Mark Kelly receives Wright trophy

Photo: Jerry Wright (father of late team captain Jeremiah Wright) presents the trophy named after his son to Mark Kelly.

by coach Dave Wheelock

SOCORRO, N.M., May 4, 2004 -- New Mexico Tech Rugby Club captain Mark Kelly was presented with the Jeremiah Wright Trophy for Player of the Year 2003-2004. Kelly was also voted Most Valuable Forward in a vote by his teammates Friday night.

Jeremiah Wright, of Raton, New Mexico, was a New Mexico Tech senior and captain of the NMT Rugby Club at the time of his death in an auto collision in September 2002. The perpetual trophy bearing his name was designed and crafted by a group of his former coaches at Raton High School. The trophy was presented by Jeremiah's parents, Thayla and Jerry Wright of Raton, NM.

Vice captain Patrick Simons received the plaque for Most Valuable Back for the second year running. The Rising Star, awarded for the outstanding new player, was awarded to Tory Tadano, a 2003 Socorro High School graduate.

Freshman prop forward Dean Freidline was selected Most Improved Player and Trevenor Evans, who returned to the team in 2003 after a six-year hiatus which included a stint in the U.S. Navy, was voted the Comeback Player of the year. Junior center/wing Michael Bauer received the Coach's Award for his long term contributions to the team.