This week's Chicago Blaze Rugby Club's POTW is brought to you by Stonehouse Pub the premier venue to catch the big game in downtown Lemont, Illinois.
Matt "Beckham" Borchardt - Outside center & Wing
Height 6' 1" 1.85m
Weight 180lbs 81kg 12st
Occupation Trade Support Manager for Sungard Brokerage
First year rugby: Spring 2012 Chicago Blaze Rugby Football Club
See Matt in action as he scores a try against Lincoln Park (below).
This weeks Chicago Blaze Rugby Club player of the week is brought to you by Nick's Tavern home of the one pound burger!
Jon Jon Vanderwatt
Height 6' 6" 1.98m
Weight 230lbs 104kg 16st
Occupation college student
Position #12 inside center
First played rugby 2001 South Africa
High School rugby Waubonsie Valley High School 2010 - 2013
Select side rugby Illinois Tornados 2013 2012 -2013
Blaze rugby summer 2014 - present
FOTW Fossil of the Week
John "Brammy" Bramlet
Brammy started playing rugby with fellow Chicago Blaze founding member Kevin Hunt at Eastern Illinois in the late 70's. After graduation he played for the Windy City Nomads while embarking on a career with Amoco.
John was awarded the most intense Rugger in the Blaze's 1983 inaugural season. John has won numerous Blaze accolades over his illustrious career.
If there is a Fossil game scheduled, John is either so excited because his family and work commitments allow him to strap on boots, or greatly disappointed if duty calls!
Can you say any position? Even though John may be small and light in stature no one carries a bigger heart around the pitch or in life.
With that being said, having just completed running the Chicago Marathon Sunday, having his first born Annie get married this Summer, sending his dear Lillian off to college to Iowa State and come into her own as a rugby player, Keegan his Rugger, Debater and Musician who just rocked the House of Blues, I'm sure Brammy and Diane couldn't be prouder of their kids!
"The Brammy" our annual Fossil award is named in John's honor and will be awarded annually to the person who exemplifies these three distinctions
1. Give back to Rugby
2. Play a role with Fossils/Blaze
John ran his second marathon surely to test himself having completed his first marathon in the 80's in a time around 4:30 he stated, but also to raise money for Cancer Awareness as it has affected his Blaze and immediate families.
John Bramlet completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon at 1:24:32 pm with a time of 05:03:39 and 11:35 min/mile average pace.
Great Job Brammy
We are all "With You"
Starting today and continuing every Thursday we will present a Fossil of the Week.
Our very first FOTW is Peter Thornley. Pete had a vision. In 1984 he purchased our initial 10 acres of land. As we embark upon a new chapter with the construction of new facilities the message/purpose remains the same 30 years later. "The best way to thank Peter is to be committed to put in the time and resources needed to make it work." Peter can normally be found game day in Lemont, Illinois cheering on his beloved Blaze. Be sure to buy this man a pint and shake his hand. His vision continues to grow and guide us to this day.
This week's Chicago Blaze Rugby Club player of the week is brought to you by Dropkick Sports. From t-shirts to mugs and everything in between Dropkick Sports are your screen printing & embroidery rugby apparel specialists.
Bernie Laskowski is our Chicago Blaze Rugby Football Club player of the week.
Height 5'8" 1.72m
Weight 220 pounds 99.79kg 15st
Occupation College Freshman
Position hooker/eight man
Middle School rugby Naperville Crusaders 2009 - 2010
High School rugby Neuqua Valley High School 2011 - 2014
Select Side HS rugby Illinois Tornados 2013 - 2014
Blaze rugby 2014 summer 7s - present
Things were not looking good for the Blaze as St. Paul scored early to start the match going up 5-0 just a few minutes in. The Blaze needing a win to keep their playoff chances alive would answer back and an excitingly close game would ensue.
About a quarter of the way through the first half the Blaze’s Graham Johnson placed a beautiful kick into touch at the Jazz Pigs one meter line. The Blaze were able to steal a mishandled Pigs’ lineout and prop Andrew Hart would crash through to touch the ball down in goal tying the match up five all.
A few minutes later St. Paul had some good multi phase play and worked the ball outside to their wing and took advantage of an overload putting them up 12-5 midway through the first half. Not deterred, the Blaze grabbed a quick ball after tackling a St. Paul man into touch working the ball all the way across to the other side of the pitch before Rapalos Dikinis dotted the ball down in-goal trimming deficit to two points 12-10 Pigs.
Vidal Martinez took a kicked ball deep from behind the Blaze 22 meter line and weaved threw an uneven St. Paul defense before passing off just after midfield to Alex Binetti who burned past the last two St. Paul defenders to score a try. Binetti would make good on the conversion putting the Blaze into the lead for the first time in the game 17-12. St. Paul scored twice more failing on each conversion to regain a 22-17 lead over the Blaze going into the half.
About five minutes into the 2nd half the Blaze would score after a nice rolling maul from about 10 meters out allowed Bernard Laskowski to punch it in for a try helping the Blaze tie the game back up at 22. St Paul. struck again going up 29-22 but that would end the scoring for the Jazz Pigs.
Midway through the second half, an errant St. Paul pass left their winger and a fullback with no options and no time behind the halfway line. The Blaze would capitalize as their forwards got in position fast and were able to poach the ball to make a quick pass from 8 man Jim Moscato to Matt Borchardt resulting in an almost uncontested try. Binetti slotted his kick tying the match once again with the score 29-29.
With just minutes left the Blaze defense were pinned against their own goal line, yet the Blaze thwarted numerous Pigs’ crash ball attempts before finally winning the ball back after Andrew Hart forced a knock on. Soon after Dikinis, would score his second try of the game and with a good conversion kick the Blaze would hold on to win 36-29 making their record midway through the season 2-3.
Highlights: Chicago Blaze vs St. Paul Jazz Pigs (D2)