Trai Griffin

Nickname:  Crashanova

Hometown: Tyler, TX

Rugby Position(s): Fly-half

In real life, I...: Work for Viticus Management Group and go to school

Favorite Sports Team:  I don't have a favorite, but I'm watching and learning from the All Blacks currently.

Fun fact: I want to make the national team for the US 15s 

Favorite quote: "It is better to stand and fight. If you run you'll only die tired."

I got into rugby…: To challenge my will. 

One thing I love about rugby is…: The Traditions

The best thing about the Hoplites is: The family you develop.

Colten Owens

Nickname: F*^&er

Hometown: Tyler, TX

Rugby Position(s): Prop

In real life, I….: Enjoy rugby

Favorite sports team: Hoplites

Fun fact: I'm really into cars

Favorite quote: What could possibly go wrong? (Jeremy Clarkson)

I got into rugby…: because my friend invited me and from the first practice I've really enjoyed every aspect of being apart of this rugby team.

One thing I love about rugby is…: the teamwork and how every player has a voice and every voice is heard.

The best thing about the Hoplites is: Camaraderie, I've felt welcomed and apart of the team from the minute I stepped onto the field.

Nathan Palacios


Hometown: Tyler, TX

Rugby Position(s):hooker/prop

In real life, I….: work at fairway auto center as a porter

Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys

Fun fact: the place my dad grew up in Mexico use to be a huge lake be for it dried up, now it is a huge city.

Favorite quote: I love the simple things

I got into rugby…: foe fitness purposes

One thing I love about rugby is…: the family environment we have together

The best thing about the Hoplites is: we are non judgemental and will do anything in our power to help you succeed in your life goals.

Will Bowden

Nickname: Godfather

Hometown: Yoakum, Texas

Rugby Position(s): Flanker

In real life, I….: work for the UT Tyler Baptist Student Ministry.

Favorite sports team: Any Welsh Rugby team

Fun fact: I learned how to play rugby in another language.

Favorite quote: "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

I got into rugby…: Because I lived in Wales and everyone plays rugby there, so it was the best way to meet people.

One thing I love about rugby is…: that respect is one of the top priorities. It brings people together. The two teams go from battling each other on the field to laughing and hugging one another after the game.

The best thing about the Hoplites is: Newcomers are not ignored. The team does a good job of working with new members to get them up to speed.

Jake Cardwell

Nickname: Mr. Kayak

Hometown: Kokomo, IN

Rugby Position(s): Outside Center

In real life, I...: Am an expectation manager.

Favorite sports team: Arsenal FC

Fun fact: My favorite thing is to go where I've never been.

Favorite quote: "Never make eye contact while eating a banana."

I got into rugby...: To play the best sport ever created. I wish i would have found it sooner.

One thing I love about rugby is: The camaraderie.

The best thing about the Hoplites is: The people and their positivity.

LeDale White

Nickname: Frozone

Hometown: Jasper, Texas

Rugby Position(s): Winger

In real life, I...: Am willing to bet on the team I am on EVERY TIME

Favorite Sports Team: The Ohio State Buckeyes

Fun Fact: I do most of my working out in bed

Favorite Quote: "I am the punishment of God. If you have not committed great sins, God would have not sent a punishment like me upon you." -Genghis Khan

I got into rugby...: It was my long dream since being into physical sports to play a full contact sport without protection.

One thing I love about rugby is...: You can demolish your opposing team with at least 90% of them being okay with it at the end, while in other physical sports it's only about 30% at the most.

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: It's like you are forced to be POSITIVE because the people are too good to you to not be. There is no other way.

Hoplite Honors: Man of the Match v. Shreveport on 9/23/17

Mark Neal

Nickname: Santa

Hometown: Houston, TX.

Rugby Position(s): Lock / Outside Center one day

In real life, I...: Work on engines and compressors for natural gas.

Favorite Sports Team: Houston Texans, NZ All Blacks, USA Eagles

Fun Fact: Pi is a number but Pie is food.

Favorite Quote: "The best way out is always through"- Robert Frost "Listen up Snowflake"- Derek Fisher

I got into rugby...: With my girlfriend.

One thing I love about rugby is...: Fraternity

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: The team is more than playing a game. It is an opportunity to grow as an athlete and a person.

Hoplite Honors: Man of the Match v. Alliance on 9/30/17

Jamin Spillers

Nickname: Geisha

Hometown:  Tyler, Texas

In real life, I...:  Work at a resort and cause a little bit of trouble

Favorite Sports Team:  Do people still have those or can I just say the cowboys since you can't hate them if your from Texas

Fun Fact:  I'm actually pretty funny if you give me a chance

Favorite Quote:  "Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let us rejoice, and punch it in the face... - Some guy I used to work with

I got into rugby...: Thanks to a friend I got into rugby when my life was in a bad place and thanks to him I've got a great group of people I can call my friends

One thing I love about rugby is...:  The relationships, that it's more than just a team, it's a FAMILY, you don't really see that a lot anymore

The best thing about the Hoplites is...:  Knowing the core values and learning to live by them not only on the field but in your daily life

Drake Briscoe

Nickname: JB

Hometown: Whitehouse,TX

Rugby Position(s): Full Back

In real life, I...: You don't need to know

Favorite Sports Team: US Womens Volleyball Team

Fun Fact: I stay hyped 99.99% of the time. The other .01% I'm sleeping.

Favorite Quote: It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence- Ghandi

I got into rugby...: For the babes

One thing I love about rugby is...: The intensity of the game

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: The players

Jose Argote

Nickname: Tank

Hometown: Tyler, TX

Rugby Position(s): Inside Center

In real life, I...: work for my family's construction company and power lift in my spare time.

Fun Fact: Beast in the sheets.

Favorite Quote: "stop being a pussy"

I got into rugby...: because I was looking for a team sport to join.

One thing I love about rugby is...: the intensity.

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: the willingness to go above and beyond for your teammates.


Hometown: Forth Worth, TX

Rugby Position(s): Back

Favorite Sports Team: Cowboys

Fun Fact: Can flip off one leg

Favorite Quote: "Nothing beats a failure, but a try"

I got into rugby...: By my Supervisor

One thing I love about rugby is...: It's RAW and UNCUT

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: FAMILY VIBE

Marco Salinas

Hometown: Tyler, TX

Favorite Quote: "If you want something you've never had You must be willing to do something you've never done."

I got into rugby...: Came across Rugby on Tylerpaper

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: The Strength and Honor

James Neal

Nickname: Ragnar

Hometown: Katy, Texas

Rugby Position(s): Prop

In real life, I...: Work for a sub contractor doing door and window installs

Favorite Sports Team: Houston Texans

Fun Fact: Butt is actually a British measuring unit equivalent to 125 US gallons or 105 imperial gallons.

Favorite Quote: Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.

I got into rugby...: After being invited to the Parrot Head 7's tournament to watch The Tyler Hoplites play

One thing I love about rugby is...: Having a team that comes together as a family

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: The team acts like a family and they will push you to get better

Jonathan Setter

Nickname: Autozone

Hometown: Tehachapi

Rugby Position(s): Lock

In real life, I...: I am in classes to become an automotive and deisel mechanic.

Favorite Sports Team: Carolina Panthers

Fun Fact: I am left handed.

Favorite Quote: Be somebody that no one thought you could be.

I got into rugby...: I got into rugby to try something new.

One thing I love about rugby is...: Being a part of a big family. It truly shows you how to become a better person in life.

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: Everyone treats each other as a family, because that's what we are.

Colby Craddock

Nickname: Flash

Hometown: Tyler

Rugby Position(s): Winger

In real life, I...: Am a college instructor specializing in Human Motor Control & Learning

Favorite Sports Team: Patriots & Bayern Munich

Fun Fact: All facts are fun if you're a nerd like me.

Favorite Quote: Remember kid, there's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. Follow your heart kid, and you'll never go wrong.

I got into rugby...: To play a new fun sport with some awesome people.

One thing I love about rugby is...: Speed and constant innovation.

The best thing about the Hoplites is...: The instant welcoming spirit and competitive nature.

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