MAXWELL MARSHALL — This spring, Denison’s Men’s Rugby Club has high hopes for its sevens team.
For those not as familiar with rugby, collegiate teams most often play “sevens” for the spring season — each team has 7 players who face off for 2 seven minute halves: halves that require immense speed and agility in order to score against the opposing team.
On Saturday, March 2 the men’s team faced off against various teams at the Ohio Wesleyan tournament, including Ohio Wesleyan, Earlham College, and Ohio University. The men’s team was well matched against OWU and had a close loss at 15-17.
Going forward with higher hopes, however, the men’s team obliterated Earlham, scoring multiple times against them (the victory was so severe Match Secretary Thomas Mitchell ’21 couldn’t recall the score). The highlight of this match, according to Thomas, was when Liam Mahon ’22 impressively leaped over two Earlham players at the tri-zone to score.
Tables were later turned for the men’s team, however, in their heavy loss against Ohio University: a much larger school with more players. This, along with our men’s team’s inability to conduct normal outdoor practices due to weather, showed true in this difficult match (score unknown). “We practiced one day prior to going into that tournament… we rely a lot more on speed and power than other teams on their bodies,” Mitchell said.
Things are however looking very bright for the men’s team moving forward. While they have been conducting team lifting and training since early February, warmer weather will soon permit outdoor practices. And along with continued training on their strengths of speed and power, the team has other unique skill sets.
“We are pretty cohesive as a team. Even if we make mistakes, we don’t yell and we get along very well,” Mitchell said.
This team dynamic, while often uncommon in collegiate club teams, will take the team quite far especially in the quick-paced spring sevens matches.
In the coming weeks, the men’s team has an exciting list of matches you will not want to miss. On April 6th the team faces off again against Kenyon — this is the team’s favorite match of the year and another predicted victory. A week later, the team will face off against Ohio Northern on April 13th. Match Secretary Thomas Mitchell ’21 also anticipates a home game against Akron, which will soon be scheduled.
The men’s rugby team welcomes anyone interested in playing, regardless of prior experience. Practices are Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and those who are interested should contact president Whit Ellingwood ’21.