Kansas Jayhawks Rugby Football Club
Old Boy Quarterly
Winter Edition - November 11, 2021
Hit this LINK for the latest edition of the newsletter.

One of the best seasons in the entire history of the club.
We fulfilled all our pre-season plans.

Go Jayhawks!

The purpose of this quarterly newsletter series is to engage the past players and other friends of the club. Through these newsletters, we provide current news about the club and also chronicle its more than half century history.

We want to expand the distribution list of emails. If you know other past players, please have them send me their email address at pd4bicycles@aol.com 

If you want to discuss the newsletter with other readers or get real time info about what is going on with the club, join us on Facebook and Instagram.

To make a charitable gift to help support this great club, go to JayhawkRugby.com and use your credit card to donate on line.

If you would like to download the past issues and learn the more than half century history of this successful club, hit the following links:
LINK to see Issue # 1, January 2012, feature: "Starting the Club From Scratch". Interview with club founder, George Bunting about 1964 and his philosophy about rugby.
LINK to see Issue # 2, April 2012, feature: 1964 - 67 era. Playing in the initial years and going on Tour of Ivy League Schools. Interviews with founding players, Pat Rapp, John LaRocca, Jack Lembeck, Joe Kieltyka, and Don Dale. Coverage of spring 2012 MU Merit Table game.

LINK to see Issue # 3, July 2012, feature: 1968 - 72 era. Talented clique of players that played in 1970 Aspen Ruggerfest finals as remembered by Jack Kline. Interviews with Tom McCormack, Hal Edwards, Dan Marting, and Kim Ewonus. Story of the "Dead Dog Chant" by Jack Kline. Link to YouTube video of 1966 game.

LINK to see Issue # 4, October 2012, feature 1973 - 75 era. An era of club "firsts" (1st Championship Trophy, 1st Story in National Publication, 1st Alumni Game, 1st Annual Awards Banquet) Club wobbled then rebounded to win Big 8 Championship. (How the club rebuilt.) Story of first 6 games against K-State. Features: Steve Swalwell, Andy Sibbernsen, CC Buck, Roger Walter, Steve Lange, and Rick Whitson. Coverage of fall 2012 KC Blues game and Aspen Ruggerfest.

LINK to see Issue # 5, January 2013, feature: 1975 - 79 era. Allen Chapman remembered by Roger Walter. Interview with long-serving CEO Paul Diedrich. First Foreign Tour remembered by Jack Kline. "The Terrible Fear of Being Pied" by Dan Katz. Interviews with ex-player coaches, Doug McCauley & Billy Pryor
LINK to see Issue # 6, April 2013, feature 1978 - 85 era. Renfro & Hassig buy Johnny's Tavern. Louie Riederer's contributions. The 1982 run at the Western RFU club playoffs remembered by Jimmy Bartle, Kirk Goza, and Bill Mills. 1985 HoA victory remembered by Lou Blanco. Bill Mills muses on the 1970's
LINK to see Issue # 7, July 2013, feature 1985 - 90 era. Interviews with the era's College Captain Pat Roberts and Club Captain, Don "Duck" Harris. The "Forgotten Tour" by Pat Roberts. Link to blog covering 2013 South Africa Tour. Memorium for players we have lost. Game plan for recruiting and request for alumni financial help.
LINK to see Issue # 8, October 2013, feature 1990 - 95 era. Purchase of Westwick. Interviews with Steve Merdinger & Grant Lechtenberg. John Brown outlines Ad Hoc Fund Raising Committee. LinkedIn group launched. YouTube link to Pat Rapp speech to college side. Thanks to Social Members "The Rothwell Clan". Coverage of the Women's Club. Photos of a 2013 televised game.
LINK to see Issue # 9, January 2014, feature 1995 - 2000 era. Interview with era's Club Captain, Derek Mannell who provides a wealth of photos. Interviews with (then) Men's coach Scott Adamson and Women's coach Kjrsten Abel-Ruch. Women's club is undefeated and going to national playoffs; story by Shelby Williams. Club launches intern program linking students with alumni.
LINK to see Issue # 10, April 2014, feature 2000-2005 era. Interviews with Jason Ahrens & Oliver Parkinson who played for the Jayhawks and then lived and played abroad using the club's connections. Club Founder George Bunting shares his scrap book from the founding years.

LINK to see the first 1/2 of Issue # 11 - July 2014, features: Is Rugby "Important"? by Fritz Edmunds, interview with home-grown 2nd row Jacob Ornburn, article about the Hawks PAIR of 300 lbs props, women's club ranked # 5 in USA, K-State game photos & story, the Alumni Weekend photos, and this
LINK to see the second 1/2 of newsletter) the remainder of George Bunting's scrap book.

LINK  to see Issue # 12 - September 2014, features: Club Budget and Income (appeal for support), Fall Recruiting Campaign, Interviews with Cody Weber & Sean Rothwell which explained the unique Jayhawk rugby "experience", photos from Royals Game, 1965 team photo with names, Ian Henry muses on the 1970's, and a link to watch the full-length 1982 win over the St. Louis Falcons.

LINK to see Issue # 13 - January 2015 - Bumper crop of great FRESHMAN players described by Coach Matt Schwartz. - KU's student-abroad program from viewpoint of Alex Cattle. - Summary of this past fall's games. - Summary of Anniversary Banquet presentation and anniversary photos.

LINK to see Issue # 14 - March 2015 - MU game in 2015 and 40 years ago 1975, link to YouTube game movies of early 1980's Jayhawks playing KC Blues, link to more photos from the 50th reunion, club founder George Bunting writes in with some interesting photos from first years of the club.

LINK to see Issue # 15 - June 2015 - The rugby club lays out its plans for the future. The bumper crop of talented freshmen go to Ireland and lay the foundation for what could become a "great club". Summary of the games played in the completed spring season with photos. Interview with 2nd generation front row player Ryan Russell. Former Jayhawk and current high school coach Matt O'Donnell talks about the players now with KU. Kernow Cup and other awards announced.

LINK to see Issue # 16 - September 2015 - Remembering the 1966 Ivy League Tour as its 50th Anniversary approaches. Examples of fall recruiting that blend use of social media and old fashioned recruiting. Conor Taft returns to the club to help in some innovative recruiting. Danny Buteyn returns for a 5th year and reflects on the club's past 3 years.

LINK to see Issue # 17 - December 2015 - Interview with sophomore captain Matt Harmon, who is pre-med and entering his 8th years of playing rugby. - It was a great season where everything started to come together for the club. - Summary of the fall 2015 games. 

LINK to see Issue # 18 - February 2016 - Feature interview with freshman 2nd row/lock Ryan Harriman from Florida, ranked as one of 135 best players nationally. - Photos of spring scrimmage.

LINK to see Issue # 19 - June 2016 - Featuring results of spring matches, introduction of our first recruited Study Abroad player, Barcley West from England, annual club awards, and some game highlight photos.

LINK to to see Issue # 20 - August 2016 - Featuring interview with mid-1960's captain and scrum half Mac Crowther - outline of Jayhawks recruiting plan - Westwick to host the re-started Heart of America Union College All-Star Team and then an Aspen Ruggerfest entry for that squad.

LINK to see Issue # 21 - November 2016 - Featuring: Game results from the fall, Impact on the rugby club from working with the KU Study Abroad Dept, which includes Jayhawk Ryan Russell going to Australia for spring 2017 semester and (interview with) Barcley West coming to KU for a full year from Essex in England.

LINK to see Issue # 22 - February 2017 - Featuring: Team Captain Jack Dienst's interview and his overview of players to watch in the coming spring season. - Prop Spencer Bird's challenge to his teammates to get fit to win, - The "Golf Rodeo Alumni" report in from their winter trip to Florida.

LINK to see Issue # 23 - June 2017 - Featuring: Changes to the Jayhawks' rugby organization, summary of spring games, full game reports on the victories over Nebraska (snow game) and over the KC Blues, 2016/17 club award winners, foreign exchange player and New Zealand Tour captain, Barcley West's essay for the tour program.

LINK to see Issue # 24 - September 2017 - Featuring: Jayhawks phenomenal wing, Arnold Dinh, Summary of the New Zealand Tour of June 2017, # 8 Ryan Russell returns to the Jayhawks as captain after a spring semester going to school and playing rugby in Australia.

LINK to see Issue # 25 - December 2017 - Featuring: Interview with college props Clayton Ginther, Ellis Powell, Ian O' Laughlin, and David Noble. Article regarding "Legacy" gifts to club by alum John Brown. Outcome of the fall's games. Australian Study Abroad players Lachlan O'Callaghan & Oliver Sinclair.

LINK to see Issue # 26 - February 2018 - Featuring: Historic list of donors. - Remembering club founder George Bunting.

LINK to see Issue # 27 - May 2019 - Featuring: "A Breakout Season!" - Making the NATIONAL PLAYOFFS for first time in many years. We also were HOST of a round of National Quarterfinals and Semifinals. The rugby club is awarded the "KU Rec Services Sports Club of the Year", which is a first for the club.

LINK to see Issue # 28 - August 2018 - Featuring: Senior, Ryan Russell invited to College All-American Camp tryouts. Outline of academic assistance available from the club's Faculty Adviser, Bart Dean. Sophomore, Scott Merdinger interview gives 360 degree perspective of club. Donors to Kansas Rugby Foundation are thanked and the KRF annual budget is shared.

LINK to see Issue # 29 - November 2018 - Featuring: interviews with sophomore hooker Angelo Pizzo and senior flyhalf Trent Tayrien. Summary of the fall games provided.

LINK to see Issue # 30 - February 2019 - Featuring: financial results report from 2018 fund raising. Essay on steps to "Build a Better Jayhawk". Details for the 55th Anniversary of the club on May 4. Westwick Rugby Complex gets a new "CUP" from the county allowing more development. Golf Cowboys report.

LINK to see Issue # 31 - April 2019 - Featuring: Recap of the Jayhawks in the 2019 National Playoffs. Beating Missouri in an away game. Tour of Scotland & Wales. Jayhawks impressively win a tournament in northern Nebraska. "Clubman" Alex Blackburn celebrated for being an exemplary club officer. English exchange students Tom Oliver and Harry Richardson. Paul Berardi remembers the rugby club helped him become the Fire Chief of Kansas City. The passing of Gene Roberts who became head of the USA RFU and helped his Jayhawks along the way. 

LINK to see Issue # 32 - August 2019 - Featuring: Coach Matt Schwartz about the coming fall season, Blake Mitton is new captain and his plans for the club, Reid Parsons outlines his recruiting plans, 55th Anniversary / Alumni Weekend / Banquet summary including new Life Members & expansion of the Red Jacket Society.

LINK to see Issue # 33 - November 2019 - Featuring: The great fall season told as an "Adventure Story", recap of the things that created the successful fall season.

LINK to see Issue # 34 - February 2020 - Featuring: Results of the 2019 Fund Raising, the Cowboys' trip to Austin, the contribution of the Ginther family, coaches explain how they teach to play with "RUGBY IQ", and Bob Tucker's essay on the life impact of being a Jayhawk rugby player.

LINK to see Issue # 35 - April 2020 - Featuring: The dominant side that the Jayhawks had built. It included 4 players listed on Goff Rugby Report's "Hot 100". We also had 4 terrific British players through KU Study Abroad. The Jayhawks would have taken a very special team into the National Playoffs after their undefeated college season, but everything was cancelled in mid-March 2020 because of the Pandemic. Captain Blake Mitton and graduating senior Ian O'Laughlin are interviewed and reflect on the year.

LINK to see Issue #36 - August 2020 - Featuring: After 56 years, the Jayhawks have to cancel a season. The club's plans for this down-season. The whole sport of rugby in the USA undergoes a complete re-org. Recognizing the players with a 3.5 GPA or better. Westwick's facility improvements.

LINK to see Issue # 37 - November 2020 - Featuring: Steering Committee is formed to coordinate combined efforts of the both the club and KRF charity. New format practices in a time of a Pandemic (practices at a familiar location to older alumni). 35th Anniversary of the 1985 home and away matches with the Argentina Condors.

LINK to see Issue # 38 - March 2021 - Featuring: Some of the impressive freshman, a list of high GPA players, KU's Study Abroad helps the club (again) with next fall's Tom Richards, KRF report on 2020 donations and where the money was spent, Matt Harmon donates his All American jersey, and Dan Marting provides some 50 year old game photos.

LINK to see Issue # 39 - June 2021 - Featuring: An in-depth interview with graduating club president Scott Merdinger about all the accomplishments of the club during his time at KU. It was a period of steady achievement gains, followed by the unique set-back of the Pandemic shutting down the sport. The creation of a "Steering Committee" to help the overall club organization advance during the down-time of the Pandemic. A re-cap of all the volunteer community work done by the club.

LINK to see Issue # 40 - August 2021 - Featuring: A description of the planned Westwick improvements that were then beginning. In "Who Runs The Rugby Club" we provided a detailed outline of the overall Jayhawk organization and officers.

Steve Lange, Newsletter Editor
Kansas Jayhawks Rugby Football Club
Facebook: Kansas Jayhawks Rugby Football Club
Instagram: @jayhawkrugby
Email: KansasRugby@gmail.com
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