Club Rugby Team Heads to National Championships

Western’s Men’s Rugby team defeated their rival, Colorado School of Mines, twice, and are now District 2 Conference Champions. Next up, they are headed to Wayne, Nebraska to play in the National Championship game.

On November 19, the team starts their journey to Nationals to represent Western.

“We have worked really hard for the last few years and have accomplished what we set out to this year, so we are very proud of where we are,” said Nathaniel Ferguson, one of 10 captains on the team

The team is ranked number 14 in Club Sports Division II Rugby in the country, and they own the title of the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Rugby Conference (RMCRC) Champions, which they won at 9-0.

“The team was motivated through failures of the years before. The best part about having a team that has exp

erience together and played with each other for as long as we have, is that we have been through tough losses and hard times, and we made the conscience decision not to let that happen anymore,” said another captain Ryan Johnson, who has been playing with the same team members for the past two years.           

Coach Tony Luehrs, who transferred to Western in Spring 2009 and graduated with a degree in Mathematics in Fall 2010, has been working with the team for the past three years and was a part of the team while going to school at Western.

Luehrs worked the team hard and reminded them that they decide how far they go. With hard work and a great advantage playing at 7,700 feet, the team has gone 10-0 in their season so far.

“This team has stepped up. They have taken responsibility and everything is on them. I coach but the members take over basic tasks that allow them to take ownership of their team and know they own their success,” said Coach Tony.

With the goal of beating Colorado School of Mines accomplished, the team is headed to the championships in good spirits, and they are ready to see what the next four games hold.

“We are the only team that is going to championships that has not been there in the past. Even if we lose by thirty points but get at least three, people will be impressed and we will make a name for ourselves,” Luehrs said.

Story by Grace Flynn
Photos by Dave Tweed Photography

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Date: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 4:15pm