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)
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