BY BROOKE RENNA, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Rugby and charity. Two words that don’t necessarily appear in the same breath.
However, every St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the Susquehanna men’s rugby club team manages to bring the two ideas together for a few days.
On March 15, Susquehanna hosted a charity sevens tournament that brought in teams such as Neumann, DeSales, Holy Family and Lock Haven, which raised over $2,000 for the American Red Cross. All proceeds from the tournament, including entrance fees for the teams, were donated to the American Red Cross.
President junior Alex Holderbaum talked about the importance of combining athletics and charity.
Holderbaum said: “Doing charity matches is extremely important because it is a chance for the team to give back to the community that supports us. We have gotten much more support financially in the past years, so instead of raising for ourselves we are able to raise for a great cause, American Red Cross Disaster Relief.”
Sophomore Chris Warden shared Holderbaum’s thoughts.
Warden said: “It is important to show the SU community that while we are a bunch of rugby players, we like being involved in things that will better the community.”
Throughout the day, teams competed in sevens games, which vary from regular rugby games. Instead of having 15 people from each team on the field at a time and playing 40-minute halves, sevens reduces it to seven people on the field, with seven to 10-minute halves.
Susquehanna’s A-side ultimately won the tournament, defeating Lock Haven in the final game, 22-0.
Holderbaum said: “In the finals, we made zero mistakes and played as close to nationals quality as we could this early in the season. It was great to see people step up and play to that high of a level.”
Susquehanna’s B-side team took fifth place, defeating Neuamann’s B-side team 24-10, while Susquehanna’s C-side took eighth place, losing to Holy Family, 17-12.
Holderbaum said: “Going into the tournament I was really excited to get back playing sevens since last year we made it all the way to nationals. Our goal is to be national champs, and the tournament really was a way to get back into game shape and closer towards our goal.”
Head coach Jon Niles said that he believed the tournament went well overall, adding that he hopes that next year, the team can find a date where not as many teams were on spring break.
The men’s sevens team will be competing in two national qualifying tournaments in the upcoming weeks. On April 5 they will travel to Grove City and on April 12 they will travel to Philadelphia.