GCU PREVIEW: WILDCATS LOOK FOR THIRD STRAIGHT AT SITTON

 

#11 Arizona vs Grand Canyon

Saturday February 11

Sitton Field

2:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Tyler Hansen and the Wildcats look to continue the momentum from the past two weeks' victories.

February 10- Arizona returns to action this weekend as they welcome Grand Canyon University to Sitton Field on Saturday. The 11th-ranked Wildcats have named the team that will take on the Lopes, with Alumni Weekend looking to bring scores of former players back to campus.

 

The Wildcats are led by their typical leadership duo of Kyle Rogers and Sean Coleman, with the Lock from New York leading an unchanged forward pack from the one that defeated UCLA 47-8 last weekend. In the front row, Steven Branham, Jake Hedge, and Cody Hunt return while Wildcat of the Week Bronson Teles joins Coleman again at Lock. In the back row, Zach Heisterkamp, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Tyler Hansen return after solid performances in last week's victory. 

 

In the backline, a few changes are made with Scrumhalf Matt Rogers joining his brother in the halfbacks. Outside Center Ben Joseph slides to Wing to make room for Freshman Luke Thayer, who makes his debut and pairs with Shane Dempsey. On the outside, Jeremy Fleet and Jack San Pietro join Joseph to give the Wildcats a dynamic backline.

 

The bench features a number of talented athletes, with Zach Biggs, Kurt Vecchio, and Charlie Platt covering in the front row while Sam Peri and Ben Scoular provide cover at Lock and Flanker, respectively. Garrett Walker, Lucas Bartzis, and Lou MacLaughlin round out the team as the Wildcats look for their thrid straight victory. 

 

Arizona is not taking the Lopes lightly, with the local side having scored recent victories in the Gold Coast Conference (D1AA). "We're really focused on our own growth, and while we were thrilled with last week's performance, we know there are things we can improve on and we hope to this week" said Head Coach Sean Duffy. The teams last met in the 2016 season opener, with the 59-3 scoreline going the way of the Wildcats. 

 

Arizona Second XV returns to action as well after UCLA's forfeit last weekend, taking on Grand Canyon University Junior Varsity immediately following the first side match. Tickets for the day are $7 and students with a Catcard receive free admission.

 

The weekend will be the centerpiece of the 2017 Alumni Weekend celebration for the Arizona Rugby program, with their annual Dave Sitton Strong & Tough Golf Tournament Friday kicking off the weekend. Former coach Mike Veth will receive a special honor, with the famed coach set to be inducted Saturday evening at the first annual Hall of Fame Celebration Gala. 

 

 

 

GCU Lineup (click for bio)

1. Steven Branham

2. Jake Hedge

3. Cody Hunt

4. Sean Coleman

5. Bronson Teles

6. Zach Heisterkamp

7. Ryan Fitzpatrick

8. Tyler Hansen

9. Matt Rogers

10. Kyle Rogers (C)

11. Ben Joseph

12. Shane Dempsey

13. Luke Thayer

14. Jeremy Fleet

15. Jack San Pietro

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16. Zach Biggs

17. Chaz Huntsman

18. Kurt Vecchio

19. Sam Peri

20. Ben Scoular

21. Garrett Walker

22. Lucas Bartzis

23. Lou MacLaughlin

 

 

 

 

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