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10 BYU Cougars Named All American Following 3rd Straight Title

BYU captain Kyle Sumsion led the Cougars in 2014 and will look to lead his team in 2015 to another title.
BYU captain Kyle Sumsion led the Cougars in 2014 and will look to lead his team in 2015 to another title.

Provo, UT – USA Rugby has selected the 2013-14 Men’s Collegiate All-American and Honorable Mention All-American Teams, honoring deserving men’s college rugby players from across the country.

Among the list of recipients were 10 BYU Cougars, most notably being captain Kyle Sumsion (4x AA/HM), who most recently finished the summer touring with the USA National Team.

BYU head coach David Smyth said although the whole deserves the recognition for winning it’s third straight national title the 10 All Americans from his team are more than deserving.

“All of our young men work very hard,” Smyth said, “They work hard in the class room and work hard to represent this great university and the rugby program. They are carrying on the great tradition here at BYU of excellence both on and off the field. We’re very proud of them but know it’s not possible without the combined efforts of the entire team, the coaching and medical staffs, as well as our administration.”

Sumsion echoed his coaches sentiment citing that the honor of being selected as an All American is high on his list of achievements but that his team’s accomplishments outweigh any individual honor.

BYU Rugby Hosts 2014 Summer Camp & Partners with Halfback Academy

Provo, UT—The BYU Rugby program is set to host the 2014 Summer Camp hosted on the Cougars’ Provo campus.

For the first time the BYU Rugby Summer Camp is partnering with the Halfback Academy to offer camp attendees specialist scrumhalf, flyhalf and backline decision-making training.

The main summer camp runs from June 23rd-26th with the additional and optional Halfback Academy sessions beginning after the conclusion of the BYU camp on the 26th to the 27th.

The joint camp is designed for players of all experience levels and for boys aged 12 to 18.

The BYU Rugby Summer Camp has helped produce multiple USA U20 and High School All Americans including 2013 U20’s Calvin Whiting and Zach Webber along with 2014 High School All American Darian Power.

With the notable players coming to the BYU Rugby Summer Camp Cougars head coach David Smyth says the Summer Camp has become vital to BYU’s current and future success.

“We’ve had great success with this camp,” Smyth said, “If a young man asks how he can join the BYU rugby we ask him to make the effort to come to the Summer Camp. That way he gets a good look at us and we get a really good look at him. Aside from that we just really enjoy doing this camp and working with these great young rugby players.”

All camp attendees will have the chance to work with the BYU coaching staff and players including USA Eagle and BYU captain Kyle Sumsion.

The Halfback Academy is led by former BYU All American and USA Eagle scrumhalf Kimball Kjar and is designed for scrum halves and fly halves alike along with players looking to develop their passing, kicking and backline decision-making skill sets.

BYU Rugby: A look back at the 2014 season and the state of program

BYU fullback Josh Whippy scored two tries to help his side beat the California Golden Bears in front of 10,000 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium this past Saturday for the Varsity Cup National Championship. United World Sports Photo.
BYU fullback Josh Whippy scored two tries to help his side beat the California Golden Bears in front of 10,000 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium this past Saturday for the Varsity Cup National Championship. United World Sports Photo.

Provo, UT—With the dust still settling from the Cougars resounding 43-33 victory over the California Golden Bears BYU head coach David Smyth, his staff and captain Kyle Sumsion took time to review the 2014 season which culminated in BYU winning the Varsity Cup National Championship for the second year in a row over the University of California—Berkeley.

By running in seven tries against the vaunted California rugby program and in front of over 10,000 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium the Cougars put an exclamation point on a season that had high expectations from the outset according BYU’s head coach David Smyth.

“The season was a huge success,” said Smyth, “Our main priority was obviously to defend our championship and we did that. I couldn’t be more proud of the work our players put into this season in order to help us win the Varsity Cup again. We have a lot of respect for the California rugby program and are fortunate to have come out champions in this meeting between our two teams.”

BYU Rugby: Cougars defeat California 43-33 in 2014 Varsity Cup Final, capture third straight national championship

Sandy, Utah—BYU Rugby came into the 2014 Varsity Cup Championship game looking to win its third straight national championship and second straight Varsity Cup Championship. The Cougars faced a tough University of California team in a rematch of the 2013 Varsity Cup Championship, and were able to hold off a late Golden Bears rally to win 43-33.

BYU Rugby celebrates after winning its third straight national championship Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Photo courtesy of Dave Brinton.
BYU Rugby celebrates after winning its third straight national championship Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Photo courtesy of Dave Brinton.

“I thought the boys played tremendously well today,” BYU head coach David Smyth said. “We knew we were in for a battle, and [California] made us work hard for it. Our boys just had a little bit more will to win today.”

BYU jumped out to an early lead with a Paul Lasike try in the fourth minute. California answered four minutes later with a try of its own. The next twenty minutes consisted of scoreless, yet very physical play by both teams until BYU’s Joe Pikula, who had subbed in only minutes earlier, broke through for another try in the 29thminute to put the Cougars up 17-7.

A Chris Wernli try in the in the 34th minute gave the Cougars a healthy 22-7 lead just a few minutes before the first half. However, California’s Miles Honens, who had just subbed in himself, scored a try just seconds before halftime to bring the Golden Bears within eight points at halftime.

BYU Rugby: Cougars go for third straight title, set to face California in 2014 Varsity Cup Final

BYU Captain Kyle Sumsion answers questions from the media following last year's Varsity Cup Final victory over California. The Cougars and Golden Bears will meet for this year's championship Saturday in a rematch of last year's game.
BYU Captain Kyle Sumsion answers questions from the media following last year's Varsity Cup Final victory over California. The Cougars and Golden Bears will meet for this year's championship Saturday in a rematch of last year's game.

Provo, Utah—The 2014 Varsity Cup National Championship, which is played Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, will feature a rematch between defending champion BYU and runner-up Cal. The Cougars are looking to capture their fourth national championship in their ninth straight attempt.

“Both of these teams have had very good seasons and it seems fitting that we’ll be meeting again in the Varsity Cup Final,” BYU head coach David Smyth said. “Our boys have prepared all season for Saturday’s game and will spend this week fine-tuning our play in practice in anticipation of an incredibly talented and well-coached California team.”

BYU and California last met in the inaugural Varsity Cup National Championship last year on South Field in Provo.  BYU won late on Jonny Linehan’s drop goal in injury time to edge the Golden Bears 27-24. With this Saturday’s match up, BYU and California will have met in eight of the last nine national championships, with the lone exception being in 2012 when BYU beat Arkansas State for its second title.

“We’re very familiar with California seeing as how we’ve played them at the end of every season in recent memory,” Smyth said. “We know how good they are and always look forward to the challenge they present to us. It’s really college rugby at its finest.”

BYU Rugby: Cougars weather the rain & a tough Navy team to advance to 9th straight National Championship

BYU All American center Paul Lasike barges past the Navy defense for his lone try of the game.
BYU All American center Paul Lasike barges past the Navy defense for his lone try of the game.

Provo, UT—The BYU Cougars weathered the rainy and windy conditions today on South Field to beat the formidable Naval Academy Midshipmen to advance to the Varsity Cup National Championship by the score of 60 to 0.

With the wet and soggy conditions BYU was able to hold a stout Navy team in check and garner the first shut out of the season while also notching a lopsided score against the No. 5 ranked Naval Academy.

“I thought we started the game well given the conditions,” said BYU head coach David Smyth, “And overall we put together a solid performance that we can certainly build on moving into the championship game next week.”

The scoring started in the 5th minute with center Jared Whippey dotting down after a well constructed kicking exchange by BYU that saw the Cougars with a lineout just outside of the Naval Academy goal line.

More sustained field position control by BYU saw winger Chris Wernli take a cut back pass to bully his way the final 5 meters for the games second try.

The Cougars continued to manage the wet conditions with a strong kicking game that kept Navy pinned in their half of the field.

BYU flyhalf Jonny Linehan was the next Cougar player to take advantage of the field position with a penalty kick in the 17th minute.

BYURugby: Cougars move on to Varsity Cup Semifinals, welcome the Naval Academy to Provo Saturday

BYU Rugby advanced to the 2014 Varsity Cup Semifinals with a win over Dartmouth on April 19 and will take on Navy Saturday in Provo for a chance to advance to the championship.
BYU Rugby advanced to the 2014 Varsity Cup Semifinals with a win over Dartmouth on April 19 and will take on Navy Saturday in Provo for a chance to advance to the championship.

Provo, Utah– One week after opening the 2014 Varsity Cup National Championships with a 70-15 win over Dartmouth in Annapolis, Md., BYU rugby returns to South Field in Provo to host the Naval Academy in one of the tournament’s semifinal games.  With a win over Navy on Saturday, the Cougars will advance to their ninth straight national title game and have the opportunity to win a third straight national championship.

“It was really important for our boys to get off to a good start in this year’s Varsity Cup,” BYU head coach David Smyth said. “It took us a little while to settle down against Dartmouth, but once we did, we were able to really move the ball and play good rugby. Hopefully that good play will continue this weekend against Navy.”

BYU and Navy last met in the 2011 postseason quarterfinals in a game that saw the Cougars running over Navy 64-12 on South Field. BYU center Jared Whippy and back-up flyhalf Josh Webber were freshman on that team before leaving on two-year LDS missions, and are the only returning players from that game.

BYU Rugby: BYU opens the 2014 Varsity Cup National Championships with a quarterfinal victory over Dartmouth

BYU flyhalf and vice captain Jonny Linehan led all BYU scorers with 25 points as the Cougars beat Dartmouth in Varsity Cup Eastern Super Regional. Photo courtesy of Paul Meyers.
BYU flyhalf and vice captain Jonny Linehan led all BYU scorers with 25 points as the Cougars beat Dartmouth in Varsity Cup Eastern Super Regional. Photo courtesy of Paul Meyers.

Annapolis, MD—The BYU Cougars traveled to the East Coast and the campus of the Naval Academy to begin their 2014 Varsity Cup National Championship post-season campaign and came away with a 70-15 victory over the Big Green of Dartmouth in the opening game of the Varsity Cup Eastern Super Regional.

After a slow first half start, that saw BYU leading 15-3, the Cougars would run away in the second half scoring 55 points to 14 for the Big Green.

“We didn’t get off on the right foot,” BYU captain Kyle Sumsion said, “I don’t know if it was the travel or what but we just were making too many mistakes in the first half. Dartmouth was defending well, but we just kept stepping on our own toes.”

In the opening half of the game BYU, on more than one occasion, found itself deep in the Dartmouth territory only to commit a penalty or turn the ball over.

It wasn’t until a well constructed backline move saw fullback Josh Whippey find some space in the Dartmouth defense out wide and run 20 meters for the opening try of the game in the 13th minute.

More back and forth play saw BYU eventually muster a 30th minute penalty by flyhalf Jonny Linehan to edge the Cougars to an 8-0 lead.

BYU Rugby: Cougars travel to the Naval Academy to play Dartmouth in Varsity Cup National Championship Super Regional

PROVO, Utah—One week after defeating Arizona State in the inaugural Rugby Bowl 2014 in Scottsdale and wrapping up the 2014 regular season, BYU rugby travels to Annapolis, Md. to begin its postseason campaign. The Cougars will face off against Dartmouth College Saturday in the Varsity Cup National Championship Eastern Super Regional.

“The Rugby Bowl was a good way for us to gauge where we are as a program going into the Varsity Cup,” BYU head coach

BYU Rugby heads to Annapolis, Md. this weekend to take on Dartmouth in the Varsity Cup National Championship Super Regional.
BYU Rugby heads to Annapolis, Md. this weekend to take on Dartmouth in the Varsity Cup National Championship Super Regional.

David Smyth said. “I feel we could have played better at times and our boys have a lot of work to do this week in practice in order to get ready for a very good Dartmouth team.”

BYU last met Dartmouth in the 2009 postseason round of 16. The game, which was held in Marietta, Ga., ended in a 26-5 win for the Cougars, who opened up the scoring in the second half after leading by only seven points at halftime. The win was in route to BYU’s first ever national championship, in which the Cougars beat Cal 25-22.

“We haven’t played Dartmouth in few years so we’re a little unfamiliar with how we’ll match up against them,” Smyth said. “Our boys will need to work hard to get ready for the challenges a team like Dartmouth brings.”

BYU Rugby: No.3 Cougars Win Inaugural Rugby Bowl, Move On to Varsity Cup Playoffs

BYU holds the inaugural Rugby Bowl trophy after beating ASU 57-26. Photo courtesy of Greggo Photography
BYU holds the inaugural Rugby Bowl trophy after beating ASU 57-26. Photo courtesy of Greggo Photography

BYU Rugby: No.3 Cougars Win Inaugural Rugby Bowl, Move On to Varsity Cup Playoffs

Scottsdale, AZ—No.3 BYU rugby team won the inaugural Rugby Bowl in what was dubbed an “exciting and festive atmosphere” beating the home team Arizona State 57-26.

Despite the lopsided victory captain Kyle Sumsion said his team didn’t perform as he would have hoped one week before they head to Annapolis, MD and the Naval Academy to begin their Varsity Cup campaign.

“We didn’t play our best today,” Sumsion said, “No discredit to ASU, but we just didn’t play our best and we know we have a lot to work on as we move into the playoffs.”

Sumsion’s tepid review of his team’s performance was echoed by head coach David Smyth.

“We were fairly erratic today,” Smyth said, “We were great at times and then very average at other times. I was a little disappointed in a few individual performances. A few players didn’t put their best foot forwards in regards to selection moving into the Varsity Cup.”

The Rugby Bowl scoring started early from BYU’s wing Jordan Lowry who intercepted an ASU pass to race 50 meters. Flanker Ara Elkington would follow suit to find the endzone after ASU wasn’t able to clear the ball out of their half.

Captain Kyle Sumsion and winger Chris Wernli would score from open play and well-timed runs to stretch the Cougars’ lead to 35-0 following another Lowry try.

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