This May, Furman lost an impressive cadre of players due to graduation. In fact, they were probably the best senior class ever. Adam Miller, Patrick Musau, Jacob Milchuck, Adrian Marcoliese, Jeff Tongue and Ryan Conlogue anchored the Furman team, leading the Paladins to a Division 2 national championship game.
With such a great group gone, one would expect the Furman team to be crestfallen. But the players and coaching staff are especially buoyant.
The players joining us next month have very much promise. The group of nine include three who played Div. 1 football or were recruited to do so. It promises to be a blend of experience and raw talent. The group includes:
Aron Downie (Bermuda) grew up playing rugby and is of English descent. He is highly skilled and will most likely help us at 9 and 11.
Ben Fleschler (Indiana). He is our fourth player from Culver Military Academy. He is stocky, mobile and was a wrestler and rugby player at Culver. He will likely play in the front row.
Jackson Seniff (San Diego) Jackson played for an outstanding program in San Diego and comes highly regarded. He has played 8 years and is a certified coach. Jackson plays hooker but will be relegated to the sidelines this fall as he is recovering from a knee injury.
Derek Frahm (Gonzaga) Derek is 6’6 and weighs 270 pounds. He is the gem of our class and has been the starting prop for Gonzaga, USA high school national champions. He will play in the tight five.
Reed Handabaka (New Jersey) Reed was an outstanding running back in high school and was recruited to play football by some division I schools. He has enthusiastically embraced rugby and joined a high school rugby summer league in June to pick up as much as possible before joining us. Reed may be a center, but will first have to cut his teeth at wing.
Michael Caterisano (Greenville) The son of Health Sciences professor Tony Caterisano, Michael played football and wrestled at Wade Hampton. He was a member of Furman’s powerlifting team last year as a high school senior. He is a big strong boy.
Burke Lipscomb (Greenville) Burke is the son of Education professor George Lipscomb. He has great size and was an outstanding soccer player in high school.
Owen Kearns (Charlotte) Owen was a standout for the Union County Lions, a very good high school team. He has great size (6’2, 220) and will help us at lock and flanker.
Evan Horst (Ohio) He joined our team very late in the spring season and will be a rising junior. He was recruited to play football at Furman and remained on the team until last year where he played on the special teams. Evan played rugby in high school and at 6’4, 240 has good size. He will likely play prop or lock.