LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Yet another undefeated run at the Penn Mutual College Rugby Championship produced a fifth consecutive CRC title for the California Golden Bears. Cal met D1A National Championship finalist Life in the Cup Final, but the Bears overpowered the Running Eagles to a 19-0 trophy-hoisting win.
Cal and Life weren’t the only teams to persevere into the CRC’s Cup stages. In fact, all eight Quarterfinalists came from the D1A competition: Arkansas State, Cal, Indiana, Kutztown, Life, Lindenwood, Saint Mary’s and UCLA. Wins by Indiana and Lindenwood over UCLA and Arkansas State, respectively, advanced the two to the Cup Semifinals, but Cal and Life would move on from there to meet in the Finals.
For a Cal squad that had been preparing for the tournament with heavy hearts since teammate Robert Paylor suffered a spinal injury during the Bears’ 43-13 win against Arkansas State in the May 6 Varsity Cup final, the CRC title gave the program reason to smile.
Miraculously, Paylor has begun rehabilitation. However, the hard work has only begun for the young lock, and the costs associated with his rehabilitation are nearly as unimaginable as the effort and strength it will require Paylor to regain motion in all of his extremities. A GoFundMe page has been created to help alleviate some of the Paylor family’s financial burden, where all are welcome to donate.
D1A was well-represented on an individual basis, as well. Rugby Today’s 12-player Dream Team was made up entirely of D1A players, except for one player from Dartmouth earning a spot on the distinguished list. Cal, Life and Lindenwood each produced multiple players on the Dream Team.
2017 CRC Dream Team
Cian Barry – UCLA
Dylan Boast – Arkansas State
Harley Davidson – Life
Alex Dorrier – Indiana
Cody Melphy – Life
Dmontae Noble – Kutztown
Cristian Rodriguez – Lindenwood
Anthony Salaber – Cal
Lorenzo Thomas – Lindenwood
Duncan van Schalkwyk – Life
Russell Webb – Cal
Dawit Workie – Darmtouth