For first time players, rugby can be a daunting sport. It’s nicknamed “football without pads,” and for beginners the name can be misleading.
“I’m pretty excited though I’ve never played before. It’s nice to try something new,” sophomore Cody Rorick said.
The Bulldogs, led by Coach Kaemming, won back to back state championships for Division 2 Rugby and is determined to do it again.
“A lot of the older guys who we looked up to played it, so that’s what started people playing. And the free food and just the nature of the sport,” GL alum Jake Money said.
Winning the state championship in 2014 and 2015, both championship teams, including Jake Money who is now playing rugby for Bowling Green University.
This year the club looks to three-peat with the help of some underclassmen. One of these underclassman looking to play a big role this year is sophomore Kaleb Clous. Last year Clous was on the B team and was pulled up onto the A team for the playoffs but never saw any action.
“I think we have a good chance [to three-peat], a really good chance for sure. We have the athletes and the coaches; now we just have to put it all together,” Clous said.
A lot of last year’s state championship team consisted of seniors. Now the B team, with the help of a bit of team chemistry with each other, will have to take on the roll of trying to win the state championship.
“I just like being athletic. I like the competition, and it’s something I like to do in the offseason for football to keep the time up,” Clous said.
Clous uses the sport for good football training but said he takes it very seriously and dedicates his time to the sport. Rugby requires a lot of training and practice to prevent injuries.
“I look up to Jake Money. He’s the one that brought me into the sport,” Clous said.
Money was the unofficial recruiter at Gull Lake for the Bulldogs. He is one of the people who brought many underclassmen into the sport.
“I want Cody [Rorick] and John [Volesky] to come out for rugby,” Clous said.
Adding more talent is key to being able to win a third state championship.
“It would be something I would be interested in. It seems fun and physical and it’s kind of like football,” sophomore John Volesky said.