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Scholz Award Finalists Named

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Scholz Award Finalists Named

The Rudy Scholz Award is awarded by the Washington Athletic Club.

The finalists for the Rudy Scholz Award as the top men's college rugby player in the United States have been selected.

A combination of coach/team votes, and fan votes, have whittled the list of nominees down to five finalists. The top fan vote-getter is an automatic finalist, and so is the top team vote-getter (those votes usually logged by coaches or team presidents).

This year, there was a tie for top team vote-getter, and both of those players make the list of finalists.

The rest of the sports are determined by a combined points system incorporates both the team votes and the fan votes. Players must receive strong support from both polls to become a finalist.

Here are the five finalists:

Connor Buckley, Scrumhalf, Iona College

Payton Telea-Ilalio, Prop, Saint Mary's

(Buckley and Telea-Ilalio tied for the most team votes)

Patrick Madden, Flyhalf/Center, Cal Poly

(Madden received the most fan votes)

Ryan Rees, Scrumhalf, Life University

Tommy Clark, Flanker/Lock, American International College


All of these players were prominent in high school rugby in the USA. Buckley was a standout for Xavier HS in New York City, while Telea-Ilalio played for Archibishop Riordan in the San Francisco area. Clark was a Budd Bay Barbarian out of Olympia, Wash., while Rees played for the Westlake HS Chaps. Madden played for University City in Southern California.

Here is the full list of 2019-2020 Nominees

The Rudy Scholz Award is named after Rudy Scholz, who played rugby for Santa Clara and won two Olympic Gold Medals for the USA in rugby, in 1920 and 1924. Scholz served with distinction in two world wars, was a successful attorney, and played rugby into his 80s.

The award is sponsored by and presented by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, Wash. Normally, this award would be presented at a gala event in Seattle in June. But due to the Covid-19 outbreak, that event will not be held this year.

The Rudy Scholz Award selection panel of coaches and experts from around the country will now vote to select this year's winner. 

Past Rudy Scholz Award Winners:

2016: Dylan Audsley, Saint Mary's

2017: Bryce Campbell, Indiana

2018: Connor McNerney, Navy

2019: Harley Wheeler, Life University