LAFAYETTE, Colo. – When Thomas Del Pino transferred away from West Point, the Black Knights were not expecting to replace their fly half with a student-athlete from a different sport at The Academy. However, that’s exactly what happened when Rugby East Player of the Month Jon Kim won the starting fly half job ahead of the 2016-17 season.
“Jon has been on a rapidly-improving path this entire fall, and in October it’s only accelerated,” said Army Head Coach Matt Sherman.
A former placekicker on West Point’s football team, it’s not shocking that Kim is shattering just about every point-scoring record in the program’s varsity record books. Less than a full season into his rugby career with Army and Kim has already gathered seven varsity records including: career points scored (115), single-season points scored (115) and career penalty kicks (15).
Despite Kim’s growing reputation as a lights-out kicker, the junior from Gardena, Calif., is quickly becoming one of the most well rounded fly halves in the country.
“He gets a lot of accolades for his kicking, as he should, but he’s also been instrumental in running our attack with ball in hand,” complimented Sherman. “For a player with relatively little experience, he has tremendous composure, sees the game very clearly, making sound decisions to guide our team. Furthermore, he’s been a solid defender in our midfield defense.”
Kim began the season scoring points in bunches, but the Environmental Engineering major really cranked up the heat in October – against quality opposition, too. During West Point’s four games during the month of October – three of the games coming against teams ranked in D1A Rugby’s Top 20 – Kim scored one try, slotted 13 of his 22 conversion attempts, and made good on 10 penalty kicks for a total of 61 points.
The Black Knights concluded their Rugby East season with a win over Kutztown, but still have one more fall match remaining. Friday, Nov. 4, Kim and his Army teammates will welcome military academy rival and D1A Rugby’s 12th-ranked Air Force to West Point.