Jon Garbin Presents: Greg Johnson
The forecast for the Bonnies' final match at
home against Rutgers was a high pressure system of hard work, explosive attack
and rock-solid defense. A win plus four tries would put the Bonnies in position
to receive the Empire Rugby Conference’s automatic bid to the D1-AA Sweet Sixteen
this spring. Rutgers walked right into the eye of the storm.
Team chemistry and perseverance, along with
dynamic play on both sides of the ball, spurred the Bona Ruggers to a 67-11
rout of the Scarlet Knights, and placed the Bonnies into true national
championship contention for the first time in club history.
Although offense was the highlight of the day
with 11 tries scored, there was one player who stood out with bone-chilling
defensive play that would make a St. Bonaventure winter cold front look tame.
Gregory Johnson, sophomore, lead the way for the Bonnies on defense with
textbook tackles, all while using his lanky 6’5” frame to make highlight reel
aerial plays in kickoffs and line-outs. A winger in high school, Johnson has
the speed and vision to run the ball in the open field, which he showed in his
all-around effort against Rutgers.
(Photo on left:) Greg Johnson
knocks the ball loose in one of his numerous tackles against Rutgers.
An International Studies major, Johnson chose
to come to Bonas from Fairport High School after his visit to the University. Greg
not only balances school and rugby, but is also a member of the SBU ROTC
program, which he hopes will provide him with the opportunity to serve his
country as an active duty infantryman. A true American.
When he isn’t defending freedom or Rob Peraza
Field, Johnson enjoys spending time with friends and readinga good book, such
as the biographies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore
Roosevelt. When in his hometown of Fairport he – like all true Rochesterians –
gets his hands on a Fairport Hots' garbage plate and catches a Rochester
When I asked Greg what the Man of the Match
award meant to him, he was very humble and quick to thank those around him.
“Being awarded man
of the match had very little to do with me. I'm just an average rugby player
and without the constant coaching of Clarence and encouragement from my
teammates, who are my best friends on campus, I wouldn't be where I am today. I
was far happier that we made it into nationals and will be competing against
the best in the spring.”
(Photo at right:) Using his long
arms, Johnson knows how to keep defenders at bay.
Greg Johnson is one of the
greatest guys not only on the team, but also on campus. He serves his team and
country without question and is constantly trying to better himself. However,
everyone has an Achilles heel.
Johnson's “heel” comes in the
form of stepping out of his father's shadow. Glenn Johnson is a household name
at WHAM 13 in Rochester as a
weatherman. Glenn is a member of the National Weather Association and the
American Meteorological Society, and he was awarded their Seal of Approval for television weathercasting. In 2005 Glenn was awarded the
SUNY Brockport award for Community Service.
A large shadow indeed. Greg's dad
is so popular, in fact, that it has earned Greg the nickname “The Weatherman.” Although
Greg's technique of predicting lake effect snow and barometric pressure is
lacking compared to his elder, he hopes to one day break out and become his own
“I don't think I'm quite there
yet, he has a few more years in the spotlight than I do, but hopefully by
senior year I can claim that honor over him.”
(Photo at left:) It took more than
one Scarlet Knight to slow down Greg Johnson in the Bonnies 67-11 win.]
With the Bonnies in preparing to
make a run at the national championship trophy, the stage is certainly set for
Greg and the rest of the men's rugby team to all claim their share of the
spotlight once playoffs begin in the spring.