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2023 CGRU Board Candidates

Red indicates the incumbent

NAME: Callie Woods

CURRENT CLUB: Columbia Bombshells


SECONDARY POSITION(S): Division Director, Women's D2, Men's D3 Gold

RUGBY EXPERIENCE: Director of Collegiate Women's, Director of Women's D2

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: Being a part of the CGRU board has been an honor these past few years. Every year, I have seen this union continue to grow. I would love the opportunity to continue to grow and support the Women's D2 side. I believe that we are moving in a positive direction and would love to continue assisting the Women's D2 side. Through more select side and development opportunities, I believe that the women in this union can grow the game of rugby. I also believe that the addition of teams next year will help the overall growth of the union, the women's game, and rugby as a whole in the Carolina's.

NAME: Julie Midgett

CURRENT CLUB: Savannah Shamrocks



RUGBY EXPERIENCE: President, VP, Player Rep, Match Sec, Coach, founding member of the women's team, mgr of mens team

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I have a lot of experience in sports mgmt. I worked for the Johnson City Cardinals and the Savannah Sand Gnats as the Director of on field operations and Director of operations. I worked for almost 15 years for City of Savannah athletics. In that job, I scheduled multiple sports schedules, tournaments, handled registrations, coordinated with teams and ref associations, handled protests, ref issues, discipline actions, and staffing (refs, scorekeepers, etc). I am a rule follower which was my point in discussions last fall. If a rule is ineffective, I am open to adjusting the rule but I do respect it as long as it is in effect. I have been with the Shamrocks for almost 20 years as an active member and have applied many of those skills.

NAME: Matt Haney

CURRENT CLUB: Charlotte Barbarians

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Men's D3 Gold


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: Division Director, Men's D3 Gold

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: Consistency and Expansion

NAME: Mark Cromwell

CURRENT CLUB: Tobacco Road

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Men's D3 Gold 


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: President, Coach (Duke Grad)

Social Chair, Fundraising (Tobacco Road)

Coach 2005-2010 Duke Women’s Rugby

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I’ve been involved with Carolinas d3 rugby for over 20 years as a player, admin, and coach. I have experience in running a large format tournament, MBA World Cup (20+ teams), and have gained valuable experience in getting multiple clubs to work together to achieve a common goal. I can bring valuable experience and knowledge to a directors position, having been on teams in their first year of existence, well established clubs that have lost numbers, played and coached with an IGRU club, and was involved with a grass roots rookie rugby program. If elected I will do my best to to operate with the best interests of the Union and it’s D3 members. I will advocate for a league playing structure that benefits all member teams, new and old alike.

NAME: Michael Barnes

CURRENT CLUB: Savannah Shamrocks

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Men's D3 Gold 


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: President/Treasurer/Social Chair/Match Secretary (2004-2011) - Fairbanks Rugby Club
Social Chair (2012) - Arkansas State University
Treasurer/VP (2014-2016) - Macon Love Rugby
Treasurer (2018-2019) - Hilton Head Island Rugby Club
Treasurer (2021-2022) - Savannah Shamrocks Rugby Club
Committee Member (2020-present) - Gypsy Rugby Foundation
Admin (2020-present) - QC4QR

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I have over 20 years of rugby experience, with 15 years of club leadership experience. I am currently a corporate attorney sitting on multiple corporate boards with various administrative duties and leadership responsibilities. Between my years of rugby experience and corporate legal experience, I am particularly qualified to lead Men's D3 Gold.

NAME: Allen LeCroy

CURRENT CLUB: Gaston County

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Men's D3 Silver 


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: Division Director, Men's D3 Silver

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: Been in current position for the past 3 seasons (pre COVID to now)

NAME: Morgan Sweeney

CURRENT CLUB: Charleston Hurricanes

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Women's D2 


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: Vice President, College of Charleston Women’s Rugby 2016-2017, 
Captain, College of Charleston Women’s Rugby 2017-2019, Social Media Coordinator, Charleston Hurricanes 2021-2023

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I believe I am the best candidate for the Women’s D2 Division Director because I am just as passionate about the administrative side of rugby as the on-field side. I have the communication and organizational skills needed to not only meet the requirements of this position, but create positive change within the division. This past year I created a central location to view the women’s D2 teams’ stats and sent it to each club. I want to continue providing this information (and more!) as well as be your club’s advocate within the union. I believe in communicating early and often when questions or issues arise and will work to ensure your thoughts, suggestions or concerns are heard and communicated back to the larger group. I’m excited to see where Women’s D2 is headed and will work to provide the information and structure your club needs to be successful.

NAME: Mel Cochrane


PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Collegiate Women's D1 


2015 - 2019 Scrum-Half & Fly-Half
2018 - 2019 Captain and President
2021 - Present Backs & Offense Coach
Additional Experience
2016-2019 Student Manager UNC Women's Soccer
2018-2019 UNC Sports Clubs Executive Board
2021 USA L200/World Rugby L100 Certified
2023 Attended Women's Rugby Coaches & Referees Association Conference

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I am young in my time coaching women's rugby, but I am extremely dedicated both to the young women playing the sport in our region as well as the growth of the sport nation wide. I am eager to jump in and be as much help as I can possibly be to ensure the success of our division. I am well organized and well-rounded in administration with my B.S. in Business Administration and am willing to help out in any way the CGRU sees fit. Coaching has been such an integral part of my life for the last 2 years and I can't wait to take it to the next level. I hope you consider me for this position.

NAME: Nancy Kechner

CURRENT CLUB: University of Virginia

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Collegiate Women's D1 


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: Started the Mason-Dixon Rugby Conference in 2012 and served as commissioner until we rebranded as Blue Ridge. I am still the commissioner of Blue Ridge.

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: Experience, impartialness, communication skills

The following candidates will assume their respective positions due to running unopposed

NAME: Zach McAfee

CURRENT CLUB: Atlanta Old White

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Men's D2 


RUGBY EXPERIENCE: Admin positions - VP University of Tennessee Rugby 2018/19
Seat on BOD - UT Old Boys Foundation
Playing positions- Flanker/Loosehead Prop AOW/404/USARS

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: Experience on Admin side of rugby clubs.

NAME: Paige Bramblett

CURRENT CLUB: Appalachian State

PRIMARY POSITION: Division Director, Collegiate Women's D2 

RUGBY EXPERIENCE: I started playing rugby in 2015 for the College of Charleston. After graduating in 2019, I started coaching for the Wahines at Wando Highschool. The following year, I moved to Boone, North Carolina, and this is where I started to coach my current women's rugby team, Appalachian State University (AHO). Along with these responsibilities, I've had the honor of representing women's collegiate club rugby in the CGRU as the D2 Director. 

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I took this role to increase communication, collaboration, and support between the CGRU and women's collegiate club D2 teams. Over the past year my goal has been to provide as much administrative support as possible to help rebuild women's collegiate club rugby. My goal for this upcoming term is to continue to provide administrative assistance, open communication, collaboration, and advocacy for all women's collegiate D2 club teams. I am passionate about growing women's club rugby, and I look forward to seeing what all we can accomplish in the next two years together. My motto as a coach and director is, "give back to the sport that has given so much to me." 

NAME: Kelly Ralston

CURRENT CLUB: Columbia Rhinos

PRIMARY POSITION: Vice President, Finance 

NAME: Adam Jasenak

CURRENT CLUB: Johnson City

PRIMARY POSITION: Vice President, Communications 

RUGBY EXPERIENCE: President of Indiana State University Rugby

Social Chair for Bragg RFC

President of Johnson City Rugby

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: Please view this document for my details. There are links that are unable to transfer to this form. Thank you for your consideration!

NAME: Scott Conway



CGRU VP Ops (acting)
CRAA Commissioner Women D1 spring
Coach UNC Chapel Hill
(1994-1997, 2019-present)
Head Coach CRUSH Carolina Rugby U23 Select Hawks (1997)
Head coach Fordham Univ Men/women (1997-2000)
Head coach Met NY U23
Coach Northeast U23
Coach USA U23 camp
President Temple Univ Rugby
Board of Directors Morris Rugby, treasurer, captain (men's team)
Certified L1 coach, L1 referee, emergency first responder

WHY I FEEL I AM THE BEST CANDIDATE: I was lucky to be chosen at the last election for VP of Communication.  We were able to strengthen the social media strategy and improve communications of the monthly meetings and general meeting while grasping the reins of SportLomo, it's website feature and the match reporting process.  After taking on the VP Operations role, we've been able to revitalize the collegiate competition by adding a D1 conference while greatly enhancing the D2.  Women's club has also seen significant growth in the past year.  Since August, I have positioned the CGRU as one of the top users of Rugby Xplorer, while recently creating the new website and overhauled marketing strategy to gain inclusiveness to our many members in VA, TN and GA.

Financially, we have moved all of our money to a new bank account where the interest is piling up.  We have AMEX as another avenue to further control spending while gaining those valuable points.  And all financial info will always have complete transparency.  

Technologically, we implemented a Google-based account to improve our communications and to ensure our data is securely in the clouds, not on someone's hard drive.  We are also one of the first to gain the ".rugby" domain.   

However, we are not done.  Women's collegiate can still grow further with new schools and better competition.  We are also developing the U23 select side.  Meanwhile, the women's club need additional help on the national stage as we were the only union not to send a team last year - that can't happen.  For the men, we need a lot of focus.  While we are home to the D2 National Champion (Charlotte), the D2 competition needs to be deeper.  Forfeits in D3 are a major problem which is why I created the forfeits task force.  And in D3 Silver, we need to help the new teams gain footing while competing against  those that wish to remain social.  Overall, we need revisions to the promotion/relegation policy, forfeits policy, and scheduling process.

Also in the plans is a focus on a better relationship with SERRS, increased communication, and additional pathways and opportunities for our players and coaches.  I'm looking forward to the next 2 years. 

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