The men’s rugby club, Black and Blood, continues to grow in numbers. The team hopes this growth will help them prosper this season.
“This is one of the bigger teams I have ever seen. The more players we have the better we will be,” said Sven Casper, the senior vice president and prop.
Even with the impressive size of Black and Blood, the club allows recruitment with no experience required.
“We welcome all kinds and all sizes,” Casper said. “We’ll take you and we’ll make you into a rugger.”
Last season, the team went 2-3, but this year they are looking to improve as new players learn more about the game.
“We want to build the team this year and develop the new guys,” said senior president Ben Geurts. “Most people don’t play before they come to college.”
Despite the potential lack of rugby experience and knowledge, Casper has confidence in his new teammates.
“I’m excited to make them into the rugby players, and I know they can be,” Casper said.
Black and Blood are working on improving upon the recent accomplishments they have been making in their games.
“We’ve had some successful last seasons,” Geurts said. “We were a game away from nationals two years ago. We’re looking to do that again this year.”
The team has set in place a few goals in order to continue the successes that they have experienced.
“Everything can always been improved on,” said Brady Dallman, the senior treasurer and inside center. “We’re working on getting a faster flow in the back line to draw the defense in.”
This is where the players plan to use their depth and to keep everyone on the field fresh and playing their best.
“We really want to work on going hard for the full 80 minutes,” Geurts said.
Some players set individual goals for themselves as well.
“I want to build on what I did last year and hopefully became a national player and MVP,” Dallman said.
After getting healthier last season, Casper looks to get into more rucks, or rugby tackles, this year.
Dallman stated that, like most teams, the biggest goal is to win conference and go to nationals. However, there are a few tough teams these “ruggers” will face along the way.
“Parkside will be tough. We consider them to be our rivals,” Geurts said. “We kind flip flop every match with them.”
Casper agrees and said Eau Claire will be tough as well, but he has a good motto heading into this season.
“All of the teams will be tough,” Casper said. “We just have to play every team like we’re the underdogs.”
Fan support is encouraged for upcoming home games that are played on the intramural fields.
“Come out and support us,” Dallman said. “We play at home at 3 p. m. on Sept. 20 and 6 p.m. on September 26.”