UW DT’s: Just doing work

first_img5th year senior Jeff Stehle is one part of Wisconsin\’s three man defensive tackle rotation.[/media-credit]Quick — without looking it up, name just two of the three defensive tackles listed at No. 1 on Wisconsin’s depth chart.Couldn’t do it?Don’t start to doubt your fanhood, because you certainly are not alone.And don’t worry about hurting the D-tackles feelings either — they are senior Dan Moore, senior Jeff Stehle and sophomore Patrick Butrym, by the way — they don’t take on double-teams every day for the glamour of it.“Unless you have an incredible athlete like [LSU’s] Glenn Dorsey — guys like that will get noticed every once in a while — I wouldn’t think so,” Butrym said of fan accolades. “You take on so many double-teams. A lot of your job is to occupy blockers. There are plays for us to be made sometimes, but I would say the average fan doesn’t really understand. I even had to explain to my parents what a defensive tackle does.”“A lot of times the fans probably aren’t looking at the middle of the line. It wasn’t until I started playing D-tackle that I actually started watching it,” Stehle added. “So I am going to assume the average fan doesn’t even know what we are doing.”The defensive tackle position involves collisions on every play, mangled fingers and a lot of time spent at the bottom of piles. So why volunteer for what would appear to be a thankless job? Defensive line coach Charles Partridge — a former defensive linemen at Drake — provides a pretty succinct answer.“Kids that are in that position love the sport,” Partridge said. “They are tough guys that are out here to play for their team and play for their school. That is really all the gratification that they need. It is a position of pride. It is a position that they are truly honored to be a part of.”Though defensive tackles rarely finish with big stats — the three have combined for nine tackles in two games this season — their value can be determined if teammates are making plays. According to Butrym and Stehle, a successful play consists of taking on two blockers and maintaining your gap.“Our role is very important,” Moore added with a laugh. “We have to take pride in taking on that double-team, fighting the piggyback block and fighting for your gap because that allows other guys around us to make plays. It is a team game, and we get our joy from that success.”With strength, technique and sheer toughness among the main attributes for an interior defensive lineman, the trio’s skills are put to the test going up against Wisconsin’s massive offensive line every day. With UW’s starting five weighing in at an average of 320 pounds, the defensive tackles are unlikely to meet another line of the same size.“Our offense runs such a power game that it really makes you a tougher player,” Butrym said. “Our offensive linemen are generally pretty big so when you go against other offensive lines — I wouldn’t say it is easy — but you are physically prepared for what the team is going to bring, and it makes you just a better player.”“They are going against some future NFLers,” Partridge added. “Most of them are certainly some of the best in the Big Ten. Going up against that competition every day makes all the difference in the world.”Unlike last year when starting seniors Mike Newkirk and Jason Chapman hardly ever came off the field, Partridge makes sure he keeps a rotation going during the game to keep them fresh. With the Badgers needing defensive stands in the fourth quarter and two overtimes already this season, the strategy has paid off.“I can’t imagine playing just two guys that whole time,” Stehle said. “I don’t know how [Newkirk and Chapman] did it last year.”Besides keeping blockers off the linebackers on running plays, the D-tackles have one job with the pass rush — take on a double-team and crash the pocket.“Our coach says you have to be a little bit off to be a D-lineman because we do the same thing every play,” Moore said. “It is pretty much like a car crash every play. You are one inch away from the ball, fighting against 300-pound guys. You definitely have to love what you do.”At a position of such little fanfare, defensive tackles must have a gritty, workmanlike attitude to succeed. According to Partridge, this is the attitude Wisconsin must have for the entire program.“Hopefully the [defensive tackle] has the mindset that this program has been built on,” Partridge said. “Since coach Alvarez turned this program around, that has really been the foundation of this program. We must play like that to win.”last_img read more

Ghana Rugby congratulates World Rugby EXCO members after election

first_imgMr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairperson of Ghana Rugby, has issued letters congratulating the re-elected Chairperson of World Rugby, Sir Bill Beaumont, as well as the African EXCO Members Mr Khaled Babbou (President of Rugby Africa) and Mr Mark Alexander (President of South African Rugby Union).World Rugby unexpectedly announced the result of the just-ended election of a new World Rugby Executive Committee.The new Executive Committee will comprise Sir Bill Beaumont (Chairman), Bernard Laporte (Vice-Chairman), Brett Gosper (Chief Executive), Angela Ruggiero (Independent), Lord Mervyn Davies (Independent); Mark Alexander (South African Rugby Union), Khaled Babbou (Rugby Africa), Bart Campbell (New Zealand Rugby), Gareth Davies (Welsh Rugby Union), John Jeffrey (Scottish Rugby), Bob Latham (USA Rugby) and Brett Robinson (Rugby Australia).In his message, Mensah stated that times have changed and greater equity was required for all. He noted the positivity of having President Khaled Babbou elected to the New Executive Committee (a first for Africa Rugby).“The President of Rugby Africa’s ascendence to the Executive Committee is an indication of changing times. The elections are often seen as simply a stay or changing of the guard and not a time to change,” Mensah said.But Mensah hoped that the gap between the haves and the have-nots would be tackled proactively. Rugby has major challenges to tackle and overcome and he expressed the hope and believe that the newly elected EXCO will indeed tackle and overcome all the challenges ahead to ensure the continued growth and well-being of Rugby, also in Africa.Mensah also extended his appreciation to Mr Agustín Picho who unsuccessfully contested for the top position in World Rugby and thanked him for his selfless service to Rugby as Vice-Chairperson over the past four years.Africa is well-represented on the new World Rugby Executive Committee with both Mr Mark Alexander (President: South African Rugby Union) and Mr Khaled Babbou (President: Rugby Africa) occupying a seat. All Members of the Executive Committee were ‘elected’ unopposed.Mensah congratulated both Babbou and Alexander with their positions on the World Rugby EXCO and expressed the hope that they will do all they can to improve the support to Africa from the world governing body.“We fully realise that the World Rugby EXCO is there to execute the will of the World Rugby Council for the greater good of rugby. The plight of developing rugby in the world, however, is huge and I believe that the position of a region such as Africa as one of the fastest-growing areas of the Game should be reviewed as a matter of urgency,” Mensah said.About Ghana RugbyGhana Rugby is the official full member of both World Rugby (2017) and Rugby Africa in Ghana-West Africa and is responsible for the management and development of the Game Rugby Union in the country. The Union is governed by a Constitution and administers five KPAs (Key Performance Areas) namely: (1) Youth Development & Growth through the World Rugby “Get Into Rugby” Programme, (2) Women in Ghana Rugby, (3) Training & Education, (4) Domestic Competitions and (5) International Performance. Tags: Ghana RugbyHerbert Mensahlast_img read more