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Rugby Faces Life in Huckaby Cup Fall Finale


JONESBORO — Arkansas State University’s rugby team and long-time nemesis Life University will square off, Saturday, Nov. 12, at noon in the Curt Huckaby Cup game. The event marks the end of the fall season for the Red Wolves. The game is played at Curt Huckaby Field, 501 Red Wolf Trail. Admission is free.

“As always, we are excited to play against Life University,” A-State coach Shaun Potgieter said. “We have all of our starters healthy for the game and know that they are biting at the bits to bring the cup home.”

The match was dubbed the Curt Huckaby Cup, named in honor of A-State rugby coaching legend Curt Huckaby. In 2014, former Life University coach Dan Payne approached Huckaby's son Matt about creating the Curt Huckaby Cup and the two teams playing for it each year. 

The winning team keeps the cup for a year until the two play each other again. Engraved on the cup are the words, "Curt Huckaby Cup — Make a difference every day for as long as you can."

For 14 years — all on a volunteer basis — Curt Huckaby led the Red Wolves to an overall record of 183-44-1 before stepping down in 2010. Huckaby died June 21, 2016, after battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

A-State’s Board of Trustees approved the changing of the rugby playing field name to Curt Huckaby Field last May. The Red Wolves suffered a 32-15 loss to Life last season on the road, leaving the cup in Marietta, Ga.

A-State is ranked sixth in goffrugbyreport.com after defeating Oklahoma 69-3 last weekend, while Life continues to top the rankings at D1Arugby.com. The Red Wolves are 5-1 overall, with the only setback in the fall season belonging to Davenport who narrowly defeated Arkansas State, 15-12, Oct. 29, on the road.

“This will be our toughest match thus far and our last match of the semester, so the players are going to leave it all out there knowing that the off-season is soon to follow,” added Potgieter.

The spring season begins Jan. 21, 2017, when Arkansas State hosts the Little Rock Men's Club.

Curt Huckaby Cup