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Texas A&M Rugby Scholarships

Texas A&M Men’s Rugby Scholarship

This scholarship application applies to all of the awards listed below and is given to a deserving student who is already enrolled at Texas A&M, maintains a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA, and proves themselves to be a leader on and off the pitch.

Anthony Matocha Memorial Scholarship

In memory of Anthony “A-Train” Matocha, who tragically died at a young age on July 25, 2004. The Old Maroon Alumni Association has initiated a rugby scholarship, which is aimed to benefit a deserving young rugby player at Texas A&M. This rugby Scholarship will allow a young outstanding player, selected by the Texas A&M R.F.C. and the Old Maroon Alumni Association, to help fund their tuition, books and traveling while studying and playing rugby at Texas A&M University. Anthony Kirk Matocha December 31, 1977 – July 25, 2004

Anthony was born December 31, 1977, in Houston, TX. He was a 1996 Graduate of Bastrop High School where he participated in football, baseball, student council and FFA, He continued his education at Texas A&M University, graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. At A&M he participated in Fish Drill Team, The Corps of Cadets, and Rugby. Anthony had a great love for life and lived each day to the fullest. He was an avid fisherman and hunter, and when not spending time with family and friends was on the water or in the woods doing the things he loved.

Lyle Gordon Memorial Scholarship

The Lyle Gordon Memorial Scholarship Fund was initiated in the spring of 2005 after the tragic loss of Aggie rugby player, Corps of Cadets member and American hero Capt. Lyle Gordon. Capt. Gordon passed while serving his country in Iraq. Throughout his rugby career at Texas A&M, Lyle “Smiles” Gordon ’97 was an outgoing, funny and very powerful asset to the team. We are certain he would have fully supported this opportunity for a deserving young rugby player at Texas A&M University.

Captain Lyle L. Gordon September 11, 1974 – January 26, 2005 Captain Gordon was from Midlothian, Texas. He graduated from Midlothian High School in 1993. After high school, Captain Gordon attended Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the Texas A&M Rugby Club. While in college, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and went to MCRD San Diego in 1995. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1998 with a degree in Animal Science. Captain Gordon went to Officer Candidate School in 2000. Ever since Marine Capt. Lyle Gordon was a kid growing up in the small North Texas town of Midlothian, he had dreams of flying high and fast. As a thrill-seeking youngster, he must have watched the 1980s fighter pilot movie “Top Gun” hundreds of times, his mother, Mary Gordon, recalls. “I’m gonna fly, I’m gonna fly,” she said. “That’s all he 

ever wanted.” The 30-year-old Gordon had visions of one day blending his loves of flying and animals by owning a horse ranch. There, his piloting skills would come in handy, as he could fly high above his sprawling dream ranch while getting a bird’s-eye view of his herd. Gordon’s family said Friday they take comfort in knowing he was fulfilling his dream of serving as a pilot in the military. Finding the good in any situation is a lesson they learned from him. “He was always happy no matter what,” Mary Gordon said. “He could find something to laugh about in almost any situation.” Gordon graduated from Midlothian High School in 1993 and earned a Bachelor Degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M in December 1998. He had always wanted to attend the university and was proud to be a member of Corps of Cadets Company E-2, the outfit in charge of caring for A&M’s canine mascot, Reveille. “He said, If I’m not in E-2, then I’m not in the Corps,” his mother said. “That’s the kind of person he was. He had a direction. He knew exactly what he wanted. He didn’t care if anyone followed him. He was going to do it.” Gordon’s determination to become an Aggie started at an early age. When he was 13, after his family made a trip to A&M to watch a football game and see Bonfire burn, Gordon told his mother that it was the school for him. “He told me that he wanted to go to A&M,” she said. “But I told him that you don’t just decide you want to go to A&M. I told him it was quite a big deal to make that decision. But he worked hard and made it. He was the only student from this area that was accepted.” While at A&M, Gordon played rugby for the school’s club team, not a surprising choice for a young man who loved to play rough. “He loved anything rough and rowdy, his mother said. “He was in the Corps, and he loved everything like that.” Gordon also was in the Marine Reserve while in college. After graduation, he worked briefly as a manager at Sanderson Farms in Bryan until a short while later; he decided to enter into the Marine Corps on a full time basis. Before going to Officer Candidates School, Gordon made one last trip to the Bryan-College Station area to say goodbye to old college buddies. It was then that he met his wife-to-be, Kaci Yates, Class of ’00. The two corresponded through letters before getting married three years ago. After spending time in Japan and Korea, Gordon went to Iraq last September. While in Iraq at Christmas time, Gordon helped deliver more than 100 packages to soldiers. People in his hometown had gathered to make care packages, which then were sent to Gordon. He, in return, dispersed them to soldiers who lacked much correspondence from home “He was always getting some package from us, but he also knew there were a lot of boys over there that never heard from anyone,” Mary Gordon said. “He just wanted to bring some joy to them.” Gordon’s time overseas was nearing an end. He was due to return home in March 2005, his mother said. “But instead he went to his final home,” she said.

Gareth Jones Memorial Scholarship

The Gareth Jones Memorial Scholarship was initiated in the winter of 2005 after the tragic loss of our brother, Gareth Jones. Even though his rugby career at Texas A&M was cut short, Gareth Jones ’09 was a superb teammate that was well liked on and off the field. He rarely missed practice or a game and wore the maroon jersey with great pride.He was an asset to the team in more ways than one and we are certain he would have fully supported this opportunity for a deserving young rugby player at Texas A&M.

Tom and Margaret Loftus Academic Leadership Rugby Scholarship

Dr. Thomas S. Loftus ’94, distinguished neurosurgeon and proud Aggie, donated $25,000 to fund a new rugby scholarship in honor of his parents, establishing the Tom and Margaret Loftus Academic Leadership Rugby Scholarship. Distributions from this endowment will be used to provide one or more scholarships to full-time students with at least one semester of playing time on the Men’s Rugby Team as a first-side player and maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.25, pursuing a degree at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Dr. Loftus played rugby as a student at Texas A&M and continued to play long after graduation. It was the extracurricular activity that contributed greatly to his Aggie experience. “Rugby in general mirrors in many ways the values that make Texas A&M so special,” Loftus said. “It promotes brotherhood, humility, respect, and sacrifice. Because these qualities are so important to me and have impacted each and every day of my life, I felt it important to simultaneously give back to the two organizations that I feel truly value and promote them: Texas A&M and the sport of rugby.”

Loftus says it was an easy and natural decision “to name it after my Mom and Dad is simply my way of recognizing the two people who first instilled these values in me. “A native of Marble Falls, Texas, Loftus earned a B.S. in Zoology from Texas A&M and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1997. He completed his residency training in Neurological Surgery at the University of Missouri and has made significant contributions in his field. He has invented and submitted patent applications for a minimally-invasive spine retractor system and a minimally-invasive spine surgery technique, as well as founding the Austin Neurosurgical Institute (2003) and the Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery Center of Austin (2007). Active in his discipline, he is a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Academy of Physicians and Surgeons, and the North American Spine Society. Dr. Loftus hopes his gift will not only ease the financial burden of deserving students, but in a symbolic manner shows that an Aggie’s support of the university doesn’t end upon graduation. He describes the chance to give back to Texas A&M as an incredible blessing and extremely gratifying. “Giving in any form is rewarding in and of itself.” Loftus continues, “We all have people and organizations in our life that have provided an enduring and meaningful impact. If life affords an opportunity to give back to those people or organizations, that opportunity should be seized.”

Donors may direct their gifts, large or small, to an existing fund or, like Dr. Loftus, design and name their own endowment, which is designed to provide funds in perpetuity. For more information on establishing scholarships or contributing to Student Affairs, please contact the Student Affairs Development Office at (979) 458-1689.

The Mud Fish Scholarship

The Mudfish Scholarship was established in 2008 by former students Scot R. Krippner and Stuart H. Borlase. The origin of the scholarship is made clear through the Founder’s motto:

“As members of the original Texas A&M Mudfish Posse of 1992, we bestow upon you these scholarship funds.  In true Mudfish fashion, Mudfish unite, encourage, and assist other forwards and at the same time enjoy all there is in rugby fellowship.”

This scholarship was created by forwards, for forwards and given in the true spirit of forward sacrifice. The goal is to award a $1000 scholarship yearly to a worthy Texas A&M forward. If anyone is interested in contributing to the Mudfish Scholarship, please contact  Scot Krippner.