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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Signs of a real champion

Published: October 24, 2008
Section: Sports

It’s been an amazing year for Brandeis Rugby so far. It’s been one of sadness at losing some of the remarkable seniors who have kept this club sport at Brandeis going so strong and yet one of pride and excitement as this is the first time in more than two years that Brandeis Rugby is going to the playoffs.

For the adoring and loyal fans who have sat through games in the cold, the rain, and the confusion of not really understanding what’s happening on the field, I thank you on behalf of the team.

Running full force at someone twice your size, without pads, would not be the same without the “oohs” and “awws” of the sideline.

To those of you who haven’t been to a game, Brandeis Rugby has seriously “up’ed the echelon” on its level of play, commitment, and team spirit.

The last home game of the regular season was last Saturday, Oct. 18.

After an epic game against Merrimack College we lost by 2 points with an ending score of 22-24.

Yeah, we lost, but what’s any dramatic sports team story without a little trial and tribulation?

After the game, awards were given for exemplary attitude and service to the team this season.

Newcomer Brit Keithahn received the most improved player award, while long time Scrum Half (essentially the quarterback) and team president Jacob Bockelman received both MVP and the Eliezer Schwartz Award for his dedication and years of service.

While Brit, always the strong silent type, just took a picture with his plaque, Jacob in his trademark laidback fashion responded to the team chanted a request for a speech with a mere “Thanks fellas, this means a lot.”

The loss last Saturday puts the team record at 2-2-1.

With a victory over Rhode Island College, a forfeit from Curry College (they were scared), and a tie against Stonehill, one of the tougher teams we’ve had to face.

The losses were against Merrimack as aforementioned and against The College of the Holy Cross (please spare me the irony).All things considered, our team played well enough to continue into the next step of Rugby season.

In other words…WE’RE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!!! The first playoff game is this Sunday in a re-match against Holy Cross.

My personal friend and rugby mentor Benjamin Rothstein is noted as stating that “As long as everyone plays their position unselfishly and remembers that their responsibility is to the team first and to their own highlight reel last, then Brandeis Rugby should have no problem cleaning up at playoffs”.

Team Co-Captains Gary Berkson and Jordan Goodnough agree that team communication between the forwards (big fast guys) and the backs (smaller faster guys) will be the key to the team’s efficiency.

One year veteran and new starting “Lock” position player Gustavo Pardo claims that he “just [wants] to hit someone” and enthusiastic and talented rookie player Martin Singer just can’t wait for time on the field.

What is the moral to this story? The sign of real championship is not in how one wins but in how one recovers from loss.

Over the past few years Brandeis Rugby has dealt with a plethora of external and internal issues but has somehow managed to survive.

Not only is Brandeis Rugby alive today but it is thriving which is exemplified by the fact that brand new potential players started coming out to practice just last week.

As a rugby enthusiast, member of the team, fellow Brandesian and Hoot contributor I will make it my business to keep everyone (or at least all the Hoot readers) informed as to the performance of our Rugby Champions.

Ready everyone, Deis on three. 1, 2, 3, Deis!