Rugby players headed to the field, only to find that their opponent, Reed College, was unable to attend. Despite the no-show, Central Oregon Community College Bobcats were still able to have their first rugby game.
While the Bobcats didn’t win, the spirit and camaraderie of the team held together. They are “ready to play harder than ever next game,” according to student and rugby player Camden Gregg. Gregg pointed out that the team played well, “started strong, and scored first” before losing steam.
Rugby coach, Woodson Bennett, said the players “may have been a little gunshy,” but the first game was an important experience and that it was a good chance to build camaraderie, and “get that first [game] under our belt”.
Gregg believed the loss was due to the confusion regarding Reed College having to back out of the game, but noted that he and the rest of the team “really appreciated Southern Oregon University (SOU) coming out to play against us,” and that he’s “hoping to get a chance to play Reed next season or something, a skirmish maybe.”
Coach Bennett said that it was simply due to the fact that SOU had far more experienced players, as this year most of the rugby team is made up of freshman and sophomores. “We graduated most of our players last year,” remarked Bennett, maintaining that he is still “excited to see what we have to deal with this year.”
Still, rugby is a game with a steep learning curve, and many of the players are new this season. Despite this, the team is improving every day, practicing often, rain or shine. So far, practice has been held, despite freezing rain and wind.
“That’s just how strong we are,” remarks Gregg.
Coach Bennett stated this past Tuesday was “the best practice we’ve ever had.”
With returning rugby veterans Trevor Thompson, Merlin Tom, and Team Captain Dalton Chambers, things are looking strong for COCCs players, many of whom believe this is going to be a good season despite first game setback.
“We’re reloading, and I think we’re gonna surprise a lot of people. I’m excited, we have a lot of talent this year,”said Bennett.
The Bobcats next game will be held the Saturday of 10/29/16, and is the second League match.
Nainoa Kannaiaupuni Naff | The Broadside