Dixie State Rugby Club wins one match at USA Sevens tournament
The Dixie State College Rugby Club was one of many colleges to attend the USA Sevens Rugby tournament in Las Vegas this past weekend.
The DSC Rugby Club attended one of the biggest Rugby tournaments in the USA and played colleges from Delaware, Nebraska and Missouri in an open invitational tournament.
Teams pay a fee and are scheduled for matches against other schools. Unlike the Rugby Sevens, which plays with seven players on each team, the invitational tournament plays with 15 players.
The DSC Rugby Club won the match against Nebraska with a score of 26-12. They lost to Delaware and Missouri.
"Back inside Center, Brad Godinet played very well defensively, and George Vea played well offensively with 3-4 tries in the game," said team president Calvin Shumaker, a sophomore business major from Salt Lake City.
"Playing in the Rugby Sevens was a huge confidence booster for the players," said Boo Fahrner, a freshman theater major from New Zealand.
Some of the players on the DSC Rugby Club had never played in a Rugby team before and the experience they had in playing teams and getting a feel for what Rugby is all about was worth the trip to Vegas, Shumaker said.
"The team almost over night has improved and is coming together," Fahrner said.
"The Players are starting to believe in themselves," Fahrner said.
She also expressed how the team struggled at first with unity, but it has come together and become a brotherhood.
Shumaker said the hardest thing right now is getting respect for the DSC Rugby Club so schools recognize it as a Rugby team, and so they are able to get more games with other schools.
"The DSC Rugby Club has 28 players on their team and many more are beginning to show up to help support them," head coach Kenny Rivera said. "We are making progress and feel that we are now a competitive force at the Collegiate level."
The Rugby season officially began this month and will continue through May. A few colleges the club will play against are: Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Snow College, and Southern Utah University.
The DSC rugby team will play its next match on March 5 against Snow College. The Location is still undecided. It will either be played at Bluff Street Park or Snow Canyon High School, Rivera said.
They are waiting on the Rugby Union to announce the matches for the schools later this week.
Shumaker said the Rugby Union is in charge of setting up the season and matches for all professional, college and high school rugby teams.
Shumaker has been with the DSC Rugby team since the beginning, and he has seen a tremendous improvement with the team.
"In the beginning players were hesitant to play on a team just starting," Shumaker said. "[They were] unsure of the unfamiliar territory that comes with a team who is still building."
Shumaker said the team has solid players who are ready to play and always looking for that next game. Players have team spirit, a love for the game and brotherly love that comes with being a team.
"They have put a lot of blood and sweat into this season so far," Shumaker said.
Austin Hunter, a sophomore biology major from St. George, said it has become important for the DSC Rugby Club to get out in the community. Players have been talking to local youth programs in town and setting up a program where they can mentor youth who want to change their lives.
"It's important the youth learn more," Hunter said. "Showing them a better way of life, and teaching them rugby, so they don't go back to drugs and crime."
Hunter took a couple of youth down to the Rugby Sevens with him to let them experience what rugby was all about.
Hunter said the DSC Rugby Club would benefit from more coaches. Rivera is in charge of other Utah Rugby Clubs and is very busy. Rivera cannot dedicate all his time to one team or run the DSC Rugby Club alone.
The DSC Rugby Club will post the information for its season on its website for Rugby fans as soon as the information is made available. If you are interested in following the season you can find more information at www.dixie.edu/rugby.
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