New Orleans Gold – Michael Baska
The New Orleans Gold Rugby Club has re-signed fullback/scrumhalf Michael Baska for the 2019Major League Rugby season. He will be 24 years old in two weeks and is 6’1″ and 185 pounds.
Baska is from Overland, Kansas and attended Saint Thoms Aquinas Catholic High School from 2009-2012 and he earned varsity letters in football his last three years.
Upon graduation from high school, he went to Arkansas State University from 2012-2015 and majored in Sports Management. In 2015 he transferred to Lindenwood University and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management.
New Orleans Gold Michael Baska & Rugby
While at Arkansas State University, Baska was part of the team’s USA Collegiate Rugby 7s National Championship in 2012 and in 2013. He also earned Collegiate Rugby Honorable Mention All-American Honors in 2013. In 2015 the team won the Las Vegas Invitational.
During Summer 2014, he was an intern with the Alaska Mountain Rugby Grounds working with Alaska Youth Rugby. He continued to work a youth rugby coach in the Heart of America Rugby Union to the present.
Between Fall 2015 to 2017 Baska plied his rugby skills at Lindenwood University. The team won the Las Vegas Invitational in 2017 and earned a spot in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship that June. It also won the USA Collegiate Rugby 7s Championship.
Right after the LVI 2017 win, the team left the tournament and played an away 15s match against Arkansas State. Most of the 7s players were match reserves or did not play. Baska, however, played the entire 80 minutes of the match that finished in a 17 -17 tie. His performance on the weekend earned Baska D1A Rugby Player of the Week Honors.
Lindenwood Head Coach Josh Macy said “We’re fortunate to use GPS monitors at training, and Baska routinely covers almost 5K in a practice. He’s a really hard worker that just doesn’t quit.”
“In addition to having great ball skills, he’s an underrated attacking threat, as well,” Macy added. “He only needs a little space to make a team pay and he’s willing to hustle downfield and support his teammates and finish a try.”
During the 2016 and 2017 Summer Club 7s seasons, Baska played with the Kansas City Blues and in August 2017 was on the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans squad at the Rugbytown 7s.
NOLA Gold Rugby Club commented about his re-signing indicating that he is “a slippery outside back with an outstanding work ethic, Michael will continue to be an asset to the Gold in his Sophomore season!