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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

TIAR Awards, Men's College Team of the Year: AIC

Similar to when we named Dylan Audsley as our Men's College Player of the Year there was vigorous discussion about who should win the Men's College Team of the Year award. BYU has the strongest case having beating St. Mary's and Cal. Those two teams, along with BYU and Life are considered the four best teams in the country by many and BYU beat two of the three. There is also a case to be made for St. Mary's despite the loss to BYU. However, while BYU may be the best team in the country that doesn't necessarily mean they pick up our award. For us, this award was about winning but it was also about showing great team culture, overcoming perceptions, and pushing themselves to the limit. In all our discussions we kept circling back to one team: American International College.

Led by head coach Josh Macy and a strong row of assistant coaches the Yellow Jackets had a dominant fall season and a pretty good spring season as well (including making the final of the LVI). The team didn't lost a match in the fall with some of their closest match being a seven point win over Penn State in an early scrimmage. The rest of their wins were regularly by over 50 points and they continuously flirted with the 100 point barrier. The team capped off the fall with a win in the ACRC Bowl Series.

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More important in many aspects than the win was the way the team developed over the year. Macy has done an excellent job of taking some players that may have flown beneath the radar and turned them into stars. Jihad Khabir is becoming one of the hottest names in college rugby. Christian Adams is another player to watch. Still, even more than individual players it was their collective ability that made them shine.

Thanks to their success a lot more people are going to pay attention to AIC, as they should. Now, just to get AIC playing with the big boys regularly.

All TIAR Awards are brought to you by Canterbury USA. For all your team gear as well as replica jerseys make sure to check them out.  #CommittedToTheGame 

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