Rugby runners-up in South Region
The Lee University rugby team had the most successful season of any other Lee rugby team up to this point in the 2014-2015 fall season.
After having a team goal to make the semifinals of the South Region, the Lee University men's rugby team made it to the South Region Championship and came within seven points of a small college rugby (under 3,000 males) national tournament birth.
The Flames promoted Assistant Coach Jonathan Kist to head coach last fall and have since changed their strategy, which has led to the most successful season in Lee rugby history.
Head Coach Jonathan Kist said that the team's success was due to the toughness that this team brings to the field.
'Our team had a fantastic season. This is the best rugby team that Lee University has ever had,' Kist said. 'We have some of the toughest guys around with amazing tenacity, discipline and maturity.'
Fifth-Year Senior and Captain for the Flames Chris Martin said that surpassing their goal was a great start to a bright future.
'Our goal was to win conference and make it to regionals,' Martin said. 'We surpassed that goal by one more game than we thought we would. It was a bright start to something that we think is going to go far in the future.'
Coach Kist believes that their success this year and the talent they can bring in will help them to be successful in years to come.
'Our next few years are full of potential. We have a very young team full of talent,' Kist said. 'The majority of our team are freshmen and sophomores and we are expecting to have another great year recruiting.'
Martin said that the tactical changes made by Coach Kist have elevated their game.
'We changed our gameplay a lot. We went from running very straight, hard lines to running curved lines. We stopped recruiting giant players to recruiting faster players that are more of a medium build,' Martin said. 'In open field we're much faster than the majority of the teams we come across.'
Coach Kist said that he feels like part of the team success was due to the leadership on and off the field.
'I had the privilege to coach some of the classiest guys around. Our captains, Chris Martin and Micah Stoneburner's leadership on and off the field were key in our teams success and they will be missed,' Kist said. 'Thankfully we have a very strong group of up and coming leaders that are ready to take on the challenge of leading this team to the next level.'
Coach Kist said he knows this team will be successful because they are a team that is disciplined and a team that never gives up.
'This is a group of some of the toughest guys you will meet,' Kist said. 'Our team is one of the more disciplined teams in the south'they never give up.'