Earlier this year, Columbia Rugby took a huge leap forward. The club successfully secured a lucrative sponsorship under the direction of Coach Daniel Kennedy and the assistance of invaluable alumni. Our proud sponsor is Macat, a premier e-learning service striving to service students of all international backgrounds with the simultaneous aims of improving educational standards and foster critical thinking skills worldwide.
Through frigid weather and grueling pre-dawn practices, CURFC resumed evening practice last Monday at Baker Field with vicious ferocity as the Las Vegas Invitational looms in the near distance. The LVI tournament is a national Rugby Sevens event sporting prominent rugby teams from both the United States and Canada, and Columbia Rugby is sending twelve players of consummate speed and skill to compete before the massive crowds. Benjamin Coombs, Ben Keitt, Peter Calello, Karim Amr, Greg Gu, Ike Muzikowski, Daniel Martinez, Colin Cowles, Maximilian Martin, Charles Ponti, Gordon Cole, and Matthew Tremblay were selected to descend upon the Sin City and ravage Star Nursery and Silver Bowl fields. Our boys are leaving on the 11th of this month and playing from the 12th through the 15th beginning in a pool against neighbors, Buffalo and Kutztown, and the distant, Miami of Ohio. Six pools are present with the leader of each pool advancing to the quarter finals accompanied by the two other teams with the most overall wins and best point differentials. And although only twelve CURFC players may be on field, the entire club, the entire family will be watching, cheering on, and roaring with delight.
"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die"
John McCrae In Flanders Fields
Near the end of every fall semester, a meeting is called amongst all CURFC ruggers. It is a somber but festive affair as jokes are swapped, memories recalled, and laughter rings, somewhat empty. Empty, as the end of an era of leadership begins, and this particular meeting was even more poignant due to the success of the club as a team and as an organization. With the best winning season of the past four years, expanded coaching personnel, improved workout facilities, and a flourishing B-side, CURFC has never been stronger as it is now, and we can only thank the efforts of the 2013 - 2014 executive board who worked tirelessly and toiled arduously to develop the club beyond imagination.
Therefore, we thank Danny Martinez for his leadership as President, Adam Gayoso for his work as Match Secretary, John Heizelman for his role as Treasurer, David Colavita for his work as Alumni Chair, Zak Kirsten for his efforts as Public Relations and Recruitment Chair and being permanently concussed, Alex Felsberg for his top-tier work as Social Chair, Matthew Tremblay for reining in Fundraising chair and Equipment manager, and the Forwards and Backs captains, respectively, Taha Wiheba and Ben Keitt, for their leadership and prowess on the field. It was a wonderful year lads and a wonderful season.
Yet with every end, there is a beginning, specifically, the inception of the 2014 - 2015 executive board led by President John Heizelman, Match secretary Matt Tremblay, Treasurer David Colavita, Alumni chair Ben Coombs, Social chair Jadrian Guy, Recruitment chair Gordon Cole, Public Relations chair, Sean Mbogo, Fundraising chair and Equipment manager Greg Gu, and the Forwards and Backs captains, Karim Amr and Ben Coombs. We look forward to a brilliant season as we seek to carry the torch you so brightly lit.
Today, CURFC visits Princeton University to participate in the Ivy's 7s Tournament. 7s is a variation of standard rugby played with seven player teams consisting of two props, a hooker, a scrum half, a fly half, a centre, and a winger. But the division of positions in Rugby Seven is less apparent due to fewer players, and the player demarcations are mostly nominal. The 7s play-style is vastly different in execution than that of 15s (standard rugby) with an emphasis of speed and possession. Possession is highly important to 7s' games as only seven-minute halves are played (15s features 40-minute halves), and the faster one is, the more points one accrues. More opportunities for breaks, scoring, and out-pacing opponents are present as the full 100 meter pitch is in use, so 7s games tend to be higher scoring. 7s is an widely popular variation of Rugby Standard and will make its Olympic debut in the 2016 games. In short, 7s is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride of fun, crazy fun.
As always, follow CURFC on Twitter @ColumbiaRugby for live match updates.
The CURFC steam train hit an unexpected chink on its path to supremacy. After three spectacular and high-scoring games against Cornell, Harvard, and U Penn, it was Yale Rugby that disrupted the team's winning momentum. CURFC had traveled to games further away and had triumphed in worse weather, but the close proximity of New Haven and its pleasant weather were not a boon for the roaring team. Penalties, penalties, penalties, and more penalties hindered the juggernaut that is CURFC from fully materializing. The game began with heat as CURFC kicked off deep into Yale territory, and following a fumble of hands by Yale, CURFC was poised to score, but penalties and mis-communication lead to Yale scoring early. However, CURFC responded defiantly with Karim Amr punching a hole through Yale's defense. A rigorous game of give and take ensued as the two teams displayed equal skill. Yet penalties against CURFC persisted and their toll was detrimental. However, CURFC played undeterred even with injuries and substitutions, the Crowns pushed forward, determined and resilient. Even as Yale accrued points, CURFC responded with vigor and energy regardless of the point differential, and although late in the game, the Crowns scored once more in astounding fashion as John Campbell scored a hard-won try after a series of grueling phases, but the late resurgence was insufficient, and the game ended 12 to 48 in favor of Yale Rugby. CURFC might have lost to Yale, but we are still a formidable and impressive team with an outstanding 4 to 2 record and fully capable of dismantling the Dartmouth defense especially on home territory.
It was an overcast day in Philadelphia as the CURFC team arrived at the University of Pennsylvania following a four hour bus ride. Gray skies lingered overhead, but CURFC arrived with a determined mindset focused on extending their current win streak. Following two consecutive wins over Cornell and Harvard, a win over the U Penn Men would bolster CURFC to a comfortable 4 - 1 record. And they did. A drizzly kick-off did not impede CURFC from playing well and scoring early with Colin Cowles landing a try. The first half was filled with eventful play as both teams penetrated deep into opposing field yet conceded no points. The half-time score stood at 5 CURFC and 0 U Penn Men. While the first half was a slow slugfest of strategy and coordination, the second half was a blitz of action and scoring mostly by CURFC. CURFC men scored as Hank Cordova broke from a scrum and offloaded to Colin Cowles who brought it home once more. Peter Callelo successfully converted the try, and he was soon called upon as Bradford Reed scored another try after a lightning round of phases bringing the score to 19 - 0. Not to be outdone, Hank Cordova broke through two Penn defenders to touch the ball down, and with a successful conversion, CURFC lead 26 - 0 late in the second half. However, the U Penn Men gathered for a late-minute try, closing the game with a final score of 26 - 7.