Vail Old Boys look keep perfect record intact |

Vail Old Boys look keep perfect record intact

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
SPT Vail Rugby PU 6-21-08

VAIL ” The Vail Old Boys rugby team is undefeated. Seriously, just ask them.

The geriatric, err, legendary, group of players might have been outscored a time or two, but they have never lost.

Today, the usual cast of characters will put its perfect record on the line against the Colorado Old Boys at 10 a.m. at the Vail Athletic Field.

Mike Monaco ” aka the Tin Man ” didn’t go as far as to predict another victory today, but the Old Boys’ self proclaimed all-time leading scorer did want to make sure he would be credited for two tries. Like Monaco, most of the team is made up of prolific offensive players ” at least in their own minds.

“I like to tell people I am going to score,” Monaco said. “It’s like Babe Ruth calling his shot.”

Not that they needed it, but Bart Cuomo and Monaco warmed up for this weekend’s match by playing in the Can-Am tournament in Sarnac Lake in upstate New York. Maybe they were trying to share their vast rugby knowledge with the rest of the world. The duo’s outstanding play led their team to a 1-3, oops, 4-0 record.

Other Hall of Famers suiting up this weekend are Bob “Truck” Trautz and Mark Scully. Trautz returns to the Old Boys after spending the last five years training in New Zealand with the All Blacks. Scully’s triumphant appearance is thanks to Mrs. Scully, who was gracious enough to let Husband of the Year, Mark, stay out past 5 p.m. to partake in the festivities.

The immaculate John Nichols should also be there with his astonishing hair. Nichols could set the world record for most games played without a single hair out of place.

Gordon Blakie is likely to show up on the pitch for the Old Boys. Of course, it will be after the game is over. Dave “Coogie” Shioji is being counted on to help fortify the Old Boys’ backs.

“With the addition of Coogie, that will take care of the last chink in the armor,” Monaco said.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, Tony Nuland won’t be playing for the Old Boys on Saturday. After getting his jersey retired every year for the past 10 years, Nuland finally got the hint.

“Even with Tony Nuland not here this year, we will be able to regroup,” Monaco said. “His record of never making a tackle in 25 years will still stand.”

Mountain League title shot on the line

Believe it or not, there will be some serious business to attend to today. The current Vail side hosts Steamboat Springs with the Mountain League title within its grasp. With a win, Vail will dethrone Steamboat ” the defending champs ” and set up a title match with rival Aspen on Aug. 30.

Vail should hold the upper hand on Steamboat today. Earlier this season, Vail easily handled Steamboat for a 31-13 victory. Vail player/coach Greg Tarpey is sure that Steamboat will give the team a bigger challenge this time around.

“I think they are a lot better team than they were when we first played them,” Tarpey said. “The key to the game is winning the ball. If we don’t dominate off the set pieces, we are in trouble.”

This is the second game Tarpey will work double duty as a coach and a player. In his coaching debut against Glenwood Springs, Vail won 26-15. Despite the win, Tarpey isn’t taking credit for the team’s success.

“Will’s (Mansour) the captain of the team, my job is to deal with the off the field stuff,” Tarpey said. “Once we start playing, my job is done.”

The Vail Old Boys start the action at 10 a.m. against the Colorado Old Boys. Vail and Steamboat are set to play at 2 p.m.

Sports writer Ian Smith can be reach at 970-748-2935 or

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