Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 18, 2013

Teams open season with Cherry Pit Rugby tourney


"Normally, we play at the high school level. And yet we really were pretty darn good. ... These kids are coming from all kinds of universities and playing. So I think we played pretty well. We got together, we had good camaraderie and there was some talk of us getting together to get some other combined Alliance events as a team. We didn't even practice — not one time."

The high school Alliance team had 23 players this spring and lost just five of those.

"We've got a big return factor coming up," Benson said. "And I know we've got a bunch of boys coming up this year."

Benson said the Alliance program may also have a sevens team for the first time this fall, playing mainly against Grand Rapids-area schools. Any players interested in playing can contact Benson at 342-5085.

He also said the team is going to have its own field this year, gaining permission from a homeowners association to use a piece of land to the west of Wuerfel Park in Blair Township.

First-year player Drew Gary said the experience was a great one.

"I love it," Gary said. "Our team is one of a kind. They're all inspirational. And when you're down, they help you get right back up. They're the greatest."

The 2012 Traverse City St. Francis 2012 grad played in four games — two each for the Blues and Alliance alumni — mostly on the outside wing. He had two assists on tries.

"Our team fought hard, but we didn't come back with a trophy this year," Gary said. "But we gave it our all and had a blast. And that's all that counts, really. Now we're just focused on our real season and looking forward to giving it to Kalamazoo."

In other scores, Grand Rapids defeated MSU 50-0, the Third Halfers crushed CMU 71-12 and Michigan won the "Old Boys" 35+ match 67-14 over Traverse City.



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