Whittier Rugby Club taken to new heights

Ginny Traster's picture

Ginny Traster, Issue 8, Sports - By Ginny Traster on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 04:07

The Rugby club has grown in many ways since last year. They have become more community oriented, their roster has increased and they are competing in new and different competitions.

Right now, the team is in its post-season, playing games in the area to get ready for the upcoming qualifying games for the Small College National Championships which will be held in the Texas. The rugby team will compete against Azusa Pacific University and Point Loma Nazarene Universtiy in attempts to qualify. This will be the first time that they attempt to make it to the Championships. They will know at the end of November whether or not they made it. Their regular season will be in January.

 “I think that we have a really good chance of making it to the championships,” senior captain Ari Bacharach said. “I have a lot of faith in this team.”

The team currently have 40 men on their roster, which is enough to field two teams. This works out well for the team because next week on Nov. 6 the team is scheduled to be competing against Division II Humboldt State University and also in the day long Cal State Long Beach Tournament, so they are able to send a team to both.

Their coach Vince McLeod is a Whittier College alumnus and his wife Raquel, an alumna, is the person who started the women’s rugby team at Whittier. The team is still in the recruiting process but has already begun to have practices. They currently practice with the men’s team.

The teams were also given more field practice time this year and are even holding several home games. Bacharach attributes this to the fact that the club has shown a positive influence on the community. They may even be able to receive funding for travel to games through the senate funding process as a club on campus. According to Bacharach they continued to be more community-oriented than last year by continuing to participate in events like the upcoming AIDS Walk.

As a fundraising event, the team will be hosting a free concert and costume party today at the Radisson Hotel on Greenleaf Avenue asking for, but not requiring donations for entrance. They are also helping host the Halloween Carnival on Friday, Oct. 29 in the Upper Quad.

Different from traditional sports teams the rugby teams also hosts a get-together with the rival team after every home game or attends the home team’s hosted social event. At these events, it is a tradition for the teams to sing songs and anyone is invited.

More information can be found about both teams on whittierrugby.com