This year’s TRU Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Houston on August 27 will feature for the first time the awarding Distinguished Service Awards and the inaugural Alan Sharpley Memorial Award.
Beloved leader of the former Houston RFC Jim Cornelius, a former TRU VP, has been selected in the Club category. Texas A&M coaching pioneer Roger Boos will be honored with the Collegiate DSA. Rick Marshall, the first president of Rugby Texas and a long time leader of the Katy Barbarians program, was selected in the HS/Youth category.
As previously announced, the 2001 Woodlands RFC XV will serve as this year’s Honor Team in recognition of its National D-II Championship; also previously announced were the selections of Gerry Acuna, Keith Engelbrecht and Meredith Ottens as the Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
A highlight of the awards banquet will be the first ever presentation of the Sharpley Award. This unique honor will be given to an individual or group that has built on the legacy that Alan left in multiple ways, from his leading a group that developed the first club-owned rugby complex in Texas, to his service as a state and national leader, and even his example of having achieved notable professional success while maintaining lifelong ties to rugby in Texas. And of course, he was a member of the inaugural HOF Class of 2016. Alan passed away last Fall.
The first recipient of The Sharpley is the Houston SaberCats organization and its founders, former rugby players and principal owners Mike Loya and Marty Power, as well as co-founder Jeremy Turner. The SaberCats have created for their organization and the local rugby community a terrific three-plus field complex and gym, including a professional stadium, the only purpose-built facility of its kind in the country. Like the original Austin group, the partnership group dug deep into their own pockets to provide Houston and Texas a $15 million+ facility. By hosting international events and serving as a home to a professional franchise, a new D-1 club side and youth teams among many other uses, the complex has raised the profile of rugby throughout the state and beyond. As charter members of Major League Rugby, the organization is leading the way in raising the level of play in the USA to an elite level. Congratulations to the entire SaberCats organization, including, President JT Onyett and his staff, and all the new award winners.
If you have not already made your reservation for the banquet in Houston on Aug. 27, don’t delay. A large number of supporters should be in attendance to cheer on the honorees and a sellout is likely. Follow this link to secure tickets and hotel reservations.