robdylan

Whatever happened to JC Strauss?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 5 Jan 2009 at 11:01
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As regular readers would know, I’ve been particularly keen to track down two promising young Sharks players who seem to have disappeared off the scene in recent years. I’m proud to report that I’ve managed to track down one of them, young JC Strauss.

Johan Strauss was born in Johannesburg in 1986, the son of the former Bok and Transvaal prop of the same name. Strauss Senior represented the Boks in three test matches, twice against the touring 1976 All Blacks and then again against the South Americans in 1980. His son JC, a tighthead prop like his father, first came to prominence as a schoolboy at Durban’s Kearsney College. The 1.91m schoolboy anchor was widely regarded as the strongest prop around at the time – so much so that opposition coaches had to devise somewhat illegal strategies to counter him at the 2004 Craven Week.

Strauss won SA Schools colours in 2004 and was an automatic selection for the South African under 19 side the following year – the side which contested and won the inaugural IRB Under 19 World Cup in Durban. The young prop was one of four KZN representatives in that team, which was lead to the title by lock Alistair Hargreaves. Joe Snyman and a certain Francois Steyn were the other Sharks juniors in the team.

The youngster made a single appearance for the Sharks Currie Cup side in 2006, as a replacement against the Lions in the opening game of the season. It was, interestingly enough, the same game in which Ryan Kankowski made his senior debut for the province. Strauss made a few appearances for the Under 21 side after that and then mysteriously disappeared off the scene.

I’ve managed to find out what happened.

JC’s health took a turn for the worse just at the time that he was looking to break into the senior ranks – it later turned out that he had a latent heart condition, Bradycardia-Tachycardia Syndrome, which was exacerbated by the increased training load in the senior setup. Initially misdiagnosed as asthma, it took some time and frequent visits to various medical professionals before the young man finally received a sensible answer as to why his resting heart-rate was a staggering 28 beats per minute. Having been correctly diagnosed, JC had a pacemaker fitted in 2008 to regulate his heartbeat and after some initial teething difficulties, is finally well on the road to good health again.

At the moment, JC is helping his dad out with some property development work and is working hard to get back into shape. When it comes to his chances of playing competitive rugby again, medical opinion is divided as to whether that would be wise or not. Apparently, playing with a pacemaker is pretty risky as there’s a chance that the leads connecting the device to the heart muscles could become dislodged. JC Strauss isn’t really thinking too far ahead at this stage, though, as he’s just really pleased to have been given another chance at health.

I’d like to thank JC for taking the time to tell me his story. I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing him all the best for whatever his future holds. Oh – and if I ever do manage to find out what happened to Conrad “the Animal” Stoltz, I’ll let you all know!



48 Comments

  • Who said being a stalker doesn’t pay?

    Well done Robbo – and all the best to JC !

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.01.09 11:11:29 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • Thanx robd. Like these type of articles. Interresting!

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.01.09 11:15:31 by JustPlainSHARK Reply
    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • Oh Rob – where did you lose Conrad ?

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.01.09 11:15:51 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • 28 BEATS PER MINUTE??????

    :!: :!: :!:

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.01.09 11:19:11 by PJLD Reply
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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 3) : no sign of him since he played for the Sharks back in 2006.

    @PJLD (Comment 4) : crazy, huh?

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.01.09 11:21:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 4) : Probably in a quarter… :???:

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.01.09 11:22:35 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : Most, how do you even get out of bed with that going on?

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.01.09 11:25:41 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 7) : he reckons he eventually kinda diagnosed himself… doctors were clueless

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.01.09 11:33:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : After the 7′s ?

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.01.09 11:34:19 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 9) : what sevens? I’m not with you…

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.01.09 11:42:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : As in that game played by 7 guys…

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.01.09 11:47:50 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 11) : yes… but when did Stoltz play 7s?

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.01.09 11:57:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • Squads:
    2007
    Sharks U/21 (ABSA Under 21 Competition)
    Wildebeest (Vodacom Cup)
    South Africa (IRB Sevens Series New Zealand)
    South Africa (IRB Sevens Series USA)

    2006
    Kwa-Zulu Natal (Inter-Provincial Sevens Competition – Men)
    The Sharks (ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division)
    KZN U21 (ABSA Under 21 Competition)

    2005
    Natal (SA Under 19)
    2004
    Kwazulu Natal (U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week)

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.01.09 11:57:33 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 13) : ok – didn’t know that. Still, he was nowhere to be found in 2008.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.01.09 12:07:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) : Yeah…maybe Sticks knows where he is…

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.01.09 12:23:41 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 15) : that’s not a shit idea

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.01.09 12:28:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : :wink:

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.01.09 12:42:43 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

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  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 17) : so how well do you know Stokololo? BTW, how’s Moxie doing? The lightie seems pretty miff about this breakup, hey…

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.01.09 13:59:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) :

    Don’t know Stokes that well…met him a few times…long story…

    Was a bit worried about the Ox there but he seems cool now…you know how these things go…

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.01.09 14:20:40 by blckshrk - PROTEAS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • SHeesh, this is a hectic story, good one Rob, but what a blow for a promising youngster!

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.01.09 14:25:33 by Baldrick Reply

    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
     
  • @blckshrk – PROTEAS (Comment 19) : yeah – indeed. I know how they go.

    I will ask Mzwandile on facebook.

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.01.09 14:39:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Baldrick (Comment 20) : you’re telling me. This kid was a frighteningly strong prop. I hope he makes it back

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.01.09 14:40:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • Well done Robdylan – first correct article on JC and first great feedback from someone who knows how! Not one single person from the Sharks “top management” or “coaches” or “players” communicated with JC via landline, cell phone, sms, email, in person etc. etc. with good wishes or anything while being hospitalized and recovering. Just a big blank page there!! :evil: :twisted:
    He was just a number 3 while the going was good and what a great number 3 he was and still is!
    He presented the Sharks in every single age group since the age of 12.
    1998 – U12 Nike All Stars KZN East London
    1998 – U13 Craven week KZN East London (12years old)
    1999 – U13 Craven week KZN Kimberley
    1999 – U13 Natal Clubs – Captain & Player of the year
    2002 – U16 Grant Khomo KZN Captain East London
    2003 – KZN U18 Craven week Wellington
    2004 – KZN U18 Craven week Nelspruit
    2004 – Kearsney College 50+ games + honours
    2004 – SA Schools
    2005 – SA U19 – World Cup Winners
    2005 – Sharks U19 & College Rovers U20
    2006 – Sharks U21
    2006 – College Rovers 1st XV (Club)
    2006 – Natal Invitational Side (Sharks) vs Western Force (Australia)
    2006 – Natal Sharks Squad – Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
    2007 – Sharks U21 & College Rovers 1st XV

    Thanks once again for a brilliant article.
    Rugby regards

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.01.09 16:03:45 by Zelia Reply

    Academy recruit
     
  • @Zelia (Comment 23) : glad you liked the article, Zelia. I gather you know JC personally?

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.01.09 16:05:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • Just an afterthought Robdylan, JC and Conrad has been playing together and against each other since primary school. You have been active on the internet for more than a while now… You had some great comments on Keo and on the Sharks page over the years. Keep up the good work!
    :grin:

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.01.09 16:10:10 by Zelia Reply

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  • Yes I do know him personally!

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.01.09 16:11:09 by Zelia Reply

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  • @Zelia (Comment 25) : Ok – don’t answer my question above – I think I have worked it out!

    BTW, I asked JC if he knows where Conrad is and he says he hasn’t heard from him in quite some time.

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.01.09 16:11:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) :
    Clever boy :???: Will see what I can find out about the ‘naughty’ Conrad…

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.01.09 16:18:14 by Zelia Reply

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  • Ooooh – cloak and dagger stuff here on SW! :lol:

    Greetings all – from a lad happy to be home again.

    Thanks for the article Rob – its always good to know what happens to people.

    I really wish JC all the best – both with his health and his rugby. Moreso with his health of course.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.01.09 16:23:34 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 29) : So hwo was oirland Fish?

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.01.09 16:27:23 by PJLD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : Rob, i must admit that i DO NOT visit the homepages of other rugby franchises, but i doubt that they do the effort in tracking down sidelined stars. Cant wait for the Conrad story. Almost like “What Happened Next” on DSTV’s Discovery channel.

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.01.09 16:30:55 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 31) : remember that we’re an independent fan site, so we have a lot more leeway in terms of the stories we do :)

  • Comment 32, posted at 05.01.09 16:35:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 29) : what were you doing in Ireland, fish sticks? Visiting your sis?

  • Comment 33, posted at 05.01.09 16:35:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Zelia (Comment 28) : please do. I really rated that kid… only saw him play for about 10 minutes, but what I saw, I liked.

  • Comment 34, posted at 05.01.09 16:40:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 30) :
    Was crack-a-lacking!

    Loads of time with my family, loads of shopping, and squeezed in some hiking too.

    Stopped in Istanbul, did more shopping, and lots of sight-seeing (really ancient culture there).

    Got back yetserday, so my day is seeming very long! :lol:

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.01.09 16:41:16 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) :
    My whole family is out there. Went especially to spend time with my lil niece, who had yet to meet her ugly uncle.

    Was thinking of making a trip your way with the ferry (and would mos def have called you first), but decided to rather do that next time, as I only had 2 weeks, and I wanted to rather be with the family and get some relaxation time.

  • Comment 36, posted at 05.01.09 16:45:07 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 36) : understandable, dog… don’t fret.

  • Comment 37, posted at 05.01.09 16:57:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 35) : A touch warmer here as well hey?

  • Comment 38, posted at 05.01.09 17:02:11 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 38) : jeebers, but it’s cold here now!

  • Comment 39, posted at 05.01.09 17:13:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 38) :
    Muchos.

    i dont mind the cold too much though – not when its for a short time only anyway.
    Its good to be home though – not just cos of the cold.

    @robdylan (Comment 37) :
    Woulda been cool to hang together again – its been waaay too long.

    Was throwing around the idea of a Summer trip – depends on how several things pan out this year though.

    I’m studying again this year… :roll:

  • Comment 40, posted at 05.01.09 17:21:38 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 40) : again? Don’t you ever learn? :)

    I’ll be here, pal… just let me know when you want to pop into Sharksworld HQ :)

  • Comment 41, posted at 05.01.09 17:32:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • howzit people, from my new home in rustenburg! happy new year to all.

    eish, i am happy the relocation and shit is finally over, started my new job today, am moved in, now just getting the garden and pool sorted.

    thunderstorm time, i love it!

  • Comment 42, posted at 05.01.09 17:39:23 by knersboy Reply

    knersboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • @knersboy (Comment 42) : welcome back, knersie! Rustenburg, eh? What on earth are you doing there?

  • Comment 43, posted at 05.01.09 17:43:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) :
    Shot dude.

    I’m a slow learner – hence all the studying. Some of us need all the help we can get.

  • Comment 44, posted at 05.01.09 17:46:01 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 44) : I understand :)

  • Comment 45, posted at 05.01.09 17:50:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • sorry rob, got distracted. i am melting rocks for anglo platinum.

  • Comment 46, posted at 05.01.09 20:28:07 by knersboy Reply

    knersboyVodacom Cup player
     
  • @knersboy (Comment 46) : using the old x-ray vision?

  • Comment 47, posted at 05.01.09 20:44:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • no, i am saving that for when i get promoted. gotta watch out for the bloody kryptonite in the rocks though.

    rustenburg is actually a nice place, weather is great, environment is really beautiful. a big change from stellenbosch and the chicks are definately not as hot as stellies, but then there is nowhere on the planet where the chicks are as hot as stellenbosch, guys to come to think of it :-)

  • Comment 48, posted at 06.01.09 06:35:21 by knersboy Reply

    knersboyVodacom Cup player
     

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