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Rugby bulldozes competition

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Santa Rosa Junior College rugby team start practice with scrumming drills with the forwards and second rows.

Santa Rosa Junior College rugby team start practice with scrumming drills with the forwards and second rows.

Albert Gregory

Albert Gregory

Santa Rosa Junior College rugby team start practice with scrumming drills with the forwards and second rows.

Frank Sumrall, Contributing Editor

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Santa Rosa Junior College rugby head coach, Steve Wren, has once again led his squad to a near-perfect season despite the changing roster mirroring a revolving door for student athletes.

The SRJC rugby squad [4-1] continues to reign supreme in the NorCal Collegiate Rugby Conference (NCCRC) alongside American River College, Cal Maritime Academy and University of San Francisco. SRJC faces USF and ARC to round out the regular season before the playoffs kick off.

“It was disappointing to have our first loss last week in overtime, but we’ll respond against San Francisco,” Wren said during practice. “The players thought about the loss all weekend…it was great to see how much they care.”

Wren has guided this club to success for over 20 years, including 16 top-20 rankings in the NCCRC. The train keeps rolling for this group thanks to their integrity. The united synergy can be witnessed at every practice, scrimmage and game.

“We want to help teach the kids because we’re teachers not coaches,” Wren said. “They’re student athletes, it’s the kid first, then the athlete.”

Wren’s stress on team building and unity by using former players as assistant coaches is key for this club’s return to glory. The rugby club now continues its path to represent the college with pride as one of the most successful teams on campus.

The sweeping unity of the pigskin can be felt on and off the field. Determination is brimming for this squad, even when injuries occur.

“It’s difficult to come back from an injury but it just takes hard work that needs to be put in,” said second-year rugby athlete Andrew Chappell. Chappell broke his ankle in the preseason and has missed this regular season, but has never stopped his love and passion for the game.

“The brotherhood of the sport keeps me coming back,” Chappell said. “You have this common ground of hard work and love for the sport.”

This club has come back from the dead in full force, taking no prisoners.

Santa Rosa Junior College faces University of San Francisco March 11.

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Rugby bulldozes competition