At the end of 2010 spring rugby season, most would see a lackluster season. The boys’ season ended with a 3-5 record and loss in the quarterfinals, and the ladies’ ended with a 1-7 record.
With a closer look at the teams, you would see a bright future for the Rams. The boys team had 50 players with nearly 70 percent being sophomores and freshmen, including sophomore Trevor Alferink (Overall and Forward MVP), sophomore Brady Gent (Backs MVP), and junior Zach Nelson “Mr. Rugby.” During the summer break, more than 20 players are continuing their rugby education with Rugby 7’s tournaments in State Games of Michigan and Hard Rock 7’s.
The ladies had 30 players with 60 percent being sophomores and freshmen. The speed and tackling ability of these young Lady Rams will be seen for years to come. Being a new sport and the only contact sport for high school ladies, it has taken two years for the program to develop. You can expect big things from this team in the next year.
Feeding both of the programs is the Rockford Youth Rugby (RYR). RYR has just completed its sixth season and helped Forest Hills start their program this year. RYR’s goal is to have everyone learn traditions of this nearly 200-year-old game: everyone plays, everyone is involved, play hard for your team, and the fellowship of both teams after the game. In this age of “me” or “the star” and lack of respect for the players, referees or the game itself, rugby has laws mandating respect for the opposing players and the referee (“sir”), and a player can actually be penalized and/or sent off for disrespect and/or showboating.
The Rams had eight second- and third-graders play coed/non-contact flag, and 14 fourth- and fifth-graders play advanced coed/non-contact flag rugby. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade boys play full contact and had combined with the Forest Hills team to defeat Grandville 5-0 in Rockford and 17-5 in a very wet Grandville pitch. More information can be found at www.ramrugby.net.