The Geneseo men's club rugby team, the Warthogs, was founded in 1981 and is now gearing up for the beginning of their 27th spring season that consists largely of tournaments.
The Warthogs are a player-organized team who have functioned without a coach while remaining highly competitive with other teams who have the advantage of faculty coaching. Dan DeZarn, an assistant professor in the School of Arts, advises the team. J. Patrick Fitzpatrick is the team captain, and team president is junior Darren Jurewicz.
The spring season marks the final campaign for seniors Ryan Quinn, David Scioli, Dan Pickett, Chase Campbell, Michael Pollock and Andrew Hockenbery.
"With only six players graduating of the 35 current members, I expect the team will be even more improved for the fall season as we will return with a squad that is mostly the same," said Fitzpatrick.
The Warthogs are a Division II Club team in the New York State Rugby Conference, a sub-division of USA Rugby. They were moved up from Division III due to their continued success over the years and now reside in the Division II Western Division along with regional schools Buffalo State and SUNY Fredonia. Also in the conference are Niagara and St. Bonaventure, a team with whom the Warthogs have formed a budding rivalry.
The team has split seasons between fall and spring. Their marquee spring tournament is the Collegiate Upstates, which will be held this year on April 20 at SUNY Cortland. The Warthogs made it to the Upstate Championships two years ago and faced off against SUNY Albany. Despite being defeated in the title game, the performance earned them the No. 2 ranking in New York State within the division. This past fall, the team put together a 4-2 season which placed them in second in the conference out of the seven teams.
The Warthogs hold their home games each fall on Onondaga Field on Southside and can be seen practicing this spring between 4 and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
"We don't have home games in the spring because our field is barely good enough for our three or four home games," said Fitzpatrick. "Let alone hosting a tournament."
The team welcomes walk-ons for any student interested in participating. If you are interested in joining the Warthogs, send your inquiries to Fitzpatrick or Jurewicz; for more information log onto www.nysrugby.org.