Cole Sheeks, Sports Editor
On April 8 the EC rugby club will play their first home game in over two years when they take the field to face off against Augustana College at Behrens Park in Elmhurst. The game will mark the beginning of the Bluejays’ spring schedule, which follows a successful fall campaign.
Due to a combination of factors, the club has had trouble gaining traction when scheduling games and recruiting players in the past.
Unlike other EC sports teams, which are governed by the NCAA and compete within the CCIW, the EC rugby club is governed by USA Rugby and competes as part of the collegiate division of the Chicago Area Football Rugby Union, better known as CARFU.
That distinction leads to confusion among students, who are often unfamiliar with the sport to begin with and can be unsure about the legitimacy of the team. Representatives from the club attend activity fairs hosted on campus in order to garner attention and attract new players (typically former athletes from other sports). However, securing a commitment from an appropriate amount of players has proven difficult.
That being said, the team has found new leadership this year as a pair of upperclassmen serve as the captains.
Nick Sorrentino is one of those captains. He plays fly-half and hooker for the Bluejays, leading the team on and off the field. Sorrentino is a senior at EC and his history with rugby allows him to control the action and the pace of play.
Fellow captain Scott Herzog plays the scrum-half. This position requires him to use his knowledge of the sport and play the role of distributor as he guides his team down the field.
“Scott is kind of like the point-guard or quarterback. [The scrum-half] runs the field and manages the game,” said Sorrentino. “They make the decision of where the ball is going, and what we are doing with it. Scott knows rugby really well.”
As their time at EC comes to a close, the pair of seniors are excited to play a game near campus.
In addition to the April 8 game at Behrens Park, the rugby club will also take to the turf on campus at Langhorst Field on April 22 against University of Chicago.
2017 Rugby Spring
April 8 vs Augustana 12:30 p.m.
April 15 at UIC 12:00 p.m.
April 22 vs University of Chicago 12:00 p.m.
April 28 at Lewis 1:00 p.m.