Club Spotlight: St. Mary’s Men’s Rugby

The St. Mary’s men’s rugby team is preparing for their 2011 spring season with long runs, quick sprints, and group lifts in the weight room to build a team that can not only win the upcoming season, but create a new team of giants.

With the senior players on their way out, and the junior players stepping up to take lead, both veteran groups look back on their fond memories while out on the pitch.

By Benjamin Garbart, Senior

I’ve been playing on the team since I came here freshman year.

I have been a captain for the past two years, and it has been enjoyable to see the team go through its cycles.

We have always been a small team compared to the larger schools we face, but with the help of our coach, Larry Donmoyer, we have been able to keep our skill level on par and have really grown as a team.

As a graduating senior, I feel that the team is in good hands with our new captains and administrators. Under the leadership of Paul DiIorio, the team is already getting whipped into shape for the up and coming season.

We are always looking for new members and welcome anyone who wants to learn the game.

By Paul Di’Iorio, Junior

A good friend told me before my first day of men’s rugby practice that “football is the gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is the hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.”

At the end of my first practice, I knew I would be spending the next four years at St. Mary’s playing for the Men’s Rugby team.

When your team’s one weakness is size and experience, it’s necessary to play with speed, toughness, and commit as few mistakes as possible on the pitch.

We have a very dedicated team and we all understand that if we want to win then we must outwork our opponents.

In a game where you truly are only as strong as your weakest link, our team works hard to be as conditioned a possible.

Along with an experienced coach to teach us strategy and make us more knowledgeable about the game, our team can compete with the best in Maryland.

To anyone interested in joining the men’s rugby team, the spring semester is your best time to join as we focus more on teaching this great game to those who are new.

By Adam Hammett, Junior

I was introduced to rugby my freshman year at St. Mary’s, when I first accompanied a friend to rugby practice. After that first practice I was hooked.

Now a junior on the team, I look back at that first rugby practice I attended and realize how much it has positively impacted my experience here at St. Mary’s.

The rugby team here on campus is much more to me than just a sport.

All of us on the team are close friends and we all have a fun time working towards being the best team we can be.

A common misconception about rugby is that you need to have past experience to play, but this is not the case.

Almost every player currently on the team had never played the game of rugby before coming to college.

I would urge anyone looking to have a fun time playing a physical sport to give rugby a try, because in several years you will not look back and regret trying a club sport, but you may look back and wish you again had the opportunity to play on a rugby team.

By Michael Candore, Senior

I joined the men’s rugby team in the fall of my freshman year with no prior knowledge of the sport. I was told by a few upperclassmen that it was very similar to football, so I gave it a shot.

Three and a half years, a broken jaw, and a broken nose later – I learned how to play a great game, and I formed friendships that I will carry with me well after I leave college.

The team has had its ups and downs over the past few years, but the camaraderie has always remained.

The men’s rugby team always welcomes newcomers, whether you’ve played for years, or never picked up a rugby ball.

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