Back (l to r): M Wright, N Muir, J Romano, L Henson, J Kaimmer, R Glendenning, K Duchnycz
Front (l to r): N Solimano, R Lilla, S Hobbs, N Bonovich, O Dougherty
Well, the 7’s season is over for Western. It was a great season for the boys and Coach Adam Roberts in that they knew going in they were not going to be as strong as last year’s National Championship participant team simply because they had lost eight players from the previous year’s team. The boys started the year the weekend after classes started at WWU by hosting the first-ever Viking 7’s on campus here in Bellingham….then off to the Oregon State 7’s in Corvallis…then NCRC Championships at Western Oregon in Monmouth, OR…and finally to the Battle In The Bay 7’s, hosted by St. Mary’s College, on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
In each of those tournaments they played in they got better than the previous week’s results and, in most cases, better than the previous match’s result. They learned a bunch about 7’s, they grew as a team, and came together as teammates. Especially on that long drive to and from the Bay area and enjoying the fabulous hospitality at the Romano family’s fabulous casa in Santa Rosa. Next year’s 7’s team has the potential to be one of the better ones we’ve had here at Western.
With no thoughts of applying for an “at-large” bid to the Nationals back in Greensboro, NC, November 23-24, 2013, they are now busy preparing for their Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (NCRC) 15’s season opener, November 23rd, in Seattle, against the University of Washington. And while the 7’s team was off romping around the countryside, the boys left behind were playing 15’s…and what a schedule they had! Competing in the BC U-20 league and other non-conference foes, the 15’s struggled early against difficult opposition. Coach Paul Horne was trying to integrate a bunch of new people into the lineup, get a look at returning players, all while giving several first time players some playing time. And irrespective of being a new or returning player, Horne was especially interested in seeing who had put in the extra work over the summer. The Vikings had two matches scheduled for this weekend against BC U-20 teams but both of those teams had to cancel so the team will be playing and intra-squad match on Saturday at Western. Coach Horne commented that the return of the 7’s team players back to the squad has totally changed the team dynamic and that the coaches are going to have some difficult decisions to make regarding team selection.
So the team will play the UW on the 23rd in Seattle, and then take a ‘holiday break’ and resume their NCRC schedule January 25, 2014 against the University of Oregon in Bellingham on the turf field next to the Wade King Rec Center.
We hope to see you in Seattle on the 23rd, we’ve been contacted by a large number of WWU Rugby alums and the match is looking like it will be a pretty good sized reunion. Hope to see you there…