Men's College Awards 2015-16
Men's College Awards 2015-16
It's finally time for our Goff Rugby Report College Awards for the 2015-16 season; with a special wrinkle in that we already participate in an award, so we're going to fold that into our own.
Here are our awards for the Men:
Player of the Year: Dylan Audsley, Saint Mary's. Dylan Audsley won the inaugural Rudy Scholz Award and we're not going to make any changes. Audsley is a multi-skilled player with ability that translates to higher levels. He's smart, exciting to watch, and a central figure for a top team - the Gaels made the DIA final and won the USA Rugby Collegiate 7s National Championship, and Audsley was excellent for them in both runs.
Player of the Year Finalists: Anthony Salaber, Cal, Bryce Campbell, Indiana, Jihad Khabir, AIC, Alec Janotka, Notre Dame College, Harley Davison, Life University; Aladdin Schirmer, Central Washington; Christian Bower, LSU, Lorenzo Thomas, Lindenwood, Vili Helu, Saint Mary's, Kevin Schofield, BYU, James Kondrat, Cal, Mo Katz, JMU, Calvin Whiting, BYU, Gardy Lebon, Navy, Colten Collings, UC Davis, Chad Gough, Utah, Ben Pinkelman, Colorado State, Gavan D'Amore-Morrison, AIC, Michael Bush, Cal, Conner Mooneyham, Life, Maclolm May, Penn State, Jake Banarhall, Army.
Top Freshman: Aaron Matthews, Saint Mary's. Under a ton of pressure to perform, and thrust into the flyhalf position during part of the season, Matthews became a valued starter on one of the best teams in the country.
Fall Top Player: See here
Top DII Player: See here
Game of the Year: The Varsity Cup Final. Cal comes back to win with three tries in the final eight minutes.
Breakout Team of the Year: University of Southern California. Long the "yeah but" team of the PAC-12, as in "it would be great to have a full-on PAC-12 conference, right?" "Yeah, but USC would have a really, really tough time." Not anymore. The Trojans have a strong coaching staff and are getting more players and more athletes involved. They made the national playoffs in DIAA, something that would have been unheard of not that long ago.
Upsets Of the Year: Notre Dame College didn't win a all of their games in the fall, but did challenge some top teams. Twice we at Goff Rugby Report said they'd lose to AIC - once in 7s at the LVI, and once in the DIAA 15s playoffs. Twice we were wrong, basically for the same reasons - NDC starved AIC of possession, and you can't score without the ball.
No one really gave Dartmouth much of a chance against Penn State in the Varsity Cup, but Dartmouth managed to pull off a 30-25 win and move on.
Combined Men/Women Program of the Year: Life University. The Life men won the DIA final and made the quarterfinals of the CRC. The Life women made the semis of the 15s DI Elite, and won both the USA Rugby and CRC 7s tournaments, on successive weekends, no less.
Issue of the Year: The split. There is no other story that affects as many players and as many teams, and there is no story that has more of an effect on how the regular sports fan views the college rugby world.