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Rugby tackles 2003 season

Sept. 4, 2003

By Lauren Giles, reporter

The Baylor Rugby Club is calling all young men interested in a work-hard, play-harder attitude.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the team practices on the new rugby field located next to the Baylor Sciences Building.

After losing most of their leading seniors last year and facing rough competition, this fresh, new team is hoping to dominate Division II once again.

Current players are anxious to find new recruits to help fill positions in a three-tier playing lineup. It consists of two viable sides where players would be ranked according to availability and competitiveness.

Non-Baylor students are invited to join the third side, which is open for players who might not have as much access to field time but still would like to be involved in practice scrimmages.

Current team members Billy Effergin, a Malibu, Calif., senior, and Joseph Ferguson, a Waco senior, said they are interested in anyone who wants to participate; all the players need are cleats and shorts.

'Right now we just want more bodies on the field. We are willing to train anyone, no experience necessary,' Ferguson said.

During the 2000-01 school year, the team had an undefeated regular season and won first place in the Texas Rugby Union Championship held in Waco. The season's accomplishments qualified the team for Division II National Championships, where they later won first place and moved up to Div. I.

Following their success, the team qualified second in the 2001-02 Div. I season. The Bears were moved back down to Div. II when they came up short for the second year in a row in 2003.

The team has traveled all over Texas, to Reno, Nev., and Virginia Beach, Va. With little financial aid from Baylor, however, the men rely on assistance from their 'little sisters.' Little sisters support and encourage the team by helping raise money for their travels, plan social activities and bring fans to the game.

Now that the 2003-04 season is underway, with the help of Baylor student body support and new recruits, the team is ready to take home another undefeated season in Div. II.

Aside from wanting new players and more little sisters, the team also is looking for a new head coach with the experience to get them back in the national championship tournament.

The team will scrimmage at 10 a.m. Saturday. Those interested in playing rugby or becoming a little sister are invited Tuesday or Thursday afternoon to meet the Baylor Rugby Club.

Last year's captain Roberto Hanson stressed the fact that rugby is not as dangerous as most people think.

'We actually train safe ways to tackle,' said Hanson. 'We are just good people who like to have good times while playing the sport of rugby.'