked the attending players, parents, and friends for their dedication and support of the Brown Rugby program. Special thanks were extended to the coaches, Dave Laflamme, John McGeachy, Danny Saccoccio and Ollie Julyan, our trainers Kelly Teixeira and Amanda Moran and Dr. David Barrall, the team plastic surgeon who does a masterful job repairing cuts.

Brown this academic year won 13 matches and lost but 7 with two wins on tour this spring in Bermuda and a magical three victory Ivy Conference playoff weekend at Princeton in April which qualified Brown for the National Collegiate D1AA playoffs. Brown lost in the first round to San Diego State University but the achievement was Brown’s first “Sweet 16” appearance since 1996.

Alumnus Rich Flanagan’74 was in Princeton and made the observation that Brown won its first Ivy Tournament in 1974 and here we were, exactly 40 years later, cheering another Ivy Championship. What symmetry!

Thirteen seniors were then awarded certificates for their rugby participation: Joseph Daou, Colin Schofield, Micah Baclig, Blair Cameron, Chris Latham, Matthew Leonard, Ryan Jones, Jonathan Hilgart, Daniel Tonderys, Scott Fielding, Jared Kay, Manny Koelliker, Dillon Ingham and Nick Keeling.

Brown Rugby also awarded 3 individual awards for exceptional work for Brown Rugby all of which were created and donated by alumni.

The Class of 1991 Award is presented to one First and one Second Team player. The selection was a vote of the players after the fall 2013. The winners this year are Matt Leonard’14 (First XV) and Ammar Faizullabhoy’16 (Second XV).

The 1994 Martin Henry “Tinry” Dawson Award winner for 2014, selected by the coaches, is Ryan Jones.

The 1986 Coach’s Award winner for 2014, selected by the coaches is Matthew Leonard.

The week after Commencement the following Brown seniors were awarded All Ivy status: Ivy Conference First XV: Matt Leonard and Joe Daou. Ivy Conference Second XV: Micah Baclig, Ryan Jones and Scott Fielding. Ivy Conference Honorable Mention: Jonathan Hilgart, Dillon Ingham, Nick Keeling, Colin Schofield and Daniel Tonderys.

Attached is a picture of all of those that participated in this year’s match and immediately below is our best guess on names and classes.

Back Row (left to right)
Tariq Cannonier’16, Peter Makhlouf,16, Guy Edwards, GS, Mike Manning’17, Ben Baker ’10, Eric Hanson’94, Zack Long’13, Nick Logan’09, Dan Smith’13, Chris Nuland’84, Mark Bishop’84, Chaney Harrison’11.5, Ted Brown’07, Brendan Warner’09, Josh Lehman’09, John Hermansen’10, Ateesh Chanda’04, Tom Deighton’13, Brian Singer’04,  Sam Hodges’04, Bill Hatfield’89, Matt Leonard (parent)

Second Row (left to right)
Dave Laflamme (coach), Ammar Faizullabhoy’16, Peter McHugh’17, Ryan Jones’14, Joe Paolino’16, Dan Levine-Spound’12.5, Dave Mahan’72, Nick Stoker’09, Mohammed Abdalah’11, Ben Lux’09, Han Hui Ling’09, Dave Waldron’84, Roger Michalowski’89, Jay Fluck’65 (rugby director), Sam Rabb’11,

Front Row (left to right and all in white jerseys)
Rob Bentlyewski’13.5, Chris Latham14.5 (Captain), Jon Hilgart’14, Scott Fielding’14, Dan Tonderys’14, Jared Kay’14, Joe Daou’14, Kavin Nunez’15, Ryan Jones’14, Micah Baclig’14, Everett Epstein’13, Matt Leonard’14, Blair Cameron’14, Manny Koelliker’14, Colin Schofield’14.

Not pictured but played:    Scott Coburn’77