Isaiah Sanchez Named Rugby Player of the Year

SOCORRO, N.M. May 23, 2011 – Junior civil engineering student Isaiah Sanchez of Mora, N.M., has been selected by his New Mexico Tech Men's Rugby Club teammates as the recipient of the Jeremiah Wright Memorial Trophy for 2010-2011. Tech's rugby club plays a fall and spring season each year. Tech’s player of the year trophy is named in honor of rugby captain Jeremiah Wright, who died in a traffic accident in September 2002 in Socorro. At the time of his passing the Raton, N.M., native was a senior engineering student.
Isaiah Sanchez, 2010-2011 Jeremiah Wright Memorial Trophy winner as the rugby player of the year.

A number of Sanchez's teammates were also honored, starting with Sanchez’s co-captains Jerod Aragon and Brock Romero. The Most Valuable Backline player award was bestowed upon graduating senior James Fallt while Most Valuable Forward honors went to co-captain Jerod Aragon. Most Improved player was Jordan Fastle and Stefan Marr was selected the Rising Star award as the club's top new player. Joaquin Roibal, outgoing Student Association president, was recognized for his outstanding service to the club while recuperating from a hand injury. Jordan Fastle received the Coach's Award for his selfless contributions on and off the field of play.

Isaiah Sanchez is the son of Wendy Capek and Ajin Sanchez. He was chosen as Mora High School’s Scholar-Athlete where he starred in football, cross country, basketball, baseball, and track. He is currently a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Sanchez says his extensive background in sports helped him pick up the game when he started his rugby career at New Mexico Tech in 2007. “I had never known such a team-oriented game. Anyone and everyone can score, yet rugby teaches you to be humble because by custom the opposing teams always dine together after the game.”

While the 5’10,” 155-pound frame of Isaiah Sanchez may not inspire fear, the fullback has become well-respected amongst Rio Grande Rugby Union teams for his blistering pace in attack and deadly accurate tackles. In his most recent appearance on April 30 he led by word and deed, scoring two five-point tries while exhorting his teammates to the club’s first-ever win over Santa Fe.

The spring semester is over, yet Sanchez and his Pygmy teammates are not quite ready to call it quits. A seven-man team played in the Celtic Sevens in Albuquerque on May 21 and plans to compete in the Denver Sevens on July 23. The Pygmies won two of three games at the Celtic Sevens.

For Isaiah Sanchez, playing on is a natural choice. “I’ll play rugby as long as I am physically capable,” he said.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech