Here we go again…

21 08 2009

Saturday… Saturday is the big day. The day that the fall rugby season begins. The competitive season.

The one where nearly every match counts towards or against your team making playoffs.

The time of year when rugby again begins to take up most of your time and thoughts. Where you think strategy randomly during the day.

When you give up every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from now until early November.

This could be a great season. For both teams. For maybe the first time since I’ve been a part of the club.

I love rugby in general, I’m not sure there is a sport out there that has as much excitement and possibilities as a player. Not even hockey or football or soccer. It’s 80 minutes – minimal substitutions. 15 players who MUST play as one.

The women have been a very competitive side for nearly as long as I’ve been on the team. And I see no reason that this should change now. Our coach works us hard. The new/changed/reverted rules, fitness, strategies, new drills, new takes on old things.

One thing helping us is that our most fierce rival, Detriot, has moved up to Division I as there is now a Women’s Premiership League. Meaning that many DI clubs moved up to that league, being replaced by the “best” teams in DII.

The last year that Detroit didn’t make the Midwest playoffs? We won the Midwest Championship and came in 4th at Nationals.

And for what I guess is the first time in my years with this club, the men are going into the season with a boatload of talent, tons of potential and many guys willing to listen & work together, rather than bark orders.

But on the same level as playing, I love to support our guys. And if the women are off or out of town & I don’t travel, I’m at the men’s game. Sometimes I run touch. Sometimes I don’t.

I’ve had some guys thank me for this. For coming out rather than staying at home. They’ve never had to thank me. Ever. I’ve been there because they are my friends. And I’ve always seen potential in them. Whether it be a handful of players each season, or as in this season, the whole team, I have truly have wanted them to succeed. In every single game.

We’ve had guys threaten to leave the team after yet another losing season. Some made good on the threat. Most didn’t. They stuck with it and I really hope that this season is the one they’ve hoped for. I honestly do.

In the Spring, they beat their in-town rivals. Something they haven’t done in my 7 years here. I was so happy for them and proud of them. Heck, we thought it could happen and I made a stop to buy Boone’s Farm for their celebration (blame Dilbert, not me!!)

And I hope they remember that win and how good it felt to beat that other team and carry that memory into each game so that they continue winning.

The pre-season stars tomorrow. Both teams have matches against teams they won’t face in the competitive season. The men kick off at 11am and 2pm. The women at 12:30pm.

Let’s hope we start it off with wins all around.

Should you care to come watch rugby firsthand, as UncleCrappy & MrsCrappy, FatherSpoon and Chachi have, here’s the schedule… we need a cheering section, yo! So get out and watch. You won’t understand it entirely, but that doesn’t matter. Unless I’m playing I’ll try to help you out.

Home is Boyce Park in Monroeville. The soccer fields. Check this site for updates in case things move. Or email, DM or text me to find out if I’ll be there! (Yinz Teamers besides those mentioned above? I’M LOOKING DIRECTLY AT YOU!!!!!!!!!)

Women:

Date Opponent Location
8/22 Harrisburg Home
8/29 TBD Away
9/5 OFF
9/12 Cleveland Away
9/19 Buffalo Away
9/26 University of Pittsburgh Home
10/3 Buffalo Home
10/3 PAX (B-side) Home
10/10 Dayton Home
10/17-18 Cross-Conference Playoff TBD
10/24-25 Midwest Playoffs TBD
10/31 TBD
11/6-8 Nationals San Francisco, CA

Men:

Date Opponent Division Location
8/22 Round Robin – S. Pitt/Westmoreland II & III TBD
8/29 Robert Morris Univ. III Away
9/5 Cleveland Rovers II & III Away
9/12 Dayton II Away
9/19 Toledo II Home
9/26 Detroit II Home
10/3 OFF II
10/10 Scioto Valley II Away
10/17 Rochester II Home
10/24 Lexington II Away
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2 responses

23 08 2009
PghRugbyRef

And if The Annoyed Angel isn’t available for questions, anybody on the sidelines will be more than willing to give you answers.

23 08 2009
Uncle Crappy

Congratulations, Angels, for kicking ass on Saturday.

The rest of yinz guys need to come out and see a game or two. It’s easy to pick up the flow of the game, and you’ll have a blast once you do.

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