Rugby club finding success, making a name for itself across campus
Are you aware that the University of Puget Sound has a good old fashioned club rugby team? I wasn’t either, until I passed Todd Field a couple weekends ago to see just over 20 Logger men in the pouring rain, yelling, kicking and screaming during a game. Battered, bloodied and tired, the Puget Sound club team, filled mostly with “retired” soccer and football players, won in the closing on a try.
Now you might ask what a try is? In rugby, a player must ground the ball with downward pressure by pushing the ball onto the ground with your arms or with your upper body. You must do all of this in the “in-goal” area, or football’s end zone equivalent. This action results in a try, which is worth five points. Now that we have that explained, you should know that over this most recent weekend, this team of rugged men played against Washington State’s division one A-Team.
Sophomore Cole McIlvaine (Bellingham, Wash.) has truly enjoyed his time with the team over the past two years. As he explained, “Last year we only had eight guys regularly for practices, this year, it’s more like 20 each time.” With two new coaches and a group of motivated guys, this team will continue to have a lot of fun knocking opponents around in their remaining 10 games.
This club sport is open to anyone willing to pay a meager price of just $50. No previous experience in anything pertaining to rugby is needed, and the guys would love to see even more people come out to make this team even stronger. Another member of the club who is having a great tim is junior Mike Hammer (San Mateo, Calif.). When asked why he joined the rugby team, Hammer explained, “I joined because a couple of my friends had heard that I was done with football and they wanted me to come out to a practice to check it out. Rugby has always been something I wanted to try and after the first practice I was hooked!”
Many other guys share this passion for team and sport as well. Hammer also stated, “I loved rugby this semester, it was a lot of fun and we did very well against our competition. Rugby next semester is going to be exciting to be a part of.”
McIlvaine and Hammer both encourage everyone to come check the rugby team out. To Hammer, “It is on the rise and has earned the respect of other teams in the area from this semester’s performance.” And in case you still feel hesitation, Hammer explained, “Anyone can come and get questions answered or just jump straight into practice with us. It is a lot of fun and a great experience.”
Needless to say, the team gives off a positive vibe and is full of guys who are thoroughly excited about their sport.