LAFAYETTE, Colo. – The four finalists for the 2016-17 Rudy Scholz Award, given to the best player in men’s college rugby, have been announced and each player hails from D1A Rugby.
A year after Saint Mary’s Dylan Audsley won the inaugural Scholz Award, four of his D1A adversaries are up for this season’s honor. The Big Ten’s Player of the Month in October Bryce Campbell of Indiana makes the shortlist. The All-American center has been the most dynamic piece to the Hoosiers’ extremely talented backline. Campbell’s impressive play in the midfield caught the attention of the Men’s Eagles coaching staff, which awarded the Indianapolis-native his first cap in November.
Recognition continues to come in for March’s PAC Rugby Conference Player of the Month Chad Gough. A dominant 2015-16 season earned the Utah hooker a spot on the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American tour to Australia last summer, and Gough has only beefed-up his game this season. A big help to the Utes’ set piece, Gough is also a handful in the loose. Most recently, Gough scored two tries during Utah’s 53-3 win over Arizona. Next up for Gough and his Ute teammates is a D1A Rugby Playoff match against San Diego State.
Life University’s do-everything back Cody Melphy finds himself on the Scholz Award list given his play during his second season with the Running Eagles. A year after helping Life win a 2016 National Championship, Melphy continues to impact games by putting teammates into space, breaking the gainline himself and by adding points on the scoreboard with his accurate and strong right boot.
A season after earning 1st-Team All-Conference from Rugby East, Iona College’s Michael Scarcella took his game to new heights this year and ended up being the East’s 2016 Back of the Year. Scarcella’s impressive form in the centers not only earned him one of four finalist spots for the Scholz Award, but also an invite to the College All-American Identification Camp that was held in January.
The award, administered by Alex Goff of Goff Rugby Report, is named after Rudy Scholz, who fought in two world wars and was also apart of the United States’ two-time Olympic Gold Medal-winning rugby teams. The award will be presented Saturday, June 10 in Seattle.