Vikings Win Their First Game of the 15′s Season

Here is a write up by Head Coach Paul Horne of the match against Western Oregon University on the turf field next to the Wade King Rec Center:

The WWU Vikings got their first win of the young season with a convincing 43-12 score over the Western Oregon University Wolves. After losing their first two league matches by a total of seven points, the Vikings were not going to be denied. Playing at home on the hard, unforgiving  artificial turf, the young Vikings ran in seven trys. Freshman Ryan Glendenning (North Thurston HS) and Wiatt Vasay (Lynden HS) led the way with two trys each. Cory Kleppe (Burlington Edison HS), Oliver Dougherty (Bellingham HS) and Louie Henson (Auburn HS) all had solo trys. Nick Salimano (The Bush School) conveted four of seven attempts.

The Wolves brought a physical game and seemed content on using their large forwards to pound the ball. The ball never made it to their outside backs as the Viking backs were up and quick to close the space . Showing good discipline, WWU stuck to their pattern and managed to take control of the game early and took a 24-5 lead into the half way mark.

The defense was good and continually shut down the WOU ‘s pick and go style of play. As a result Wolves never got the opportunity to put many phases together before turning the ball over. Strong games were had by Kai Duchnycz (Earl Marriot HS, Surrey BC), Louie Henson and Cory Kleppe in the forwards while Nick Bonovich (Dixon HS, Dixon, CA) and Ryan Glendenning showed great promise in the back line attack.

The young Western team played with confidence and are looking forward to the the rematch against the Oregon Ducks this next Saturday, February 8th. Losing 17-12 to Oregon last week  has given the Vikings lots of motivation to reverse the score line in their much anticipated rematch.  Kick off for next Saturday’s match is set for 1:00 pm on the turf field next to the Wade King Rec Center.

Another important date to remember is Reunion Day, February 22nd, the day several generations of former Viking ruggers will be in town to watch the match against the Washington Huskies and renew old friendships.  There will be a large contingent from the late 60′s – early 70′s and another group from the mid-to-late 80′s crew.  Lots of activities planned so come join in the fun.

We are just getting started!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Vikings Lose Heartbreaker To Oregon

It was a spectacular day at the turf field north of the Wade King Rec Center on the WWU campus last Saturday.  Bright sunshine, temps in the low 50′s, and little or now breeze.  A perfect day for a rugby match.

Western knew they had their work cut out for them in their first match of the ‘Spring’ portion of the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (NCRC) schedule.  Their opponent, the University of Oregon Ducks, had already played two matches, winning both, one against Western Oregon, 22-17, and the other against arch-rival Oregon State, 34-19.  Western, on the other hand, had not played since their November 23rd match against the UW Huskies in Seattle, where they lost 24-22.  The coaches made some changes after that game moving Nick Bonovich (Dixon HS, Dixon CA) and Ryan Glendenning (North Thurston HS) out to the centers.  Even though the Vikings had been training hard since their return to the practice field Saturday, January 4th, they were at a distinct disadvantage.

The match started out like the holiday break hadn’t hurt the Vikings that much.  Western was controlling the match, especially the sets and line-outs, winning lots of ball and generally controlling the match from the beginning.  There were some signs of rust but there didn’t appear to be any big gaps in their game.  The Vikings were sorting out all their issues and it helped that the Viking forwards like Corey Kleppe (Burlington-Edison HS), Wiatt Vasey (Lynden HS), Louie Henson (Auburn HS), Nate Muir (Earl Marriott HS, Surrey, BC), and Spence Stevenson (Roosevelt HS) were taking care of business.

Oregon kept pressing but the Vikings pretty much kept them in their own end for the first five minutes and then a break-down on defense by the Vikings let an Oregon back get wide and take off down the field on a 60 yard run.  The Duck runner was tackled about 15 yards out from the try line but excellent support by his teammates led to a try that put the Ducks up 5-0 after the missed conversion.  The match continued with the Vikings unable to string together a coherent attack, just when you thought the Vikings would score, they’d make an error and have to start over.  The rust was there… Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Western A Great School – A Great Value

If your son is considering coming to Western to play rugby, consider the following:  Western is far and away the better school for your son’s education in the State of Washington except for possibly the University of Washington.  And if you want a school with a student population of under 40,000 students then Western is the only school in the state for you.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine just came out with their National 100 Best Values in Public Colleges and Western Washington University is again on the list.  The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.

Kiplinger’s ranks Western 93rd on its list for 2014 for in-state students and 74th on the list for best value for out-of-state students. Western was listed at 74th in 2013 and 81st in 2012.

There is only one other school from the State of Washington that made the list and that is the University of Washington which was listed at no. 13.

Western has also consistently ranks high in the US News and World Reports Magazine lists such as this one:  Top Public Schools – Regional Universities (West)

And another US News and World Reports List, a ranking of all Regional Universities:

Top Regional Universities

And this story from the Seattle Times:

UW, WWU on list of best colleges for the money

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Scholarship Opportunity

Dustin Brittian, a friend of Coach Paul Horne and a financial advisor in Bellevue sends us this link to scholarship opportunities that are being offered by his company to college students.

Here is the link:  AXA Scholarship

There is an entry deadline of December 15th on one of them so you don’t have much time to get your name in on that one.  Sorry for such short notice….

If you have any questions give Dustin a call and he will be able to help:  360-389-6981

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Vikings Drop NCRC Opener To Huskies

Story by Head Coach Paul Horne

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The 2013 defending Northwest Conference Champions traveled down to Seattle to face the UW Huskies.  It was a beautiful cool, sunny winter day on the campus of the University of Washington.  This was to be the first game to be played on the new UW turf field.  The Vikings had beaten the Huskies in league play last season 57-0 and knew full well they were going to face a very motivated UW team.

The 2013/14 Vikings selected a very young team with four Frosh and six sophomores in the starting lineup.  The game started well for the Vikings putting pressure on the opposition from the opening kickoff.  Jake Romano( Santa Rosa Ca.) scored the first try at the fifteen minute and put the Vikings up 5-0.  The conversion was unsuccessful.

The lead did not last long.  Tackling and turnovers would prove to be problematic for WWU throughout the game.  Both first half UW trys were a result of breakdowns in the Vikings defense.  The Huskies took a 12-5 halftime lead.

The second forty minutes produced five more trys, three by WWU and two by the Huskies.  Oliver Daugherty (Bellingham HS) showed his speed as he turned the corner and outran all for a 70 meter try.  Again the conversion was not good.

Nate Muir (Earl Marriott HS, BC) followed up at the 60 minute mark scoring a beast of a try and closed the score to 17-15 for the Huskies.  Jon Kaimmer (Roosevelt HS, Seattle), who came on at the half, scored next and the Vikings took the lead.  Nick Solimano (The Bush School, Seattle) converted and the Vikings were up 22-17.

The last UW score  was a heart-breaker as the Vikings controlled much of the play and had fought their way to take the lead with five minutes to play.  The Vikings seemed to have taken control of the game at this point.  This was not so, as more turnovers and costly penalties allowed the UW to claw their way back into the game.  Missed tackles and some poor tactical kicking put the Huskies back in the lead 24-22.

The Viking forwards led by Captain Louie Henson (Auburn HS) and Nate Muir (Earl Marriott, BC), were dominant throughout the game.  Leading the charge it was not long before the Vikings had the Huskies going backwards and again in a position to pull out a win.  Another turnover, a penalty and time ran out for the Vikings.

The second XV were dominant and came out with a 39-5 win over the Huskies.  Scoring on the day were John Cushman with two trys.  Sam Carroll, Mikhal Snovel, Winston Chen and Jess Harris all touched down for solo trys.

Next up for the Vikings will be a January 25 match against the University of Oregon. The game will be played on the Wade King Turf field.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Interested In Attending Western?

We’ve changed the rugby website a little to help prospective students, especially rugby players, as they work their way through the sometimes daunting application process.

Check out the changes by clicking on the “Want To Go To Western” tab and when you see the drop down menu, click on the “On-Line Application and Scholarship Opportunities” tab.

You should be able to get answers to your questions from the resources listed there.  Also don’t be afraid to get in touch with the admissions counselors listed and use the counselors at your high school to help you through the process as well.  They all love helping you succeed in your dreams and achieve your goals.

You have lots of resources available to you…use ‘em.

Here is some additional scholarship resource listings, click here and check it out:  Financial Aid

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Vikings U-20 Action

Story by Coach Paul Horne

Saturday, November 9, 2013, was a  good Rugby Day.

WWU travelled across the 49th parallel to meet the Capilano U20’s half way for a match at Bayside RFC home field. It was great to play on a full size international, real grass field. The players also commented on how much they enjoyed playing on something other than artificial turf.

The first half was fairly even match but the score board indicated a different story. The Caps took full advantage of our inability to make first up tackles.  Caps scored three trys that were a direct result of missed tackles and took a comfortable halftime lead 21-0.

The Vikings came storming back scoring three quick trys to even the score at 21 each.  With scrummaging superiority, #8 Nate Muir (Earl Marriott Secondary, BC) picked up at the base of the set and made a powerful run breaking numerous tackles before off loading to Max Wright (Shorewood HS) for a beautiful try.  This proved to be a game changer.

Mike Peckham (Kelso HS) also added a try after some good work on the Caps goaline.

Nick Bonovich (Dixon HS,Ca) followed up with a try after making a great line break and touched down between the posts.

Ryan Glendenning (Budd Bay RFC) converted all three.  Score was now 21-21.

Spencer Stephenson (Roosevelt HS, Seattle) and Wu Bene (Kings HS)) added trys to give WWU the lead with only three minutes to play.

Just as it appeared WWU was going to go home with a victory, Caps stole our put in and scored to tie the game. Their conversion from the touchline was just short and the game ended in a tie, 31-31.  All in all a fair result.

Lots of positives on the day in that we had lost 47-5 to this team a month ago.

Go Vikings!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Vikings ‘Battle In The Bay’ 7′s Team

2013 BITB Team

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…

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Vikings 4th At “Battle In The Bay”


from l to r:  Jon Kaimmer (on the ground), Louie Henson, Nick Bonovich, and Ryan Glendenning in the match against UC – Santa Barbara

There were several images that will stick in my mind from last weekend’s “Battle In The Bay” 7′s Tournament held on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

First of all, the tournament, put on by St. Mary’s College, was an incredible event and the St. Mary’s coaches, staff, and players are to be congratulated for the amazing job they did in putting this thing together and seeing that it all ran smoothly and came off without a hitch.

Second, when you looked at the list of the sixteen teams attending and you couldn’t help but be impressed with the talent assembled.  The no. 1 ranked 7′s team in the country, the UCLA Bruins, were there.  As was the no. 2 ranked team, the California Golden Bears, the no. 5 ranked team, Central Washington, and the no.7 ranked team, St. Mary’s.  There were four pools and each of these teams were the no. 1 seeds in each of these pools.  The no. 2 seeds in each of the pools were no slouches either.  We had Cal Poly – San Luis Obisbo, another PAC 12 power in Arizona State, San Diego State, and your Western Washington University Vikings.  And amongst the remaining eight teams were teams like UC – Santa Barbara, Stanford, Santa Clara University, UC – Davis, and the University of San Diego.

Third, this was a two day tournament and the first day was a war…  Teams were positioning to get out of pool play with either a 1st or 2nd seed so that they could advance to the top tier “Cup” match-ups on Sunday, day 2.  Miss on either of the top two spots in the pools and you were playing in the consolation rounds.

In addition, each team originally was going to only be allowed to bring twelve players, then it changed to fifteen players, and finally, the tournament committee relented to some pressure and let each team bring as many players as they wanted.  Each team could still only use up to twelve players in each match but the ‘open’ roster gave some teams much greater flexibility in case of injury.  Cal showed up with 40 players and quite a few other teams had 20 or more players.  Western brought twelve players…

In pools A, B, and D things went pretty much according to form, Cal was the one seed from A with San Diego State being the second seed.  St. Marys was the number one seed in pool B and WWU was the 2nd seed.  In pool D, Central Washington was the one seed and Arizona State was the second seed.

In pool C everything was turned upside down.  The one seed going in, UCLA, couldn’t hold serve and three teams ended up with identical 2-1 records.  UCLA, Cal Poly, and Santa Clara had 2-1 records and the seeds would be determined by the tie breaker and bonus point system the tournament committee had in place…and when the smoke had cleared, Santa Clara came out on top, Cal Poly was second, and amazingly, the no. 1 ranked team in the country, UCLA, ended up third.

In UCLA’s defense, as well as Cal’s and Arizona State’s, they are participating in this coming weekends PAC-12 Championships and each of them left most of their top 12 players at home so those players would be fit for the PAC-12 tourney.

So Sunday set-up like this, it would be:  Central vs San Diego State, WWU vs Santa Clara, Cal vs Arizona State, and St. Mary’s vs Cal Poly.  And when the dust settled on these matches the semi finals would pit Central against Western and Cal would play St. Mary’s.

At the end of Saturday’s action it didn’t look like Western would be able to field a full team.  Several players were really banged up but to their credit, Mrs. Romano’s cooking, and a good night’s rest, they were able to come out and come out strong they did against Santa Clara.  The Vikings whipped Santa Clara like a rented mule and won going away, 31-0.

The Cal vs St Mary’s came didn’t go to form, St. Mary’s won the match and while it wasn’t easy for them, St. Mary’s were ahead the whole way.  That was not the case in the Central vs WWU match.  Western jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on Ollie Dougtery’s  long try but it didn’t take Central long to come back and hang a couple more scores on the Vikings.  Central would win 32-7.

The final pitted St. Mary’s against Central and St Mary’s had control of the match from the ‘get go’, and while Central could never seem to find their rhythm, the Wildcats did come back and make the score respectable…something like 41- 25.

There were a three of other images that really stuck in my mind.  One, the Romano family (their son Jake is one of the pillars of Western’s team) hosted all twelve players at their home in Santa Rosa which is 50 some miles up the road from Treasure Island.  By all accounts, the house was not to be believed (most of it built by Jake and his Dad) and the hospitality surpassed even the house.  To a man, each of the kids raved about what a great time they had with the Romano’s.  The Romano’s have been great supporters of the program for the last couple of years and Ellen Romano sent along the following note to us after the tournament:

“Coach Roberts and Coach Horne:


 Just wanted you both to know that it was an absolute pleasure to host the Sevens rugby team this weekend for the Battle of the Bay.  Wow what an incredible group of young men!  I can’t tell you how polite, helpful and easy they all were to have in our home. I am so in awe of the dedication that the boys and the entire coaching staff is putting forth to make this program what it is and I feel very fortunate to have had the pleasure to spend the weekend being a part of it.  I want to reiterate that if your back in the Bay Area we would be honored to host the team.  The group that you have assembled is truly impressive and I really appreciate everything that you are putting into WWU’s rugby program and specifically into our sons.


Very Sincerely – Ellen Romano

Two, the Bonovich family, from Dixon, CA,, Greg and Kristine, provided all the food, water, and Gatorade for the players both days.  The spread was incredible, cold cuts, fruit, healthy snacks, cookies, it was all there.  The Bonovich’s son Nick is a freshman this year and is going to be a key player for Western in the years to come.  They parked their motorhome at the edge of the bay on Treasure Island and in the shadow of the spectacular new Bay Bridge.  Like the Romano’s, we can’t thank them enough for their generous support.Third, and finally, the twelve guys we took down there were amazing.  They have come so far this season… At dinner Saturday night with one of the St. Mary’s coaches, we counted the number of players we lost from last year’s National Tournament team…the number is eight.  Eight players we don’t have this year, most seniors, and you look at the way our kids responded.  They got better every weekend and playing against competition like that at the “Battle In The Bay” all that hard work and effort finally paid off.  We have a team of mostly freshmen and sophomores who are only going to get better.  And if the activity around out tent this past weekend is any indication, we’ll soon see several young players from the bay area headed to Western.  Next year we could see as many as eight new students from the bay area coming to Western for their college education and to play rugby.  The flow of coaches and prospective high-school players was constant both days and visiting with them kept Coaches Adam Roberts and Paul Horne busy most of the weekend.

Thanks to everyone for your support this fall season and we would remind you all that schedule has changed a little, we won’t be playing any matches this weekend.  We will have a scrimmage this Saturday from 12-2 and then next weekend we’ll be back on the field playing 15′s and getting ready for the first NCRC 15′s match of the season against the UW, Saturday, November 23rd, in Seattle.

Cheers, and thanks again for all your support this fall…and remember this year’s motto…”We’re just getting started!.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Vikings 4th At NCRC’s

The day dawned dull and foggy at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon last Saturday for the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference (NCRC) 7′s Championships.  There were twelve teams there vying for the first place prize, automatic entry to the USA Rugby Collegiate National 7′s Tournament to be held in Greensboro, North Carolina, November 23-24, 2013.

The teams were divided into 4 pools with the number one seeds in each pool, Central, Oregon State, UW, and your Western Washington University Men’s Rugby Club.  Each of these clubs were expected to make it through their pool play unscathed.  At the end of pool play the top four teams would be reseeded into the quarter finals based on points differential (points for – points against).  The reseeding, like last year, yielded a surprise in that Oregon State got the first seed, While tourney favorite, Central, slipped to second.  UW was third and Western was fourth.  So Oregon State was paired with Boise State, Central drew a surprisingly strong Gonzaga side, UW faced off against Eastern Washington, and Western was matched against Oregon.

The quarters went to form in that the top four seeds won and advanced making the semis.  Western got a break here in that they ended up playing Oregon State who they’ve already beaten three times this year.  And Central drew the UW in the other semi match. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off