Colchester High School Boys Rugby Set to Kickoff this Spring

Burlington, Vermont – April 12, 2017 – 802 Rugby – The Colchester High School Athletic Department has given the go ahead and will be working with 802 Rugby to form a rugby club.

The boys are set to start practice this week and hope to play a handful of friendly matches against local high schools this spring. The team will be coached by Josh Cameron, who is currently an Assistant Rugby Coach at Champlain College. Once the boy’s team is set up and in full swing, a girls’ team will also be formed.

At the moment, practices will be held Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:00pm at Colchester High School. Weekend practice times and the spring match schedule are still TBD at this time.

If you’re a student interested in playing, please ask to join the Facebook Group, as this is where all communications will be posted from the coaching staff and captains.

If students or parents/guardians have any questions, please feel free to contact Coach Josh Cameron at 315-705-1476 or chsrugbyfootballclub@gmail.com.

 

802 Rugby, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the promotion, development, and support of youth rugby programs in an effort to encourage the integrity and character that makes rugby unique. For more information about 802 Rugby, please head over to the About Us page!

Allie’s Rugby Story – Player

When I tell people I play rugby, I always get the same response. “Wow, that’s
a tough sport, huh?” And I always respond in the same way, “Yes it is, but it’s
probably the most amazing sport you could ever play.” After getting dragged to an
informational meeting at CVU about rugby, I reluctantly went to my first Rebel
Rugby practice. I arrived, totally scared out of my mind. I had played many other
sports growing up but I knew nothing about rugby. Any information I knew had
come from the “Rugby for Dummies,” document I had read the night before. I
remember playing touch to warm-up at that practice. The whole time, I felt lost and
confused. Some of the vets attempted to calm my nerves by telling me it was easy,
“Catch the ball and run forward.” After a solid week of total confusion, rugby was my
new love.

Rugby became the love of my life for a few reasons. The players on the Rebel
Rugby team were all very kind and accepting. I had never met such a diverse, open-
minded group of people. I found people that became my best friends throughout
high school and even after I left for college. Most notably, my coaches impacted my
life so positively. I had never felt so supported and championed by my coaches.
Every time I stepped onto the pitch, I knew I was supported by my coaches who only
wanted to see me grow and develop. My coaches were role models and through
their inspiration, I became comfortable with myself while learning my own strength.
They pushed me to be the best version of myself, something I am forever grateful
for.

I played on the Rebel Rugby team for three years. I was lucky enough to also play on the Vermont Select Side team. I participated in the Vermont Rugby Clinic at St. Mikes for multiple years. Vermont Rugby gave me love for the game, something I will always carry with me.

Now, I am a junior at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. I am a confident, athletic person, who gives a lot of the credit to rugby. After arriving at Hopkins, I immediately joined the rugby team, giving me a new family and support system. The team was small and struggling when I arrived and I soon became the captain of the team. During my second semester at Hopkins, I became the President of the club as well. I am now in my third year of leading the team on and off the pitch. I have gotten vast leadership experience, an opportunity only available because of my time with Vermont Rugby. I have a new family of ruggers down here,not only from my own Hopkins team, but also girls on many other local teams.Rugby is a family. Rugby has expanded my social circle far beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’ve played for my high school team, the Vermont Select Side Team, my college team, and other local college teams. I have friends from allover the region simply because of the sport I play. I am seen as a leader and this gives me confidence. Deciding to play rugby in high school was the best decision I could have ever made.

EXTRA:
As the captain and president of Hopkins Women’s rugby, I organized a
campaign to empower women. We did a “Because of Rugby…” photo campaign. After
posting it on our Facebook page, it was liked and shared by individuals and teams all
over the world. It was incredible to see the impact our photos made and the breadth
of the audience reached. The confidence shown by all my girls is something that my
experience with Vermont Rugby afforded me.
Here is the link:

Here are some reasons why we love rugby!

Posted by Johns Hopkins University Women's Rugby Club on Monday, February 8, 2016

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Hiro’s Rugby Story – Player

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Hiro Soga dives in for a try. 2011

I started playing rugby nearly 8 years ago, as a freshman at South Burlington high school. I was forced into signing up by some friends who were trying to breathe life back into a club that had been dead for a while. I wasn’t super excited when I first started. I had never really excelled at sports and I didn’t know any of the rules. All of that changed after only a few practices. By my junior year I was a captain on the team and I was totally in love with rugby. I loved rugby so much that I would end a practice at high school and drive over to the Burlington men’s club and go for a second round of practice. I was incredibly lucky to be able to experience rugby at a higher level even in high school through the men’s club. Although we rarely (maybe never?) won a game in my 4 years on the high school rugby team,I came away from that program feeling like I had gained something much more important than a winning record.

Since graduating high school in 2011, rugby continues to be a big part of my life. I continued to play at college in a D1 program at Temple University in Philadelphia. When it came time to choose a college having a good rugby program had become my #1 deciding factor on whether or not I would be applying to that college. When I studied abroad in Japan, I was even lucky enough to play internationally where rugby was much more popular than in the US, I got to play for a D1 club in the Tokyo area and even had the honor of getting run over and bloodied by a player chosen for the Japanese National Rugby 7’s squad that year. I had taken a year off from school in Philadelphia but I continued to keep rugby in my life by training and playing with the Burlington men’s club again as a full member rather than a high schooler.

One of the most memorable moments as a rugby player was being able to come back and watch my high school team win the state championship for the first time ever. After playing four years and not winning I had never felt more joy, jealousy, or pride in one moment. I was so envious to watch them celebrate after the game. I had wanted to be in that position for four long years, but it was almost as good being able to cheer them on from the sidelines. I think it was a championship won on the backs of our coaches putting in years and years of hard work bringing the program up from when I started where we weren’t even allowed to practice on the school fields.

My favorite aspect of rugby is the sense of camaraderie everyone has for each other. After every game, everyone forgets about the big fight in the game, the back breaking tackles, the yelling and smack talking on the field. When you leave the field everyone is friends, laughing and talking about the events of the day as if they were reminiscing about a game they played together years ago. Because of this I’ve made countless friends with teammates and rivals alike, friends that I’ll hopefully keep forever. And hopefully I’ll be able to continue making friends through rugby wherever I go. Next fall I’ll be returning to Philadelphia for one final year of rugby at Temple University. If everything goes right, hopefully you’ll be seeing me on your TV’s a little less than a year from now playing in the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7’s tournament aired on NBC every year.

Sophia’s Rugby Story – Player

A friend asked me if I would be willing to write about rugby. I agreed.

Rugby…one of the numerous sports I participated in. Believe it or not, I, a person who is 4 ft. 10 inches played rugby. One of the questions my friend asked me to write about was why I played rugby. My explanation is this:

I have six siblings and four of them are older than me, who also played rugby. I was interested because they played rugby and said it was fun, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m so glad I tried because I absolutely LOVE rugby! I don’t know if I would have tried it if it weren’t for my family’s support! (All my six siblings and myself played rugby!) I can clearly remember playing in the first match (game) and frightened on that pitch (field.) I had NO idea what I was doing and didn’t know what to do! As the game progressed, I started to learn the basics–tackle (hit) people and get that ball in my possession. I felt more comfortable as I learned the basics and just grew in my love for the sport.

Would I recommend rugby to other people? Yes, yes and yes! Rugby is SO much fun and everyone should play if they’re looking for something new to try! It’s a fun sport. At every match, my parents were there for each and every child that played. They were our biggest fans.

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Select side in 2012–these girls were fierce!

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Our select side group from 2012–we won!

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Our group who went to select side from my high school. My sister is on the right, at the end!

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Some people were hard tackle…sometimes I just wrap my leg around them and trip them by mistake!

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One of my favorite rugby pictures!

Rugby

My freshman year at my college…fall semester, before I was concussed. Five years of playing rugby with one concussion…rugby is unfortunately over for me, but I’m so grateful for the years I did play. God gave me the God-given talent of playing sports. So grateful.  

Scrum

This is what a scrum looks like in rugby! It’s hard work!

Tackle

Rugby is great and is worth a shot!🙂

Aki’s Rugby Story – Parent

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                                           Yuki and Hiro Soga.  May 20, 2012. 

Like many parents, one my first thoughts on learning my son Hiro had signed up to play rugby at South Burlington High School was safety. After all, these guys made bone crushing hits in what looked like a free-for-all on the field without the protection of pads or helmets. And I was no novice when it came to being a rugby spectator, having watched my older brother play at Dartmouth.

What I learned in that first season, and in the years that followed, was that safety comes first. When I came to know the South Burlington coaching staff – Tiff Renaud, Tree Bertram and Kevin O’Brien – and watched the quality of officiating at youth rugby matches, it was clear that this was something that was built into the game – both in the rules and in the culture. Also built into the game was respect, sportsmanship and camaraderie.
And about playing with no pads – you tend to be less reckless hitting your opponent when you’ve got no protection yourself.
The youth rugby program is focused on teaching novice player the game – there’s little opportunity to play rugby in Vermont before high school. I also love many students – especially young women – came to the program having had little or no experience in other sports. Imagine choosing a game as physical as rugby as your initiation into organized sports. That such students felt safe and welcomed says much about the game and the coaches.
That’s why I had no qualms when Hiro talked his younger brother Yuki – much smaller – to join him on the team three years later.
The captains on the field are held responsible for the conduct of their teammates. They are the only ones allowed to approach the officials. The the ref will brook no bad behavior from the sideline, either. I’ve seen play stopped at VYRA matches, while the official told parents on the field to behave.
Then there’s the social at the end of the game, when the home team sets out food and drink for players of both sides, giving players who had been fierce opponents on the field just minutes before to end the day as a group of young people united by a love for the game.
Hiro and Yuki played together for only one year, Yuki as scrumhalf and Hiro as flyhalf – the two positions that restart the play from a scrum, sort of like the center and quarterback. On the field, they each developed a level of focus, intensity and leadership that I’d not seen before.
The team, too, developed over the years. During Hiro’s four years at SBHS, I’m not sure they ever scored an outright win. In Yuki’s senior year, the team won the state championship, a game Hiro was on hand to see and celebrated as much as any of the active players.
As a parent, I can’t thank rugby enough for what my sons learned from the game and how they grew on the field. But seeing my two boys play even for one season as teammates was the greatest gift.
Aki Soga

Nora’s Rugby Story – Player

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                        Nora Rogers playing for SCRFU Griffins 2016

I was a never a team sport kind of girl. I passed through ballet, tap and gymnastics for a time, but my real passion was horse back riding. I guess you could have called me “the horse girl,” well at least all the way up until my junior year of high school. That’s when I found rugby. I knew nothing about it, I had never seen it, and my only connection was a couple of friends who wanted me to play. They tried to recruit me in my sophomore year, but I was convinced that I would die because in my eyes playing rugby was nothing short of crazy. Boy was I right, but not in the way you may think. It was crazy…crazy fun. I was dragged to a practice by friends, and after that one day, you couldn’t have stopped me from playing if you tried(no pun intended).

I fell in love with rugby that year and it has become a mainstay in my life ever since. My coaches, Tiffany Renaud, Tree Bertram, and Kevin O’Brian taught me so much more than rugby, they taught me trust, teamwork, passion, determination, courage, compassion, respect, and confidence. I not only grew as a player, but also as a person. I became a leader, both on the team and in other aspects of my life, I pushed myself to become better, and to work harder, to embody all that rugby is in my everyday life. I only have one regret from my high school rugby days, and it is that I didn’t start playing earlier.

When I first started college at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011,  rugby was a bit of a lost cause. The men’s team was struggling to stay a recognized club sport and the women’s team…well they just didn’t exist. I didn’t go to college to play rugby, but I wasn’t about to give it up because there wasn’t a team for me to join, so I played with the boys. My goal became to build a team for that next girl who came in looking for a rugby team to call family and I knew I wasn’t alone. There were about five of us girls who practiced with the men that year, all the while making plans for what we really wanted, our own team. It took us the better part of two years but we finally did it. In the fall of 2013 we played our first official game as RIT Women’s Rugby in six years, and we won, shutting out the other team 39-0. I’ve been out of college now for two years but the team I helped build is still rucking. It’s still a small team, they struggle to get the numbers and funding they need each season but they don’t give up, they have worked too hard and come too far to just let it go. I am so proud to have been a founding member of the RIT Women’s Rugby club and so thankful that in the years to come there will be a place for that next high school rugby girl to find a family.

Today I live in California, just about as far away from the great 802 as you can get without leaving the country. I thought maybe I would retire my rugby boots at the age of 23 but after 6 months of not playing I couldn’t sit around any longer. I joined the San Fernando Women’s Rugby Club right before their first game of the 2016 season and it’s the best decision I’ve made since moving across country. I have only known these women for a year but it feels like I’ve known them my whole life, and I am so thankful for the family rugby has granted me.

Trying new things can be scary, especially when they involve tackling, but if we never tried new things then we would never move forward. I would not be where I am today in all aspects of life without this amazing sport and it’s incredible community. Yes, rugby is a sport with a ball and running, but it is really so much more than that. It is a life style, one shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and those people are some of the best you will ever meet.

I know this is getting long, but I want to leave this note for parents, especially those of young girls. If your daughter comes home and says, “I want to try rugby,” don’t tell her she can’t just because you are scared. She is tougher than she looks, and rugby will not only keep her healthy and strong, it will provide her with the building blocks she needs to become a strong, confident, and independent woman. I’ll leave you with a favorite quote of mine: “I play rugby…what’s your superpower?”

Welcome!

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As you may notice the 802 Rugby website has changed a bit. We are still under construction and working on transferring all of our information to this new site so please be patient. We hope you enjoy our new look!

See you on the pitch!

802 Rugby Crew