WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
As we get set to kickoff AMNRL Season XIV we thought we would stroll down memory lane.
Pictured are couple of well known USA Tomahawks singing the national anthem prior to the 2004 Liberty Bell Cup International match against the world champion Australian Kangaroos at the historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Tomahawks shocked the rugby league world by leading the Kangaroos by 24-6 at halftime and almost pulled off a miracle victory before going down 36-24. For fans of rugby league around the globe, this was a memorable match that was broadcast by Foxpsorts to a live audience throughout the USA and internationally.
The players in this picture were instrumental to the success of the Tomahawks on that chilly wet November evening in Philadelphia, and have continued to play a major part in the development of rugby league in the USA.
Where are they now?
(Standing from left to right)
Jeff Preston - affectionately known as 'Sergeant Slaughter', Jeff is one of the most capped USA rugby league players of all time and a dynamic ball runner during his career with the Tomahawks. After playing many seasons in the AMNRL club competition Jeff retired and has remained active in the development of rugby league in America. He is currently on the AMNRL executive board and a principle in the return of the Delaware Vipers to the 2011 competition. Jeff is a physical education teacher at the prestigious Germantown Academy High School, one of the leading private schools in PA.
Matty Petersen - a former professional player with the Parramatta Eels and Gold Coast Titans in the NRL and Wakefield Wildcats in SLE, Matty recently returned to Australia to rehab a hip injury and concentrate on a tire company he owns with his father. Matty is back to fitness and will be available for the USA Tomahawks RLWCQ campaign in October. He last played for the USA Tomahawks in the 2007 RLWCQ against Samoa in England. Matty is married with a young family.
Danny Bull - a giant outside back and backrow forward who created havoc for all opponents on the domestic and international stage. Danny scored a try against the Kangaroos and won three AMNRL National Championships with the Connecticut Wildcats. He was the 2003 AMNRL MVP and 2006 AMNRL Grand Final MVP. Danny is now retired and runs his own property appraisal company in Connecticut. He is married with two young children.
Erik Hollingsworth - Erik was a standout fullback at club and international level. Probably one of the most consistent players to come to rugby league from American Football. Rarely played a bad game, he was fearless under the high ball and an exciting kick returner and dynamic cover defender. He was the 2005 AMNRL Grand Final and 2005 Season MVP. Erik is a Manager at the Academy in Norristown, PA an alternate education program. He is married with two young boys.
Nate Smith - known throughout the AMNRL as 'Seabiscuit', Nate Smith is the most prolific point scorer in AMNRL history. After a successful athletic career as a record breaking kicker at NCAA D1 Louisville University where he broke all the pointscoring records of NFL Eagles Pro Bowler David Akers, Nate came to rugby league with a desire to carry the football and make some tackles. From his first match he has continued to scores tries against opposition from all over the world. He spent some time in Australia developing his skills with the Parramatta Eels. In 2010 Nate was recognized by the RLIF as the 2010 International Player of the Year for the USA. Nate is a current member of the USA Tomahawks squad and teaches high school in his native state of Kentucky.
Shayne Mains - the 'Chief' was a devastating defensive force during his playing career with the USA Tomahawks and Glen Mills Bulls in the AMNRL. A two time AMRL MVP in 1999 and 2002, he was also the AMNRL Grand Final MVP in 2002. Chief won five national championships during his stellar ten year career. He holds the defensive records for football at Shippensburg University in PA and was part of the NFL Giants squad until injury cut short his football career and ignited his rugby league career. Shayne is a supervisor at the Glen Mills School in Philadelphia, and married with two young daughters.