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Men’s rugby dominates the regular season, falls in the playoffs

(Source: WSU Men’s Rugby Club)  WSU Rugby team captain Johnny Francis pulls the ball out of the ruck in a game against Utah Valley University earlier this season.
(Source: WSU Men’s Rugby Club)
WSU rugby team captain Johnny Francis pulls the ball out of the ruck in a game against Utah Valley University earlier this season.

Despite going undefeated in conference play, the Weber State University men’s rugby squad was knocked out of the playoffs in the first game of the quarterfinals in a 27-0 loss to University of Washington.

“We were a young team,” said inside/outside center Keoni Dellermann. “Ten out of 15 of our starters have never played before. To do as well as we did was a great accomplishment.”

This season showed a lot of growth within the club. As a team, the players grew more unified, and with that unity came more victories. In the regular season they swept conference play and gained the No. 2 seed in the conference. A rough trip up to Seattle saw the young team fall in the first round of the Varsity Championship Series.

Throughout the season, Niko Davidson was one of the key playmakers on and off the field. Dellermann said Davidson was always putting forth his best effort to help himself and others become the best. Because of that effort, his teammates often voted him the man of the match. Davidson was not the only Wildcat putting up big performances, as Dellermann and center Chris Wheeler also played key roles on the team.

“Centers (Dellermann) and Chris Wheeler were very in sync this season, and that led to team unity and a lot of great plays on the pitch,” said club president and team captain Jonathan Francis.

Off the field, Francis and forward captain Sean Andrews were instrumental in fundraising and recruiting to make all things happen this season.

The next season will bring a change to the conference, as it will expand its area to encompass much of the western part of the United States. Because of the hard work of this season, the team will begin the next year as the No. 1 seed.

“We did so well that I am excited for the upcoming year,” Francis said. “With all the change coming to our conference, I feel confident we are going to have another amazing year.”

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