Knoxville Rugby Club
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The Knoxville Rugby Club, founded in 1980, is an adult rugby union club serving the greater Knoxville area of the U.S. state of Tennessee The Possums compete in Division II of the South Territory of USA Rugby.
The Possums are 3-3 so far this season, coming off a 35-6 win over Nashville. The match was held at the team's field, Possum Park.
On December 12, 2003 The Knoxville Rugby Club celebrated its 24th year with the dedication of its own rugby park. The Possums completed a purchase of 13 acres (53,000 m2) in Carter, a small community just 10 miles (16 km) east of downtown Knoxville. The property already contains a finished athletic field enabling the club to begin playing matches at their new facility immediately.
In 1988, the Knoxville Rugby Club created a land fund and kept the dream of owning their own field alive through the hosting of tournaments, the sale of hats and T-shirts, and general fundraising and penny pinching. Over the years, funds were stashed away in the hopes that one day the club could purchase land to call their home. When the opportunity to purchase the property was presented, the club was ready to act. Possum old boys and current players pooled personal donations with the team;existing land fund to form a limited liability corporation to purchase the land.
In 2001, the Possums were a founding partner of the local high-school rugby union league. Since then, rugby playing population in the Knoxville area has grown to more than 600 participants. The Knoxville Rugby Club has seen a jump in membership from 25 to over 50 active players, participants, and club members, including the creation of a separate Under-23 team, the Colts.
In 2010, the club held a banquet celebrating its 30th anniversary (see www.posssumsrugby.blogspot.com) for more info. Current and former Possums voted for the squad's all-time team from 1980 to 2010:
30th ANNIVERSARY ALL-TIME TEAMS A SIDE
PROP-TYLER HUSKEY HOOKER-RYAN MILLER PROP-PAUL CURETON LOCK-BUCK ROGERS LOCK-BRIAN NIEKERK FLANKER-ART REYNOLDS FLANKER-JOHN DAUGHERTY
- 8-BRIAN NIEKERK
SCRUMHALF-MARK SZYDLO FLYHALF-MARTY BRADLEY WING-PAT DORWIN INSIDE CENTER-TODD LITTLE OUTSIDE CENTER-ED EVERETT WING-FRANK BENNETT FULLBACK-TOM WILSON UTILITY-JAMES ELLIS
- BRIAN NIEKERK ONLY PLAYER CHOSEN FOR TWO A SIDE POSITIONS
- ED EVERETT AND PAT DORWIN ONLY PLAYERS CHOSEN FOR A AND B SIDES
B SIDE PROP-BOB HAMPSTEAD HOOKER-TOM JALLO PROP-JAMES ELLIS LOCK-STEVE CERNE LOCK-DAVE CHRISTOPHER FLANKER-STEVE LINK, SCOTT ADCOX (TIE) FLANKER-DOUG POWELL
- 8-MATT NOSS
SCRUMHALF-MIKE WELDON FLYHALF-ED EVERETT WING-STEVE CUNNINGHAM INSIDE CENTER-MIKE GARMAN OUTSIDE CENTER-DANNY BRASWELL WING-KEVIN BLALOCK FULLBACK-PAT DORWIN UTILITY-STEVE CUNNINGHAM, OSCAR DOSTER (TIE)