Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 WGR All-State Team


2014 Wisconsin Girls High School Rugby All-State Team

Forwards                     Yr    Team
*Taylor Bragg Brock    12     Divine Savior Holy Angels
Emma Conrad              10     Fond Du Lac
Amanda Ezell               12      Divine Savior Holy Angels
Raquel Galarza             11      Brookfield
Aoifa Hanley                12      Divine Savior Holy Angels
Jackie Helmeid             12      Appleton
Kelsey Gustafson          11     Catholic Memorial
Emma Malucha             12     Divine Savior Holy Angels
Katie Mcginn                11     Catholic Memorial
Chiana Roman              12     Divine Savior Holy Angels
Claire Schmitt               12     Divine Savior Holy Angels
Meaghan Schmitt          11     Catholic Memorial
Libby Shubert               12     Kettle Moraine
Lizzy Walicki               11     Catholic Memorial
 
Backs
Reina Anderson            12      Brookfield
Madison Aprahamian   11      Brookfield
Megan Bird                   10      Oak Creek
*Kendyl Braun             12      Divine Savior Holy Angels
*Maggie Brennan         12      Divine Savior Holy Angels
Claire Brown                11      Divine Savior Holy Angels
*Lizzy Jacobson           12      Catholic Memorial
*Kat Macphearson       12      Divine Savior Holy Angels
Ellie Metz                     11      Catholic Memorial
Nell Opila                     12      Muskego
Morgan Pinzer              12      Brookfield
*Lexi Prusheik              12      Vernon
Meg Walker                  11       Divine Savior Holy Angels


Congratulations to these outstanding student athletes.

*Indicates repeat All-State selection.

Monday, December 8, 2014

2015 Spring Events

While LLR wraps up things and moves out of our offices at the end of the month, we have compiled the key girls rugby spring events on our calendar:

Feb 1st                   Applications due for Nationals 
                                  -Contact Gus for application info:anthonysasso711@yahoo.com
March 6th               High School Nashbash
April 11th-12th     St Louis Ruggerfest
April 25th-26th     Midwest Championships
May 2nd               The Crusader Cup 7's
May 16th-17th      National Invitational Championship
May 30th              WGR State 7's Tournament
Early June             WGR Fall Scheduling Meeting

Friday, December 5, 2014

Collegiate Women's Finals ths Weekend

The USA Rugby-ACRA Fall College women's final four takes place this weekend.

We wanted to wish good luck to all our WGR alumni playing down in Florida this weekend!  We know it's a challenge to balance rugby and college finals.

Winona:        Georgia Porter and Katie Dries
Quinnipiac:   Rebecca Haight, Maggie Wesolowski, Lindey Wise
Penn St:        Katie Mueller
Norwich:      Julie Else

Check out the games on ACRA's live webcast Saturday December 6th:
Day 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmHf8fTNDTQ
Day 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns6bYtJjywg

11am  D2 Semis:  Winona vs Bowdoin

1pm D1 Semis:  Penn St vs Quinnipiac

3pm  D1 Semis: Norwich v Indiana

The Finals and Consolation matches should be on the same links Sunday.

New Social Media Outlets

Our blog, after reporting on WI High School Girls since 2007, is taking a hiatus.  The new official media outlet for the league is the Wisconsin Girls Rugby Facebook page.

Be sure to check it out bad like the page for all the latest Wisconsin Girls Rugby News.

A special thanks to our primary author the past few years, John Waliszewski.  I know we all appreciated the effort he took in keeping tabs on all the news and providing great write ups.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

LLR All Decade Team (the backs)

The 2000-2010 LLR All Decade Team (Backs):

As we publish part ii of our latest article, we wanted to remind readers and especially alumni players and coaches that while we've tried our best to be accurate, it's entirely possible we still have a few errors of spelling, omission, or position.  This is also an editor's pick team and not an official WGR award. 

Please send us comments, stories and corrections, either by posting in our comments section or emailing: wisconsingirlsrugby@gmail.com

Lastly, we've been hearing from a lot of the nominees and their teammates, and have enjoyed hearing again about what a great experience you had.  Maybe it's time for you to reconnect with WGR?  We need help giving more girls the opportunity to have the experiences you did.  We need help at all levels:  league administration, coaching, reffing, touch judging, sponsorship.  Contact us to get back involved.

9 Scrumhalf:  So many great halves came through our league that 9s and 10s might have been the most difficult position to pick. 
Brittany Houston (Vernon)  MVP of the old USA-All-Star regional tournament a few years back.  Pure class with a magic skip pass, a golden boot, stout defense, and a composure that inspired her teammates.  Nailed an amazing drop goal to help Vernon come oh-so-close to upsetting national power Kent in the national semifinals her senior year.  Ultimately they finished 3rd after defeating Summitt, Co. 

Ann Marie Kloiber (DSHA)  Yes, this is Papa Joe's daughter and she's another halfback from Wisconsin's great rugby family.  Named to the all-tournament team at the 2002 National Championship.  Probably the least least athletic of the halves on this list, which is meant as a compliment, as she found a way to be a truly great rugger.  Not the strongest, not the fastest, but always showed up in a position to make a key play.  Leadership:  another captain candidate. Composure under pressure.  Never outworked by anyone.  In the 2002 national semifinals she seemingly came out of nowhere to make an incredible tackle on the opposition's best player, forcing her into touch just before the try line.  The halftime whistle blew and the Dasher's escaped without giving up points and eventually upset a more athletic team by one score.
Emma Pesci (Catholic Memorial) Perhaps the smoothest delivery of any scrumhalf on the list.  Could speed up a game with her passing and ball handling.  Longtime MW selects and Grand Valley St player who is now coaching collegiately.
Sarah Perdzock (Kettle Moraine) The Byron Kelleher of this list.  A bruising #9 who had an incredibly strong and accurate pass but who would also smash you like a battering #6.  The most physical and strongest defensive #9 on this list. 
Rachel Santulli (Brookfield)  A feisty game manager who was constantly sniping around the edge and setting up teammates.  While lacking the power on her pass of the others, her change of style at nine made everyone around her better.  She’s another player respected by teammates and opponents alike.
Honorable Mention:
Kelli Berg (Kettle Moraine), Alyssa Blavat (DSHA), Julie Mewessen (DSHA)
10. Flyhalf:  take your pick from contrasting styles

Samantha Bruni (Vernon)  Although she could pop up anywhere, at fullback or wing perhaps, she's another excellent all-around player who played with passion.  The Austin Healey of WGR.  While maybe not be a classic 10, just made plays.  Kept on playing after high school at a high level with UWM.

Erin Coogan (DSHA) An intimidating presence in the midfield.  Would put a big hit on you if you tried to crash down her channel, could spin it out wide on attack, or bomb a deep kick to break your spirits. "Coogan and Haas" formed an unbeatable team for years.  There was no one else like her in WGR then or in the years since.

Nicole Heil (Kettle Moraine)  Played for her country at 10 on the USA u19 Eagles and moved on to a long career as Whitewater's 10.  A fantastic defender and runner who was a four year starter in both high school and college. 
Natalie Mills (DSHA) Began her career as the best finisher in the league scoring a few dozen tries her first two years on the wing and at fullback.  Used that finisher’s speed and strike running, a big and accurate boot, and smart distribution to drive opponents mad attempting to keep up with her.  Toured the UK with the USA u19s and played at Marquette University, leading them to move future Eagle Sylvia Braaten from 10 to center because of her special talents.
Honorable Mention:
Toni Cattani (Kettle Moraine);  Lacy Kutz (Kettle Moraine), Lauren Maddente (Catholic Memorial), Melissa Ponsegrau (Vernon), Allison Urbanski (DSHA).
Center:
Marie Haas (DSHA)  Our back captain.   A four-time national champion.  Never lost a match in her career.  A strike runner who knew when to distribute.  Had an unparalleled combination of strength and the pace to finish.  Seemed to always make a big play when needed most.  An automatic, unanimous pick.
Alex Glorioso (Kettle Moraine)  The best tackle-breaker in the group.  Ran like a tailback; famous for a great spin move in the open field. She could run you over or sidestep you too.  A fan favorite of the Amazons after KM defeated Sacramento on their home pitch.  Known for taking a short break during the midst of a match, crouching down on the field for a few minutes, while she popped her shoulder back in, only to return without missing a beat.  Epitomized the toughness of the great Kettle Moraine teams.  Played some wing too.
Ellie Miller (DSHA) Perhaps the speediest center in WGR history.  Nicknamed “Red” by her opponents, probably scored more tries than anyone on the list.  Her battles with Armstrong were legendary and a contrast in style.  Also slots in at fullback and wing.
Maggie Armstrong (Catholic Memorial)  The best tackler and defender in the midfield.  A powerful strike runner too.    Played in New Zealand for a time and time will tell how far she gets.  Still playing playing at a high level.
Honorable Mention:
Jenny D'Acquisto (Kettle Moraine), Megan Foley (DSHA), Sarah Marcoux (DSHA), Maggie Strachota (DSHA), Kaissee Weissmuelller (Brookfield)
Fullback:
Sarah Chiemelewski (DSHA) Tough to top her winning the MVP of the USA Rugby National Championship game.  Incredible speed with lightening quick feet and sidestepping.  Teams risked a try every time they kicked her way.  Part of the reason DSHA was absolutely deadly in counter-attack during her years.  Could also kick back if needed.

Anita Dillett (Catholic Memorial)   The third of five Dillett sisters to play rugby at Catholic Memorial.  Probably the best at catching kicks of anyone on the list.  Could levitate in the air when she jumped to catch.  A great open field tackler, with a huge sidestep.  For a few years, Dillett's were the only players in the state to score tries against DSHA.  Still playing for the St Louis women's team.

Colleen Brennan (DSHA):  While she's now out in New York singing the national anthem at Yankee Stadium and living the dream, she used to be one of the standouts from the great early Dashers teams.  In an era when the Dashers regularly played collegiate competition just to get matches, she was almost always the fastest, best tackling back on the pitch for either side.   
Honorable Mention:
Dana Anderson (Brookfield), Kristin Konieczka (Kettle Moraine)
Wing:   In an era of less organized defense and higher scoring, there are many memorable speedsters and impressive wings, but two of them top our list:

 
Lauren Franzen (DSHA)  The smallest, but most physical wing on both defense and offense.  Incredibly tough and explosive in contact.  The best defensive force at wing we've ever seen in WGR.  Had finisher's speed with the tackling and breakdown ferocity of a #7.  Played some center as well despite her slight stature.   A playmaker who made everyone around her better.  Sheer intensity.
Angela Matthews (Northshore) To this day, a finisher like her has not been seen in WGR.  The perfect foil to Franzen’s Shane Williams-like running.  With the size of a higher level prop and the burst of a sprinter, she dominated defenses for several years.   The most physical and destructive runner in WGR lore in a Jonah Lomu-like way.  Most recently seen playing football for the Green Bay Chill women's football team as a running back and DE.
Honorable Mention: 
Brittany Biedenbender (Vernon), Andi Broge (Catholic Memorial), Andrea Hansen (Kettle Moraine), Megan Schulz (Northshore), Elise Tobin (DSHA), Erin Voelz (DSHA)(Special Note:  the first scholarship player in WGR history), Emily Zemplinski(Vernon)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

All Decade Team (The Pack)


2000-2010 LLR All-Decade Team

As LLR enters its final days of publication, we take a few moments to look back.  One of our final posts is our editor’s choice All-Decade Team 2000-2010.  These represent players that had significant impact on the conference, their teams, and the game of rugby over the course of multiple seasons.  It’s not necessarily a list of the best athletes; as we’ve seen many great athletes come and go. It is the best rugby players by position over time.  While it’s strictly an editor’s choice article and not an official WGR recognition, Alumni and coaches are encouraged to submit other nominations and stories in the comments section.  We’d love to hear from you.  We also admit there’s a good probability we omitted someone who should be recognized.  We apologize if that’s the case.  Much like the Milwaukee Journal, we have been forced to downsize our staff and hours in recent months and the archival research involved has stretched our remaining resources thin.

All players are listed alphabetically and are unranked.

Forwards

Props:

-Melanie Heinemann (Vernon) Named to the first two WGR all-state tournament teams as a junior and senior.   A fit, strong front row player who helped give Vernon the firepower it needed to finish 3rd in the country.

-Maggie Perdzock (Kettle Moraine)  So athletic that she played #9 for her college side at UW-Madison.  Played for the USA u19 Eagles on their first UK Tour and later the MW and USA u23’s.  Key player in the Knightmare’s defeat of the Amazons on their home pitch in 2004 to make the national final. 

-Katie Plant (DSHA)   So good that she was a scholarship athlete who attended Eastern Illinois to play rugby, at a time when scholarship rugby athletes were unheard of.   She was the third DSHA player of that era to attend Eastern on a scholarship.  Plant was a dominating ball-carrier and fierce competitor.  Her battles with Perdzock are legendary.   

-Kimiko Ross (Northshore)  A true tight-head prop.   Her physicality and ballcarrying were destructive, and she was a key player in the early Northshore teams that defeated DSHA and Kettle Moraine and finished 3rd at the National Championships in 2002. They might have made it further had it not been for questionable scheduling.   Made a nice return to the game years later to play for the Milwaukee Scylla.  Gets extra points because her mother made the best post-match food.

Honorable Mention:
Kinnsey Brannon (DSHA), Corin Jensen (Madison), Christine Tighe (DSHA), Jaime Wojechowksi (Vernon) (probably totally misspelled, sorry!)

Hookers:

Lauren Domine (DSHA) A wonderfully skilled open field player who could attack and defend as a third-row player.  Perhaps DSHA’s best hooker of all-time.

Courtney Masnica (Kettle Moraine) Watching her kick conversions for KM was like watching Fuzzy Thurston of the Packers kick field goals.  The strongest and hardest hitting hooker on the list.

McKenna Smith (Catholic Memorial) The best thrower on the list.  Would hit long throws with regularity.  An open-field attacker who often distributed to set up players outside her. Two-time All-State Tournament player, who played collegiately at the U of M and DePaul.

Honorable Mention:
Shelley Frank (DSHA), Georgia Porter (Vernon)

Lock:
Erin Davis (Catholic Memorial) Named to the first three All-State Tournament teams (ASTT).  The best jumper on this list, with ups, reach, and great hands.  Played for the USA u17 developmental side.  Played #8 her junior and senior year, and is still Memorial’s all-time forward try-scoring leader with 25 in her career.  Often outran backs to score tries.

Kati McKormick (Kettle Moraine)  The WGR alumni who at an insanely young age made it all the way to the senior USA Women’s National Team, earning multiple senior caps.  She helped lead UWM’s run to the D1 national tournament and earned multiple All-American honors.  In high school made an immediate impact as a freshman and played in the national high school finals.  Ran a marathon at 16, which gives you some idea of her drive.  Had the defense of a 7, the attack of an 8, and the power of a lock.  Could play anywhere 4-8.

Maggie Reidy (DSHA) Came over from basketball to quickly become one of the best true locks to ever come from WGR.  Played for the USA u20’s while still in high school and started all of the USA’s matches on their historic first tour of South Africa including their first international victory.  Played with the speed of a third row, and the power of a tight five player.

Honorable Mention:
Cari Berdan (Brookfield), Casey Hamill-Barth (Catholic Memorial), Amanda Pohle (Catholic Memorial), Kelly Robinson (Brookfield),

#8
JoJo Hoffmann (DSHA) A tackling machine who was also the best passing forward of her generation.  Helped lead Ohio St to their great nationals runs of the mid-2000s.  She’d be a captain of the All-Decade team.  An inspiring player who despite being undersized for international rugby, played for the USA u19’s at lock and six and continued playing in the pack throughout college.  Truly phenomenal and completely fearless.

Elizabeth Linnemanstons (DSHA)  Three time ASTT.  First as a prop, then as an eight.  She is the most Kieran Read like on this list.  The starting center on her varsity basketball team.   A bruising and dynamic ball-carrier whose amazingly calm and accurate off-loading reminds us of Sonny Bill. 

Honorable Mention:
Traci Smet (Fond Du Lac)

Flanker

Talia Carrasquillo (Kettle Moraine) Just old enough to make the cut … first named to the ASTT in 2009.  The most fit third row player.  A great fetcher and a good ballcarrier. She’d be a team captain as well.  Universally respected by teammates and opponents for her spirit and positive leadership.

Kathryn Junius (DSHA) The best breakdown menace and most physical third row on this list.  “Got” the breakdowns better than perhaps anyone on this honorary team.  Dominant in the tackle.  So intense on game day that she would not be denied success. 

Brianna Klein (Brookfield) A USA u19 Eagle and was an automatic selection for the USA u19s.  Tall #7 who could also slot in at lock. Although not a ballcarrier herself, if a ballcarrier was tackled without support consider the ball hers every time.

Honorable Mentions:
Addie Haupert (Muskego), Amanda Karch (KM), Sonja Pavela (DSHA), Elizabeth Perry (Brookfield), Sammi Ross (Norhshore), Maura Schiffilaqua (DSHA)

LLR Moves On

2014 Will mark the end of the line for the "Life Law Rugby" league blog, which was first launched in the spring of 2007.  If you want to revisit our first post, here it is.

With staff and budget cuts, LLR has been forced to shutter its offices and move on.  While it's a sad day for many of us in the community, we know WGR is in a much stronger position than when this venture was first launched. 

A few final notes will come out in our remaining couple of days, starting with the LLR All-Decade Team 2000-2010.

Happy holidays to all and to all a good night!