This week marks the end of final exams at colleges across the country, as well as a time students look forward to a well-deserved break from classrooms and homework assignments. For the most competitive college rugby teams in the country, the winter break isn’t just about guzzling eggnog and gift giving, but an important time to get better equipped for a spring semester of rugby.
The University of Oklahoma Men’s Collegiate Rugby Program has announced the appointment of Doug Neubauer as its new Head Coach to continue the development of its high-performance program and its competition with the top programs in the country.
The ACRC Bowl match against Army allowed Life to bring its top side together for a challenging test before the team splits for finals and the holiday season. While Life put together an entire team performance, outside center Harley Davidson was especially impressive, producing lighting quick line breaks throughout the evening and scoring two tries.
Life and Kutztown left the ACRC Bowl Series with impressive victories, but it was the Running Eagles’ 53-19 win over Army that was heard loudest. Patiently waiting to meet the Rugby East Champions in Charlotte, N.C., Life has quietly been fine tuning a team that has the “most collective talent since I’ve been here,” according to now-former Head Coach and current Life University Athletic Director Dan Payne.
The main attraction at the Nov. 21-22 ACRC Bowl Series is the match between No. 2 Life and No. 3 Army. The two squads enter Saturday’s big game at different points of their 2014-15 seasons. Army has already completed its conference schedule and is looking to tie a bow on a remarkable fall season. Meanwhile, Life does not get into the teeth of its schedule until after the New Year.
The Lindenwood rugby team and the entire University was dealt a mighty blow last week upon hearing the tragic news of the passing of Lindenwood rugby player Charles Labry. With a Mid-South clash between Davenport and Lindenwood waiting in the wings, the two schools honored a terrific young man by declaring the match, and each one to follow between the two teams, the Charles Labry Memorial Match.
There may not be many D1A matchups this weekend involving two teams at or near the top of their conference's standings, but there are plenty of teams that currently sit in the middle of the pack and need wins to get into a conference championship conversation.
The Nittany Lions Men's Rugby team was alleviated of its semester-long suspension a few months ago, but the team's 30-6 win over No. 6 Davenport was Penn State's statement to the rugby community that the Nittany Lions are indeed back.