Wildcats break from 15s for Las Vegas Invitational
Pancho Arcco, Staff Reporter - February 6, 2013
The Central Washington University men’s rugby team is 3-0 following its 78-0 blowout victory on the road against Sacramento State.
The Wildcats are looking to dominate this season entering their 42nd year of competitive play.
With practice every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the men are quickly getting into shape for their weekend matches.
“Progress is getting better every week,” head coach Tony Pacheco said.
Weather conditions haven’t allowed the Wildcats to practice outdoors, but the team is hopeful it can have a traditional practice by next week. CWU is on a hot streak after beating Santa Clara and Sacramento State the last two weekends, along with Oregon State on Jan. 19. The team has no plans to slow down, and they are prepared to practice every week, not even taking a rest during spring break.
“We have a really strong squad this year, and we are a pretty close group and I think we’ll do well in our 15’s season and actually go further than we have been in a long time,” senior Alex Reher said.
One of the men’s biggest challengers this year is their game against St. Mary’s in April.
“St. Marys is a great program,” sophomore Aladdin Schirmer said. “They play tons of games a year, so it is hard for a team that only plays seven or eight games to play a team that is already playing men’s division teams; great team in general.”
“St.Marys is a quality team, with tough opponents,”Pacheco said.
Pacheo is also looking forward to the men’s Feb. 23 game against Western, one of the premier teams in the state.
“[They’ve] not lost in at least a decade,” Pacheco said.
Reher, Schirmer and coach Pacheco all agreed on sophomore Tanner Barnes as a stand out player to watch for.
“[He’s] the leader on the field, best player,” Schirmer said.
Both Schirmer and Barnes played as USA all-Americans as freshmen. Others mentioned as outstanding players to watch were captain senior Ryan Snider, sophomore Shelby Williams, Reher, and Schirmer.
The team looks to continue its success in the Las Vegas invitational tournament this Thursday. Twelve starters and two substitutes will be making the trip to one of the premier amateur rugby events in the country.