Saturday the football team will face Southern Miss, but another team has already defeated the Golden Eagles and another opponent the gridiron Bulldogs came up short against.
The Louisiana Tech University Rugby Club or the Runkin’ Dawgs won their last game against Tulane last Saturday, 24-13.
“We finished the season with a 3-3 record,” said Zach Stow, club president and senior sustainable supply chain management major.
Stow said the team played teams in the Deep South Rugby Conference .
“I believe in the end we tied for third in the Deep South Conference,” he said.
Some of the other teams Tech rugby played this season were the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, South Alabama and Spring Hill, Stow said.
“We’ve played teams that were ranked in the top 25,” Stow said.
He said the season was a success and an improvement from last season.
“Last year, the competitive season was in the spring,” Stow said.
Stow said the change came because of a recent season change from the spring to the fall in the Deep South Rugby Division. He said the team had to work hard because of such a short off-season when the returned in the fall.
“We had about three weeks to get ready,” Stow said.
Aaron Gootzeit, vice president of the team, also said the season was an improvement from the previous year.
“Last year we were 1 and 5 and we’ve built from there,” said Gootzeit, a kinesiology graduate student. “We took a big step forward.”
Gootzeit said one of the reasons for the successful season is the team’s coach, Scott Graham.
“He is from New Zealand,” Gootzeit said. “He is in town working and he volunteers his time. He has been around for the past three years.”
He said Graham has a big influence on the team.
David Berry, a freshman civil engineering major, said the success is not only a result of the team’s coach, but also the team’s president.
“We have a great leader in Zach,” Berry said.
Berry said his first year on the team was a good experience.
“I learned a lot and everyone else learned a lot,” Berry said. “I feel like we’ve been trained very well and we are going to continue trying to get better.”
All three members said they have high hopes for the future of the rugby club.
Berry said some of the main goals for the team are to get better and to get more people interested in rugby.
“We would love more people to come out and join the team,” he said.
Berry also said he hopes more fans will come out and support the team next season.
“We care about our fans a lot and that is what is most important to us,” Berry said.
Gootzeit said some of his hopes are for Tech rugby to one day compete on a national level and offer scholarships to potential players.
Similar to Berry, Gootzeit said, he would like to get more fans coming out to the games.
“It is a very unique sport. Once people watch it, they will enjoy it,” Gootzeit said.
Stow said although he will no longer be playing for the team because he is graduating he still wants to support the team as an alumnus.
“I want to see more trophies come into Lambright with Tech rugby’s name on them,” Stow said.
He said he envisions the rugby team one day becoming a Division 1 program in the South.
“Tech rugby is growing and it’s going to be an awesome program from now all the way into the future,” Stow said.
Email comments to rcj...@latech.edu.