iYRA fills Youth Rugby Development Officer

Illinois Youth Rugby Association have filled the position for announce their Youth Rugby Development Officer. They have made a definitely awesome choice with retaining the services of Anthony "T.R." Sparenberg. I have been lucky enough to know T.R. when he played rugby at Western Illinois University and am sure he will do great in this position. He has already reached out to coaches and people involved in iYRA activities, by e-mailing, introducing himself and hitting the ground running starting a data base of what resources are where.

iYRA gave some info about Sparenberg this morning.

“T.R.” recently completed a twelve year career in the United States Marine Corps during which time he was deployed on three combat tours as a Combat Engineer and Convoy Commander. His other duties included, Instructor for Non-Commissioned Officers’ Course, Career Planner for a company of 150+ Marines were he was responsible for interviewing, career guidance, mentoring and selecting men to be retained within the Marine Corps reporting directly to the Commanding Officer and Marine Corps Headquarters. Monitoring and advancement of individual training standards for Marines up to the Company Level and making corrections as needed.


While serving in the Marines he also attended Western Illinois University on a path to become a Commissioned Officer. While studying Child Development and Kinesiology at WIU he discovered the game of rugby. As I said before I was at WIU when T.R. began playing, Sparenberg was a quick learning rookie when he played with Western Illinois University. He was part of the team through many ups and downs that a lot of colleges team have a do face as a club sport and know firsthand how much a position like this is need in iYRA to help push the game forward in many schools that have stereotypes and are confused about what rugby will bring to their school, how to get it started, and how to play it safely.  Since his retirement from the Marines in 2011 “T.R.” has been involved with youth rugby at the Peoria Rugby Club with an emphasis on introducing rugby to K-9th graders in school physical education classes .

With all of his experience in the Marines, his very social and approachable attitude, he is a perfect fit for this position and with out a doubt will help spread the game of rugby across the state. I look forward to seeing the game progress in 2013!


Don't forget about Houston 7s that are right around the corner. Also iYRA also announced that THREE area high school players have been selected to join USA Rugby. Malcolm May (St. Ignatius HS) and Brock Johnson (Renegades) have been selected for the High School All American Junior Varsity team to tour England this spring. They will play three games against Wales, England and Belgium. Sondei Adjei (St Rita HS) was selected for HSAA 7s team. CONGRATS to these young men!

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