Navy Rugby’s inaugural overnight camp was a big hit with this year’s pioneering campers, who enjoyed an immersive sample of life as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy.
Navy Rugby Camp 2018 consisted of four rigorous rugby practices on Blake Field I at the Brigade Sports Complex. Campers’ core skills were consistently challenged as part of the camp’s curriculum, culminating in a typical Navy Rugby practice session on Friday morning.
Former Navy Rugby Captain, Ensign McNerney provided Navy Rugby campers with an intimate insight into life as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy. While staying in Bancroft Hall and eating in King Hall, our campers watched the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill on Worden Field, toured the Naval Academy, enjoyed a Q&A with current Midshipmen and explored downtown Annapolis.
Asked about camp, Navy Director of Rugby, Gavin Hickie said, “We had a lot of fun working with the fine young men during camp. Each young man came here with a willingness to work hard and a desire to be challenged, which are traits we seek. It was fantastic to watch their development into a cohesive group of friends by the end of the week. We would like to sincerely thank each camper along with their parents for a great few days.”
Navy Fall 2018 Schedule
The Midshipmen will play a total of 27 games during Fall 2018. Navy 1st XV will play in D1A Mid-South, while Navy 2nd & 3rd XV will play in the Cardinal Conference, giving each side a shot at a Conference Championship.
“We have designed a very ambitious and challenging schedule for next season. Our goals are to compete with the very best and to ensure our young guys are developing through experience and education” said Navy Director of Rugby, Gavin Hickie.
Navy kicks off the Fall 2018 season with a home game against varsity opponents, St Bonaventure. All kick off times to be confirmed.
Navy to join Mid-South Conference
Navy Rugby is excited to announce that the Men’s 1st XV team will join the Mid-South Conference for the 2018/19 season.
Navy will be added to an impressive group of teams which includes Arkansas State, Clemson, Davenport, Life and Lindenwood, further reinforcing the Mid-South as the country’s premier collegiate rugby conference . Life University is the reigning D1A National XVs Champions, while Lindenwood University is the current USA Rugby Collegiate 7s and Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby 7s Champions.
Notable victories over Air Force, Notre Dame College, Penn State and Indiana University over the past season, has catapulted Navy eleven places in the national rankings to finish the year in 8th place. By moving from an Independent to the Mid-South, Navy is guaranteed five league games and an opportunity to compete for the D1A Mid-South Conference Championship.
“We are looking forward to joining the Mid-South Conference and testing ourselves against the best rugby programs in the country. We are under no illusion of the sizable challenge that lies before us, but this is a statement of our intent.”, said Navy Director or Rugby Gavin Hickie
Coach Hickie continued, “Consistently challenging ourselves in high pressure situations through rugby, plays a key role in the development of our Midshipmen both on and off the playing field. Competing on a weekly basis against high quality opponents will only make us stronger. Participating in the Mid-South allows us to build a schedule to maintain our traditional rivalries and meet D1A Rugby’s playoff qualification.”
Navy’s full Fall 2018 schedule will be released in the coming days.
“Joining the D1A Mid-South Conference is another step in our commitment to Navy Rugby. With the support of the Naval Academy, Naval Academy Athletic Association, our Navy Rugby Alumni Association and all our Midshipmen, our goal is to further establish Navy Rugby as one of the top collegiate rugby programs in the nation. We look forward to establishing new rivalries within the conference to complement our traditional service academy and regional rivalries” said Navy Senior Associate Athletic Director, Robb Dunn.
D1A Commissioner, Kevin Battle had this to say about Navy’s move to Mid-South, “Navy’s inclusion to the Mid-South Conference confirms that D1A’s toughest conference, just got tougher. The pathway to to the D1A post season is clear, either win your conference or perform well enough in all of your matches to be ranked in the top 16 teams in the country. Navy is one of America’s premier programs and I’m confident the Midshipmen are up to the task.”
Navy’s full Fall 2018 schedule will be released in the coming days.
Navy finishes 8th at the Penn Mutual CRC
Navy tore apart Pool F on Saturday June 2nd to qualify for the CRC Quarter-Finals. Navy started the day with a 24-5 win over Maryland, followed by a stunning 26-7 victory over Army. With qualification riding on the last game of the day against Central Washington, the Midshipmen came back from a 7-0 deficit with 24 unanswered points, winning out 24-7 and topping Pool F.
Seeded in 5th place for the Quarter-Final draw, Navy faced an impressive Lindenwood team and lost 22-0. Lindenwood went on to be crowned the Penn Mutual CRC Champions in both the men’s and women’s competition.
Navy finished up it’s season nationally ranked 8th in XVs and 10th in 7s.
Navy Hosts 7s Event
Navy will host a 7s tournament tomorrow, Saturday May 19th, kicking off at 0900. Teams coming to Annapolis include Rugby East Champions, Penn St and CRC Pool F opponents, Maryland.
0900 Navy I v Maryland
0920 DC Elite v Virginia Tech
0950 Susquehanna v Navy II
1010 Penn St v Delaware
1030 Navy I v DC Elite
1050 Maryland v Susquehanna
1110 Penn St v Virginia Tech
1130 Navy II v Delaware
1150 Navy I v Susquehanna
1210 DC Elite v Maryland
1230 Delaware v Virginia Tech
1250 Navy II v Penn St
1310 Maryland v Delaware
1320 Navy I v Penn St
1350 DC Elite v Navy II
1410 Susquehanna v Virginia Tech
Navy Captain McNerney Wins Rudy Scholz Award for Best Collegiate Player 2018
United States Naval Academy Captain and All-American 8 man, Connor McNerney has won the Rudy Scholz Award as the nation's top men's college rugby player.
In a game that saw only three tries scored, the Black Knights and the Midshipmen switched leads six times.
Connor McNerney slotted an early penalty goal to put Navy up 3-0. But Army flyhalf Jon Kim answered with two separate penalty goals of his own to put his side up 6-3. Navy scored a try to retake the lead at 8-6.
The Naval Academy handed UMW their first 15’s loss since October 2016 today with a late surge between the 70th minute and the end of the game. The match officials and both coaches, UMW’s Min Chae and Navy’s Gavin Hickie all commented on what a well-played match it was.
Navy fell to Life University in the first defeat of the season. Asked about the loss, Navy’s Coach, Gavin Hickie said “it’s always tough to lose and we were riding on a bit of a crest but the lessons we will learn from this game are invaluable. Life is without doubt the best team in the country, so we will take our lessons and come back stronger”.
Anchored by a dominant scrum that resulted in three tries, #8 Navy upset the undefeated Rugby East powerhouse, #6 Penn State, in an epic 38-29 brawl in State College, Pa. The Midshipmen’s set-piece wrecked havoc on the Nittany Lions as two stolen scrums led to immediate scores and a penalty try was awarded when they were walking the ball in. PSU attempted to claw back in the second half, but a late try by Connor McNerney sealed the victory.
Avenging last season’s loss, the U.S. Naval Academy beat Notre Dame College, 32-25, in Annapolis, Md. Utilizing strong forward play and exemplary efforts from eightman Connor McNerney and scrumhalf Gardy Lebon, the Midshipmen were able to limit possession to NDC’s dynamic backline. Situational and tactical kicking was invaluable to Navy and its defense stood stout in the second half to protect the lead.
The game was a homecoming for new Navy head coach Gavin Hickie, who coached the Big Green from 2012 until taking the head job in Annapolis prior to the start of the season. His successor at Dartmouth is James Willocks, who served as Hickie’s assistant before briefly taking the head job at Penn State until Hickie left for Navy, at which time he returned to Dartmouth to pick up where Hickie left off.
ANNAPOLIS, Md.— Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk confirmed today that Gavin Hickie has been named the Director of Club Rugby and the Head Men’s Rugby Coach. Hickie comes to Navy from Dartmouth, where he was the head coach for the past five years.
This fall the US Naval Academy rugby programs will unveil some very nice new digs as the Prusmack Rugby Complex will be completed and open for business.
The complex will also have three full-size rugby fields, with two of them side-by-side with a triangular seating structure between them - so fans can view action on either field with minimal difficulty.