Steamboat men’s rugby inducts inaugural class into Hall of Fame
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Men’s rugby team hosted its annual awards banquet, with seven members being inducted into the Steamboat Springs Men’s Rugby Club Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Olympian Hall.
Head Coach Julian Bristow selected people, who had not only spent 10 years in the club, but given back to it in some way to represent the inaugural Hall of Fame class.
Steamboat native Chris Baumann highlighted the group.
Baumann graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 2005, and 10 years later, was named to the U.S.A. Eagles to compete in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Baumann first started playing rugby at the University of Wyoming, joining the Steamboat Club the following summer.
“I dropped out after one year of college and moved overseas,” Baumann said. “I just played random places.”
Baumann is now based in Austin, Texas, where he plays for the Austin Blacks, a Division I team that went 10-0 this past season.
Time in Scotland and Australia made Baumann an athlete worthy of the United States team.
Brad “Warpig” Williams, Casey Bogenhagen, Bill Wernig, Mark Hermacinski, Kit Callahan and Robbie Shine all became members of the Hall of Fame.
Additionally, seven other members of the squad were given awards. Sky Carlson earned Rookie of the Year, Kit Callahan won MVP Forward, and Gabe Furnivall took home MVP Back. Most Improved Forward went to Gabe Nuno while Mark Stines earned Most Improved Back. Shane Pearson was the recipient of the Coaches Award, and Andrew Bormann won the Presidents Award.
Furnivall has only been playing rugby for about two years but took home most valuable back for the 2019 season.
Furnivall was athletic and physical before he started rugby, growing up with a father who ran in the track and field Olympic trials and then enlisting in the Marine Corps for a few years. When he came to Steamboat in 2017, it didn’t take long for rugby to find him.
“I went into Julian’s restaurant two years ago. He asked me if I’ve ever played rugby. I told him no. He asked me if I had any interest, and I said I’d give it a try. The rest is history,” Furnivall said.
Furnivall lives in Austin when he’s not in Steamboat and competes for the Austin Huns, a team that competes against Baumann’s Austin Blacks.
The Steamboat Rugby Club is one match away from concluding a terrific season. The men were crowned Cowpie Champions at the home tournament in July. Aside from two losses to Aspen and a seventh place finish at the Teton Tens tourney, the team has won every other game on its schedule.
“It was a really fun season, really successful,” Furnivall said. “It’s nice to have both of those: success and fun.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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