The University of Kentucky’s first season back at the Division 1 Level in the SEC is officially all wrapped up. I would call the season an overall success, while we finished with an official record of 1-6 we were able to establish a foundation that the team has not had in place since I played in the late 90’s. We now have 3 full time coaches; we have established an ever growing relationship with the high school teams in both Louisville and Cincinnati. Additionally our relationship with the University itself is on the up and up and more importantly our relationship with you the Alumni is as strong as I have ever seen. All these steps put us in the right direction to be a top 25 program within the next 5 years.
I think it is safe to say that UK had one of the toughest schedules in the country playing 4 Top 25 ranked teams Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina this was made more difficult by a very young team dominated by freshman and sophomores. While this made for a tough inaugural year in the SEC it speaks worlds for our potential and our expectations in the years ahead.
The highlight of the season was the 5th annual Alumni Game which of course the Alumni won 44-12. The real key to the event was the fund raising, I am proud to say that the Alumni donated just over $8,000, by far the biggest single fund raising event that I have seen in my rugby career! Now with that being said we are always looking for more opportunities to raise money for the Club. We have reached out to Billy Campbell and Mike Andreoni of Phase IV as well as Dudley Burke, both have offered up some demolition work over the summer to help the cause. I would also like to issue a challenge to all Alumni to find ways to help the team with fund raising so we can purchase a new kit of jerseys and warm-ups, remember all your contributions help enhance your resume for the Hall of Fame!
The season came to a close this Saturday at our banquet where several players received some well earned awards and accolades First, Shane Kelley(Jr, Fullback) and Andy Huber(Sr, 2nd Row) were honored as 3rd team all SEC. Arti Vula (Fr,2nd Row) received most improved player while John Calhoun (Sr, Hooker) received the MVP Award. Also honored at the event where our 5 seniors Seth Brown(8 Man) Robert William(Prop) Andy Huber(2nd Row) Paul Marks(Scum Half) and John Calhoun(Hooker).
This summer the team will be busy working on their 7’s skills as the SEC Sevens is scheduled for October 13th. We look to have a very solid 7’s squad and have every intention to be in the running for the SEC title come October. We look forward to continued support from the alumni as our success is directly tied to your guidance and support.