The Utah Warriors re-signed Michael Baska for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old scrumhalf/fullback is 6’1″ and 185 lbs.
Michael joined the Utah Warriors for the truncated 2020 MLR season. He played in all five matches, starting once at scrumhalf.
Michael played for NOLA Gold in 2018 and in 2019. Last year he played in 12 matches for 157 minutes and had 1 try. He also made 16 carries for 94 meters, had 4 line breaks and 1 tackle break, made 3 kicks for 87 meters, and made 19 tackles.
Michael played for NOLA Gold at the 2019 Rugbytown 7s and during the Fall 2019 season with the Kansas City Blues.
Michael 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.
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 as 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-American squad at the Rugbytown 7s.