Olde Blue Weekend 52 Features Many Club Players

posted Sep 19, 2011, 5:18 PM by Karl Seibert   [ updated Sep 19, 2011, 5:29 PM ]
The annual Olde Blue Weekend was a great success and many current club players featured in the games.

Ann Arbor, MI        
17 September 2011         

In the annual University of Michigan Olde Blue Weekend, club alumni faced undergraduate teams in three matches.

Game 1

The "A" game at 12:45pm pitted the current UM 1st XV against a patchwork of old, medium, and young "olde" boys (qualifying for the squad means having played for the University team, the current Club ("Mens") team, or the pre-club/college split MRFC).  Selections for the Olde Blue side were difficult as ever, with a broad mix of players in from out of town and a great number of in-form current club members.  Jeff Hagan, recovering from a tibia/fibula shatter, was behind the clipboard in that regard, and did well to balance experience with pace.

The OBs kicked off to start the first match and were met with surprising force.  The UM side would continue hard running lines and committed tackles throughout the 80 minutes.  Having a difficult time getting out of their own half, Olde Blue finally gained territory from the kicking of former UMRFC captain Aaron "Tex" Dodd.  With a disciplined connection of phases, the college defense grew weary, allowing club side player and legacy Colin McFarlane (brother Kyle played mid 00's) a great burst over the line.  Dodd hit the conversion, and Club side center Kyle Harris would kick a penalty just minutes later.

10-nil an impressive start, the OBs relaxed their composure, giving referee Pat Muscat plenty of opportunity to blow the whistle.  Frequent offside calls against the old men gave the collegians plenty of chances for making ground, and put them on the board 19 minutes in by the boot of Andrew Swain.

Olde Blue fought hard, but heavy determination and hungry work at the breakdown won the youngsters heaps of possession.  Coming off a 0-60 loss to rivals Bowling Green, it was evident these young men were out to prove their grit.  Yet experience and slight-of-hand would get the better of them just before half as Dodd put the finishing touches on a swift move from the back of a OB scrum.  Evan Pratt had major success picking and tossing from the base to another former UMRFC captain, scrumhalf Karl Seibert, who was happy to chuck the ball to former UMRFC standout Gerrit Yntema at wing time and time again.

15-3 at the break.

New UM coach, Matt Trenary, another former UMRFC captain, must have had plenty of motivation to give the boys at the half; they came out swinging right from the second half restart.  After ten minutes of nose to the grindstone work, and quite a few changes in possession, multi-sport athlete Chris Vasieff (rugby, spoons) scored a cracker for Swain to convert.  At 15-10, these boys were well and truly in the game, and it took staunch defense and aggressive attack to keep the OBs in it.  Despite some decidedly fair refereeing, with just 8 minutes left in the game, Yntema scored in the corner off a brilliantly coordinated line break.

Even without the conversion, the Olde Boys easily hung on, celebrating the 52 years of Michigan Rugby with yet another victory over the University side.

Olde Blue XV:

1. Brian Zimmer
2. Ted Pixley
3. Dan Mascellino
4. David Perpich
5. Nate Schafrick
6. Colin McFarlane
7. Ryan Rogel
8. Evan Pratt
9. Karl Seibert
10. Aaron Dodd
11. Paul LeBlanc
12. Charlie Berklich
13. Kyle Harris
14. Gerrit Yntema
15. Tim Farrow

16. Matt Forsyth (Perpich 49')
17. Marshall Poland (Harris 40')
18. Naveen Aravapalli (Mascellino 54')
19. Eoghan McGreevy (LeBlanc 56')
20. Ray Govus (Rogel 40')
21. Davy Hamilton (Pratt, 38')
22. Tom Stulberg

Tries: McFarlane, Dodd, Yntema
Conv: Dodd
Pen: Harris


1. Chris Vasileff
2. Danny DiGregorio
3. Chris Hopfner
4. Drew Vecchio
5. Sebastian Harrison
6. Mike Wilinski
7. Dave Hiltzik
8. Mike Lacivita
9. Ian Etheart
10. Evan Noon
11. Andrew Swain
12. Steven Offringa
13. Chris Padmos
14. Brandon Kolk
15. Joel Conzelmann

16. Nick Bishar (Hopfner 68')
17. Zack Kendall
18. Ellis Kolber (Vecchio 54')
19. Matt Pilon (Harrison 61')
20. Steven Davidson
21. Karl Boothman
22. Grady Bridges
23. Aiken Andutan (Kolk 63')

Tries: Vasileff
Conversions: Swain 
Penalties: Swain 

Game 2

In the second game of the day, UMRFC "B" side gave the OBs a healthy heaping of soiled meat and sand right off the stick.  What would be the highest scoring game of the day started with 27 minutes of scoreless play.   Matt Forsyth burst across the line to just crack open the faucet.  Less than five minutes later, standout scrumhalf Stu Roche raced through several of the defense, putting it down right between the posts, giving himself an easy conversion.

Now up 7-5, the young boys played with great confidence, scoring again just before half.  5-12 was a steep incline for the old men, but one of the most "experienced" players on the field would touch down next - Glenn Zatz scored a ripper at 48 minutes, bringing the score much closer at 10-12.  Ten minutes later, Roche scored and converted again, which would be the young boys' last points on the day.

Giving the B side some real tutelage, Coach Trenary scored at 68 minutes, slicing the young boys' lead to a mere 4 points, 15-19.  Kyle Harris would set off a domino chain of tries, scoring at minutes 71 and 73 (converting the second).  Pete Mulhearn, star of last week's Club side demolition of Detroit Tradesmen B, would score at the final whistle, making it 34-19.

Olde Blue XV:
1. Naveen Aravapalli
2. Tobi Eboda
3. Kevin Owens
4. Brandon Yelen
5. Matt Forsyth
6. Angelo Tocco
7. Charles Berklich
8. Sam Upton
9. Neil Matouka
10. Jack Fisher
11. Tom Stulberg
12. Kyle Harris
13. Pete Mulhearn
14. Andy Schwarzkopf
15. Tim Farrow

16. Michael B. Olszewski (Eboda)
17. Tom Raboine (Tocco)
19. Ted Pixley (Berklich)
20. Ray Govus (Upton)
21. Jeff Burke (Aravapalli)
22. Glenn Zatz (Stulberg)
23. Eoghan McGreevy (Farrow)

Tries: Harris (2), Forsyth, Zatz, Trenary, Mulhearn
Conv: Harris
Pen: -

Game 3

In the third and final match of the day, it was agreed that the teams would play two 20 minute halves.  The selections for the Olde Blue side were done by an "impress" system, that is, four players wanted to play; the rest were impressed into the squad.

They played in a completely revolutionary style, the brainchild of current college side head coach, Matt Trenary.  The system, to be kept under extreme secrecy, involves four "playmakers" acting as the halves-combination in certain quadrants of the pitch.  The numbers on most players backs only come into play in set piece situations, and toward the end of the game, the experimental side only used six players in the scrum.

The four playmakers were Trenary, Karl Seibert, Aaron Dodd, and Davy Hamilton, and the new system allowed for some spectacularly dynamic changes in field positioning.  Heavily dependent on individual accountability at the tackle, the system was not without its weaknesses.

The young boys would score an unconverted try minutes in, but the avant-garde OBs were hardly discouraged.  They'd answer back with a nearly 100 meter drive, swinging the ball from touch line to touch line and back again, finally putting playmaker Hamilton over the line in the corner.

Next up was club side stalwart Ted Pixley, acting in a forward-support roll in the new system, who capitalized on his own opportunist drive.  Gerrit Yntema was over the line soon after, bringing the score to 15-5 at the break.

With a constructive halftime discussion, the "four piston" offense was given an emphatic and unanimous nod to continue.  JR Hagerman, referee for the B match, excelled in the new system.  Ted Pixley grabbed another try before half, as the did the UM side, 20-10.  

During the second half, the blitz continued with several severe hiccups on defense for the OBs.  Although the young boys did score a few tries, the old men handled them with great relish.  The final score obscured by the course of history and sideline laxity, Olde Boys far and wide can take solace in the fact that there were three solid wins on the day.

Olde Blue XV:

PM1: Aaron Dodd
PM2: Matt Trenary
PM3: Karl Seibert
PM4: Davy Hamilton
Attk1.1: Gerrit Yntema
Attk1.2: Marshall Poland
Attk4.1: John St. Joseph
Attk4.2: Neil Matouka
Attk3.1: Matt Forsyth
Supt2.1: Jeff Burke
Supt2.2: Kevin Owens
Supt1.1: JR Hagerman
Supt2.3: Angelo Tocco
Supt1.1: Ted Pixley
Frmn: Michael B. Olszewski

Tries: lots
Conv: not lots
Pen: -