The Geneseo Rugby Football club, also known as the Warthogs, fielded 11 members to the 15-member New York State All-Conference team for DII Club Rugby last month, along with two players who received spots within the top 200 players in the nation.
This achievement followed a season where the team qualified and competed at Nationals. At the National Tournament, Geneseo lost in the first round to the team that would go on to win overall, according to Warthog team captain senior Eamon Danieu.
“Most of our lineup did get on the all-conference team,” Warthog member junior Anthony Cooper said. “I think that just shows how much of a dominating force we were throughout the conference and there really weren’t any teams that could really compete with us at the end of the season.”
Cooper explained that the all-conference honor is awarded by polling coaches from the conference throughout the season. He believes the coaches noticed how their team stood out amongst the others in the conference.
The team had to push through many struggles during their National game, with multiple players obtaining injuries, according to Cooper.
Many of the teams they compete against are private schools with more funding for equipment and facilities, according to Danieu.
“When we were talking to these other teams, they had funding for pads [and] water bottles. It’s a bunch of weird things that you wouldn’t think would really help out with the team performance,” Danieu said. “Like having a decent amount number of cones for practice or having pinnies, so [when we’re] scrimmaging we actually know who’s who and all of those things help to create a more stable practices environment. And when you have that practice environment, that allows you to be a much better team.”
Danieu also emphasized the diversity of the Geneseo team, with many different international exchange students on the team who are key players.
Danieu believes the team is set up for success next year and will continue to dominate the conference. He believes the team is in good hands with the new captains.
“I think they have got their heads on straight,” Danieu said. “They’re dropping down now to Division III, [because] Division II in Upstate New York kind of collapsed as a conference … I see no reason why they can’t [do well]. There’s a bunch of really good athletes … so I definitely see a repeat.”
Biology major junior Lauren Ellis explained that there are many successful club teams at Geneseo that are underfunded.
“I feel like if they’re doing that well they probably should [receive more] funding, there might be some club teams that are better than others,” Ellis said. “But if they’re good then I think they should definitely get more money.”