Atlanta, Georgia – June 20th, 2020. In this, the eleventh episode of our informational live series ‘The RATL Roundup,’ Rugby ATL invited three more members of our Summer Residency to share their backgrounds with the game, and their first encounters with the professional environment here at Rugby ATL. This week, Vice President of Operations Kevin McCorry had the pleasure of sitting down with Terrell Nelson of Western Washington University, Sean Atkins of Western Michigan University, and Frankie Macnamara of American International College. These three young men came down hereto develop themselves as players, as the potential professionals of the future.
Frankie Macnamara has just entered his sixth year playing the sport of rugby, picking it up as he entered into high school to play with his friend, and share the game with his sister. Following his time playing for Grand Island, New York, Frankie ended up at American International College and has tried to attend every camp he can to develop himself as a rugby player, through the guidance of his coaches. As an incoming upperclassmen at AIC, Frankie is excited to take what he is learning from his time in the 404 and bring it back to his college team.
Sean Atkins has been a very recent convert to the game, though the rugby resume he boasts from his time at Western Michigan University may suggest otherwise. In two years, he has been a part of teams that have reached a National Championship in both fifteen’s and seven’s at the D1AA level. As a former football player, the biggest thing that Sean spoke about as a difference between the two sports was the culture, as he told of the immediate welcoming into his new program, and how his new team felt like family. Sean attributed his growth from this camp to coaches Kurt Coleman and Neets Gericke, for how much they stressed the need for an attention to detail some of the games micro-skills: like running lines, passing, and catching.
Terrell Nelson has been a rugby player since he was nine years old, thanks to his dad, who started a boys and girls rugby club back in his home state of Washington. Terrell played for Chuckanut Bay Rugby Club, as well as Bayside Rugby Club of British Columbia, Canada, before being selected to play for the Washington State select team. Playing primarily at scrumhalf, Terrell has relished the individual time he’s had to talk with coaches Kurt Coleman & Nese Malifa, two former flyhalves, for what they’re looking for out of a great halfback.
If you would like to learn more about our organization through our live series, like our pages @RugbyATL and @Pathway404 on Instagram, to stay in the loop on our future content. To watch the full episode of this interview, go online to our Rugby ATL page on YouTube, and be sure to like and subscribe to our page for more content.
For Immediate Release July 21st, 2020
Rugby ATL is proud to announce a partnership with Wear Your Roots (WYR), a clothing line established, produced and operated in the United States of America. The two franchises are committed to using the sport of rugby to help generate future leaders in the community.
WYR owners Brandon Slocum and Aaron Sipe have been working to provide their customers with premium products, excellent customer service, and dependable order fulfillment. Their modern and edgy products range from singlets to sweatshirts to travel packs and even pint glasses; the perfect line-up for any Rugby ATL fans proud of their region.
“WYR is extremely excited to announce its new, official partnership with Rugby ATL. We feel the direction Rugby ATL is moving in aligns well with our #GrowTheGame campaign that we had established with the USA Eagles Rugby program. Rugby is far more than just a game, or sport, it is a platform that molds and develops youth by teaching them hard work, team play, and community. Rugby ATL has big plans ahead of them with their Pathway 404 platform which will be extremely valuable to the surrounding rugby communities. We believe that through this partnership, WYR & Rugby ATL will be able to raise the standards for community development through the sport of rugby,” said Owner, Brandon Slocum.
The Wear Your Roots line will work in parallel with the mission of growing the game in the Southeast region through Pathway 404 and increasing the sense of community around rugby here in Georgia. With a rich ecosystem of strong sports franchises already established in the area, Rugby ATL will look to capitalize on the symbolism of both brands to establish a modern style of fan gear for the growing supporter groups.
“We are excited to partner with a company that is aligned on our vision to spread values through Pathway 404 to the greater Southeast region. Having worked on a few small projects with Brandon during my time with USA Rugby, it was only a matter of time before we began collaborating here at Rugby ATL. WYR is a contemporary brand, with a quality line of products that helps us showcase our commitment to our roots here in the Southeast. We look forward to working with Brandon and Aaron to help them succeed in their campaign to #GrowTheGame and bring a premium set of gear to our fans,” said Kevin McCorry, Vice President for Rugby ATL.
Though many have criticized the name of the team, Rugby ATL has stayed true to its name by owning the responsibility to be strong ambassadors of the city and region as a whole. This partnership is an extension of the accountability to create change in your backyard and strengthen the sense of pride that comes with being a sports fan of an ATL franchise.
For your full line-up of Rugby ATL & Wear Your Roots gear, please visit our online store.
Atlanta, Georgia – On July 16, 2020, ‘The RATL Roundup’ hosted the second part of our Summer Residency Camp series, and featured the coaches who took part in the learning experience down here in the 404. Involved in the camp were coaches from the University of Washington, Western Washington University, the University of Louisville, Kennesaw State University, and USA Rugby South. After presenting to the coaches an onboarding meeting of our values, and with a presentation on leadership from coach Scott Lawrence, our visiting coaches witnessed four days worth of camp: before they had the chance to sit down in the redeveloped business side of our headquarters to comment on what they had seen.
From the start of the group’s discussion, what stood out from the first presentation was how player-driven the organization is, and how our values of PACE are embodied by all of our players, from the professional athletes of Rugby ATL to developing players in the 404, to the players brought into the Pathway 404 camp. In each group, the players are trusted to exercise their creativity: they define what they want their legacy to be, through choice symbols and words, before bringing the rest of the organization together into alignment under a united ethos.
One of the most beneficial things to take away from the camp so far came from the fact that these principles on organizational conjunction and clarity are reliable, in that they may bring greater value to any level of rugby, sports performance, or organizational structure in general. We’ve allowed our players to help create an environment that benefits both our franchise and our greater community, and how our coaches have managed to facilitate that for our group is through nothing but hard work and a constant attention to detail. As the player group begins to evolve, coaches must continue to articulate, and keep the players clear on their roles for a proficient execution.
Atlanta, Georgia – Following the success of last month’s inaugural Major League Rugby draft, the snake pit here at Rugby ATL has just grown a little larger, with the arrival of our first two picks, Michael Matarazzo and John Scotti. Each player drove down last weekend, in order to be checked out by the athletic training staff and begin participating in organized team activities. Last Monday, our two newest young men found themselves making a series of introductions; to the coaches and staff, to the facility through a tour, and to their baselines with the club, through physical screenings to assess their mobility and mechanics. After their official check-in, the men completed their first workout in the gym, setting a standard for the work that they hope to put in for this franchise.
Last Tuesday, both picks found themselves at Life University, the home ground of Rugby ATL, to bear witness to the pace of a high-intensity training session that involved both skills drills and competitive games. John Scotti’s working through a hamstring injury and could not participate, though Michael Matarazzo did. After a check-in with the Athletic Training Staff to verify that every participant had an acceptable temperature, Matarazzo and the rest of Rugby ATL’s Wider Training Group were put through a ninety-minute session that involved intervals of training the skills of their pass and catch, along with impassioned touch rugby matches, to foster the competitive spirit of the group.
The remainder of the week mirrored how the picks first week in their new home had begun, with days split between sessions of lifting weights in the gym or practicing skills on the field, coupled with all of the recovery and rehabilitation necessary to establish a good baseline of work for the upcoming season.
For more news and information on our franchise, feel free to follow us on our socials: like our Rugby ATL page on Facebook, follow our @RugbyATL and @404Pathway on Instagram, and check out our website, RugbyATL.rugby.
Rugby ATL Partners with Cumberland Diamond Exchange
Press Release: For Immediate Release
July 16th, 2020
We are proud to announce that Cumberland Diamond Exchange (CDE), will be the Official Jeweler of Rugby ATL through 2022.
Cumberland Diamond Exchange is a full-service, fine jewelry retailer specializing in engagement rings, wedding bands, custom design, and more. Ranked in the top 5% of independent, specialty jewelers in the United States, CDE is a first-generation, family-owned fine jewelry store. The philosophy of “Service with Excellence” has remained the foundation of the business and has helped to develop and sustain long-term relationships with its customers for over 35 years.
“We are excited and honored to partner with Rugby ATL (RATL). As the Official Jeweler, we feel that RATL’s core values coupled with its management and coaching staff will become the Gold Standard of Major League Rugby. After our exposure to the game day experience, we were hooked on partnering with such an exciting action-packed sport. We look forward to aligning our organizations to make a difference by helping others prosper in our community” said Owner Mark Jacobson.
One of those long-lasting relationships CDE has sustained is with Rugby ATL owners, Marcus, and Clea Calloway. Their commitment to excellence and service to the community aligns perfectly with the PACE values Rugby ATL was built upon.
“Cumberland Diamond Exchange always goes above and beyond to serve their customers with excellence and are always creating opportunities for advancement in the community. We are beyond grateful to have them behind Rugby ATL as we prepare for the 2021 season. Mark, his wife Rhonda, daughter Melissa and their wonderful team have raised the standard on providing resources and opportunities for us (RATL) to win on and off the field,” said Rugby ATL Owner Marcus Calloway.
Highlighted in the agreement is CDE’s commitment to helping spread the PACE values to the youth in underserved communities in the Greater Atlanta Area, through Rugby ATL’s non-profit, Pathway 404. Together, through the sport of rugby, we look to create positive change and growth for everyone involved.
Explore the Cumberland Diamond Collection