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Rudy Scholz Award Finalist Payton Telea Ilalio

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Rudy Scholz Award Finalist Payton Telea Ilalio

Payton Telea Ilalio, at right, packs down against Cal. Karen Drinkwater photo.

The 2020 Rudy Scholz Award-winner, Payton Telea-Ilalio has not let up in 2021.

The Saint Mary's prop, who got his start in the Bishop Riordan program in Northern California, has only really been stopped by COVID, as the Gaels have, so far, only been able to play three games.

His ability to play at the highest level in the set pieces, being among the best scrummaging props in college rugby, and he is most likely the best front-rower in the open field. Or ... as his Head Coach Tim O'Brien put it:

"He can win you ball, move it forward, generate continuity, support that continuity, exerting much pressure on opponents leading to points. Then, he’ll convert as he did to end our session last evening slotting a 40-mete shot through the sticks."

And as he pursues a Master's in Management and Technology, he's a great student too.

"Off the field he is carrying a 4.0 GPA in grad school; he epitomizes the student athlete. He’ll be a difference-maker for years and years to come."