Former Fellow Tyler Cathey (Class III) Fights and Wins in the Courtroom and on the Field
When Litigation Associate Tyler Cathey (TPA) isn’t going head to head with other attorneys in the courtroom, he is smashing heads and running men over on the rugby field. Along with his associate title, Tyler also goes by “Captain,” and his rugby team, the Tampa Krewe, has just won the USA Men’s Club National Championship. Tyler was named Man of the Match for scoring the crucial point that put the game into overtime with one minute remaining in regulation. This victory caps off an undefeated season for the Krewe, which went 10-0 in the regular season and 7-0 in the playoffs.
“Tyler’s just one hell of a player,” Krewe Head Couch Dai Morgan told Rugby Magazine after the match. “He’s been our leader on and off the field all season long. This is only his [fourth] year of rugby. If he’d been playing in a foreign country, I think he’d be playing professionally. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s intelligent and he’s just a charismatic leader of men.” In the article, Rugby Magazine attributed part of the team’s success to “the exhausting chore of bring down Cathey.”
As an undergraduate at Muhlenberg College, Tyler was a four-time Centennial Conference champion and four-time NCAA qualifier in wrestling, as well as a unanimous All-Conference selection in football. Tyler says that sports have always been a significant part of his life, and when he graduated from college, he wanted to find a way to stay involved in competitive athletics. When Tyler’s good friend and high school wrestling coach, August Schmidt, a rugby veteran himself, recommended he give the sport a try, Tyler jumped at the chance.
“Wrestling and football provided a good background for rugby,” Tyler says. “The sport in itself is really a mix between football as we know it and soccer as the rest of the world knows it. It is a brute sport, a very physical sport, as are wrestling and football.”
The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday night for two hours and has games every Saturday, but Tyler explains that balancing work and play is something that he has always needed to do as a competitive athlete.
“It is a skill set that I have developed. I think that the busier that you are, the more you get done,” he says. “The reality is that we do work a lot as attorneys, but it is important to have an outlet, to step away from thinking about work once in a while so that you can come back focused with a fresh head. Rugby is the best way for me to do that.”
This is the first time that a Florida team has brought home a national rugby title, and the players have already received recognition from the mayor of Tampa who thanked them “for proving once again that Tampa is a ‘City of Champions.'” The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners also plans to present them with a commendation and the governor of Florida may do the same. The Krewe is already in talks with the Rays baseball organization about a first pitch opportunity at an upcoming game.
Tyler admits that currently rugby is still a minor sport in the U.S., but he believes that it is starting to gain popularity. He compares it to how recently soccer has begun to grow and says that rugby is probably about ten years behind soccer in terms of the exposure and growth it is experiencing. The Krewe team is working toward this growth through collective effort with other rugby teams in the area and by getting kids involved in the sport at a young age.
The team is also preparing for the next step – international competition – and hopes to make their overseas debut in Great Britain next March.
“I have no idea how I am going to take that much time off of work,” Tyler laughs. “I guess we will figure that out next year.”