Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Canada Tour Player Profiles: Matt Coore

Pregame at Stampede 7s
The preparations for our first Stars Rugby 7s international tour were extraordinarily complicated when it came to our first men's program. Our interest levels were high but the realities of players committed to club qualifier travel/tournaments, Elite City 7s early in June, Cape Fear 7s the same weekend as our tour, and with Serevi Rugbytown 7s, Club Nationals, and World Club 7s all taking place in August, our actual commitments were low. Even one week before the trip we had changes to our rosters and lost 2 players as well as several alternates, and were suddenly faced with only 8 men's players making the trip up north for a high level tournament.

While we did travel lightly to Canada, our men embraced the "scrappy underdog" mentality, especially representing the USA with our first two pool play games on the 4th of July, going 3-1-1 at the tournament with an average of 4 tries scored per game. We advanced easily from pool play, came from behind in the semifinal to defeat a British Military Police side 19-14, and made the Men's Premier Final. The finals pitted the Stars against a  Fijian side rumored to have national team players on its roster. 10 minute halves proved a bit too much for us to handle without the depth the other teams enjoyed, but this is a problem that easily solved in recruiting for our future tours!

One of our men that was on board from day one is Florida Atlantic University Men's Rugby player Matt Coore. He was a huge impact player for our program that should be a part of our rosters for a long time coming.

On the Pitch for FAU
Matt came highly recommended by FAU Women's Coach Eyal Hakim as a player that clearly stood out in his program and one that has the potential to be playing far above the Florida Collegiate D2 level. Matt lived up to expectations on our tour; while he was the youngest and rawest player on the squad, he adapted quickly to a new style of play, adjusted to the speed and experience levels of his teammates, and became our big power crasher/power hitter rather than the speedy finisher he's used to back in Florida. Matt progressed as through each training, each game, and each day of the tour.

In terms of player development, there is nothing more we could have asked for. Had their been a "Most Improved Player" award for the trip, he'd have the title. Matt's future is bright with many more tours and much more rugby to come. His potential has just barely been tapped and his aspirations to reach higher levels in this game should soon be realized.

Here's his story in his words:

More Action for FAU Men's Rugby
"It all started at Florida Atlantic University. The sport of Rugby was just one of the many sports I wanted to play after seeing my high school friends play in their first year of college at University of North Florida. This past two years playing for FAU is one that will always go down as one of the greatest memories I have had yet on the pitch. During the Fall 2013 season we advanced to the Florida Cup Championship facing the reigning USA Rugby National Champions UCF. We lost the match but came away as second in the state!

I started for the 15s team my freshman year of fall and spring. My performance that rookie season led to a nomination for the Florida South Select Side 15s by former FAU coach Richard Jackson and Head coach of the Boca Bucs: Frank Tito.

I started playing 7s the Summer of 2013 and I have had a mutual love for both 15s and 7s. Currently  I am playing with FAU for the summer sevens season. I give my all to bring our side to victory with countless number of hours in the gym. 
Conditioning with Daru Fitness & Performance
When it comes time to get on the pitch, fatigue becomes nothing but an obstacle to overcome. I do all my training at Daru Fitness & Performance which has gave me a mental edge.  I have been given the chance to play in my first international tournament by the Stars Rugby 7s team and I cannot wait to show how Rugby in Florida is done!

** Matt's tour update: The tour for Stampedes Sevens brought some tough matches. Both our womens' and men side put in some nice work. Making it up to 2nd in the tournament; facing back-to-back Fijian sides that had some great skill. Met a cool group of ruggers from Stars sides! Pretty cool stories were shared. I learned different techniques and views of the 7s game.  I hope for more tours to come with this program. Next stop, Australia**

No comments:

Post a Comment