“None of Us Is Stronger Than All of Us”
The Mount's men's club rugby team placed fourth in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) "Final Four" in Glendale, Colorado. New England College, St. John's University and the University of Denver also competed for the championship.
Following the tournament, Mount student Tim Steffens, C'16 was awarded the NSCRO "Heart & Soul" Award. Kirk Hofmeister, C'15 and Zack Hirschler, C'15 were selected as two of 15 members of this year's NSCRO "All-NSCRO Championship XV" Team. For more information about the results of the game, visit NSCRO.
To earn its trip to Colorado, the Mount beat Widener University, 23-10, in the Sweet 16; and Loyola University-New Orleans, 24-23, in the Elite Eight, at the NSCRO regional tournament in Jacksonville, Florida in February. Colin Tirney, C’15, earned tournament MVP honors for his performance and field leadership.
“The wins exemplified what our team is about,” said Head Coach Jay Myles. “Our creed is ‘none of us is stronger than all of us,’ and we achieved our goal of playing in the Final Four.”
Myles believes the sacrifices players have made and the improvements in their rugby performance means the team’s hard work is paying off, and he is proud of the commitment and conditioning he’s seen from his team this season — on and off the pitch.
“One of the distinct traits about this team, and ultimately how I like to vision my coaching style, is that we don’t believe in superstars,” said Myles. “Every man should take care of the next man because together, we can accomplish anything."
"If we play our brand of rugby, then we should have no problems as long as we stay true to who we are. We have high standards — play hard, play tough, and be strong mentally and physically, but most importantly, be respectful.”
Myles believes it is important that rugby training builds character so the athletes see something bigger than themselves and a higher purpose in life. During the trip to Jacksonville, the team visited Wolfson Children's Hospital to distribute t-shirts and rugby balls, generously funded by a Mount rugby alum. The team also coordinated service trips to a local soup kitchen and a wounded veteran center.
In an email to University President Thomas H. Powell, a parent whose daughter was admitted to the hospital the day of the team’s visit expressed, “I have never encountered a group of students who made a bigger or more positive impact than those young men did with everyone they met.” She described the Mount ruggers as “a group of polite, engaging, generous, kind young men who genuinely wanted to be in the room and be a part of what was going on.”
After winning the regional tournament, the team invited the patient to accept the championship trophy on their behalf.
“Their enthusiasm was very much contagious — which is the one thing you DO want to catch in a hospital,” the parent said.
“The rugby team is the greatest brotherhood anyone could be a part of both on and off the pitch,” says senior James Campbell. “We play as a team, and we fight for our brothers. Mount Rugby has provided me with so many things and people in my life that I’ll never forget and I will always be thankful for that.”
Myles says it is humbling to have such strong support from the Mount community and Mount Rugby alumni.
“I can only say thank you to my players for all they do on and off the pitch to keep us going forward. Without their determination, all of this is nothing. They have become better rugby players but more importantly, better men,” Myles said.
Follow Mount Rugby on Twitter for updates as they prepare for next season!