PRINCETON’S FLYING TIGERS: Keeping Rob's Spirit Alive
Princeton’s Flying Tigers, the alumni team composed of players from the classes of 2000 onwards, made its fifth annual trip over the President’s Day weekend, this time to Mexico City. (Previous trips have included the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Martinique.) The Flying Tigers were 29 in number and they spanned the classes from 2004 through 2014. Santi Martinez, winner of the Mello award in 2013 and a resident of Mexico City, helped organize an incredible tour that included rugby, wonderful meals out about town and the inclusion of 4 significant others who had a fine time accompanying the team and sightseeing on their own. Oh yes, and the Pope was in Mexico City at the very same time. It added to the drama!
On the pitch, the Flying Tigers won both games, beating the Koalas 15-5 and the Coyotes 19-5. That was awesome as was the embrace by the Mexican sides of the collegiality inherent in rugby. The after-rugby party was epic. Shirts were exchanged. Players in groups of both sides talking, laughing and telling stories. Not sure if they were all speaking the same language but the party was terrific.
THE “BEST AND FAIREST” AWARD
RECIPIENT OF THE 2017 “BEST AND FAIREST” AWARD – Max Weber
The “best and fairest” award for Princeton rugby is given every year to the player who exemplifies excellence in play and character. Much more than a Most Valuable Player, this award honors the player who brings out the best in himself and his teammates by his work ethic in practice and at games, attitude, camaraderie and spirit. The recipient is selected by the team. The term “best and fairest” is taken from Australian sports where it is considered the highest possible award for individual achievement in a team sport.
This award was established in 2005 in memory of Rob Koranda ’02. Rob was a truly outstanding Princeton rugby player and student leader, the first recipient of the club’s Chris Mello award.
The trophy has the following inscription that includes a quote from The Alchemist by Paolo Cuelho,
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Presented in Memory of Rob Koranda ’02 by his friend and coach, Richard Lopacki.
RECIPIENTS OF “BEST AND FAIREST” AWARD ARE:
Peter Davidson '12
Peter Na '14
Philip Halsey '13
Will Hicks '15
Jimmy Sarbanes '16
Max Weber '17
Cameron Young '05
Ian Macqueen '06
Michael Dreibelbis '07
Blake Mccarthy '08
Benton Erwin '09
Zac Flowerman '10
Zak Deschaine '11
THE KORANDA CUP
The Koranda Cup is another trophy that celebrates Rob Koranda and rugby. Every year in the spring season, Princeton plays Yale and the winner takes home the Koranda Cup. These two teams have had a warm tradition of playing each other in the “true” rugby tradition of hard-fought contests on the field followed by a social afterwards where songs are sung, food and drink are shared and friendships built. This has become a very competitive match and one that each team wants very much to win.