Hawks Soaring With Renewed Spirit

Anna Boris, Crier Staff

With a new season ahead of them, Hawks Rugby is looking up. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams have high hopes for their seasons. The two teams are ready to start the season with positive attitudes, and are making the necessary changes in order to build their skills and knowledge of the game.

Oftentimes, a team’s potential can be based upon its leaders. For the past two years, the Men’s team has been lacking a consistent coach. This year, the Hawks will be led by two new coaches who have already made a huge impact on the team.

Senior captain Andrew Stanley has high goals for the season, and is excited to see the season off to a great start.

“We’ve learned a lot more in two weeks of practice than we have in the past two years,” said Stanley. “It has changed a lot in the four years I’ve been here, and it’s definitely for the better.”

In addition to changes in the coaching staff, the team has made the decision to change divisions. Rather than remain in Division Two, they chose to drop down to Division Three.

“We feel that’s where we are best suited right now,” said Stanley. “We made the move last spring as a strategic effort because we felt that we would fit better there due to our numbers. I think it will help us to build up our education of the game and to become a more competitive team.”

As a rebuilding year, the team is also compensating for the loss of five starters who graduated last year. Fortunately, there are many sophomores and freshmen who are ready and willing to step up.

Stanley, along with the rest of the team, has strong goals for the season.

“As a team, our goal is to have a winning season and to see the guys grow in the game,” said Stanley. “We want to bring back the glory of Saint A’s rugby to the way it was in the past.”

The team is in the process of making any necessary changes that will be beneficial to the team.

“We see the changes that we want to make, and we’re in the process of changing them right now,” said Stanley. “We’re always talking and getting opinions from the players about what we should be doing, and what we’re doing wrong.”

With renewed confidence and strong team chemistry, the Hawks are ready to jump into the new season. Their first game will be held at New England College on Sunday, and their first home game will be next Friday at 7:30 versus Fitchburg State.

The Women’s Rugby team has similar goals—to build the program and to have a more successful season.

Before the season even came to a start, the team was determined and conditioned frequently. They spent three days a week lifting, as well as scheduled workouts throughout the summer.

“We’ve worked hard, and now we’re coming back stronger than ever,” said Rugby Treasurer Katlyn Fisher. “We’re ready to prove ourselves on the pitch this season.”

The work has certainly paid off thus far, as the team won their first game 67-0 versus UMass Lowell this past weekend.

Similar to the Men’s team, the Women have found themselves a new coach this past summer. Head coach Jesse Martineau has had a hand in the team’s swift improvement.

“Since the time he joined the team, he has devoted most of his time and energy to building up our Rugby program,” said Fisher. “It will be up to us as players to show our coaches that the time and effort they put into our team has paid off.”

Team chemistry also plays a role in their recent victory. The team did not graduate any seniors last year, and have recruited freshmen players.

“We are already know how to play together—we are just adding new players in and teaching them how to play the game,” said Fisher.

The team’s goal for the season is to redeem the previous year’s record, and to build the program.

“Last season we only won one game,” said Fisher. “But now that we have a much more experienced team and know the talent of our opponents, we are prepared for the season.”

The team is looking forward to the competition of the season, some of which include Southern Connecticut, Merrimack, Holy Cross, and Saint Michael’s College.

Both teams are looking forward to the season, hoping to see their growth from last season. The players are optimistic, especially Stanley.

“Everyone is committed, everyone wants to succeed, and everyone wants to have fun. We’re all really close and we’re in it together.”