National Small College Rugby Organization LLC: Latest News: RUGBYMag Names Men's Small College Player of the Year

Jay Muniz 2013 POTY
Jay Muniz, New England College
Friday, February 21
RUGBYMag Names Men's Small College Player of the Year has selected Jay Muniz of New England College as their Small College Men’s Player of the Year for 2013.

The center led New England College to a 9-0 regular season record, and a 3rd place finish in the NSCRO National Championships and also a 3rd place finish at the NSCRO 7s in Philadelphia.

He was the only player to be selected as both All-NSCRO in 15s and 7s.

Muniz was selected from a large pool of applicants submitted by coaches from the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO).

In addition to selecting Muniz as Player of the Year, RUGBYMag selected four players as Honorable Mention. They are:

Barnaby Audsley, Occidental College. Audsley captained Occidental to a 5th place National small college ranking (15s) and followed that up with an MVP performance as Occidental won the NSCRO 7s Championship during the CRC weekend in Philadelphia in June. He also works with Play Rugby USA working with kids in the Los Angeles area, and has helped raise money for cancer research through the Tackling Cancer Foundation.

John Sneh, LaSalle University. The flyhalf/center led LaSalle to their first playoff appearance in over a decade. His athleticism and speed made him a leading player on the team, but his greatest contribution may have been his unselfishness, making sure rugby remained a team game, and leading by example on defense and in rucks and breakdowns. His leadership and enthusiasm are helping rebuild the LaSalle program.

Michael Acciavatti, Widener University. The senior was probably expected to play flyhalf for Widener, but during the team’s run to an EPRU Small College title and current ranking of 7th in the nation, he was needed to do much more. His coach, Anthony Nardini, asked him to play flyhalf, scrumhalf, center, and flanker during the season to help fill holes.

“These changes happened both before and during matches, typically due to injuries,” said Nardini. “These moves may have angered or confused a lesser person. Never once did he complain about the move or waver in his enthusiasm to play. I believe this level of selflessness is at the core of a true rugby player—an individual who is willing, without complaint, to do whatever is necessary for the better of the entire squad. Widener’s success this Fall was due not only to just effective play on the field, but due to the actions of Michael, who placed the greater needs of the team before his own on a regular basis.”

Roderick Bonner, University of North Georgia. Bonner joined UNG after serving in the US Army National Guard as a military policeman. His training and leadership qualities became evident, as he not only became captain of the North Georgia 7s team, but also took on a variety of leadership roles on the club, including president. A superb player, he earns honorable mention for this and his work in increasing sponsorship support for the team, representing the club in an outstanding fashion to school administration and organizations, and helping the UNG team support a local high school rugby program.

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