By Zachary Kraus
Your friendly neighborhood Groundhogs have played two cup matches so far this semester, both against teams they beat in the past semester. The first weekend that students were back in class, the University of Dallas boys traveled out to Wichita Falls, Texas to take on Midwestern State University. In a fit of what only can be described as “aristeia,” a Greek term referring to a hero’s most glorious moment in battle, they put up 55 points against their opponents’ 10.
Manny “The Filipino Fury” Salazar had a particularly intense game, scoring the first hat trick this club has seen in years. Chris “Monkey” Simia scored an impressive two tries, with the remaining tries scored by Zach “Sausage” Kraus, Jack “Chubz” Teller, Luke “Gonads” Goveas and “Fat” Greg Bridges. All in all, it was an auspicious start to the season.
After a week off for Groundhog and the alumni game, the boys took to the pitch at home against LeTourneau University. In a match featuring some glorious running from John “Johnny Rugby” Simpson and some bone-crushing tackles from John “Bob” O’Brien, the Hoggies sent the message early that they were not a team to be trifled with. Among the tries scored were some appearances from Bridges, Teller and John “Shrek” Houser. The Filipino Fury had another banner match and managed to score twice.
At the end of the day, the score was 29-12 in favor of the Hoggies. This puts UD’s record at 4-3, and ranks the team third in the conference. Above the Hoggies in the rankings are crosstown rivals Southern Methodist University and powerhouse Angelo State University, both teams the Hoggies have yet to defeat. That being said, the Hoggies have a strong chance of making the playoffs this season, provided they are able to step up play and simply win more matches.
LoneStar Collegiate Rugby Conference rules state that the top two teams in the North and South divisions go on to the tournament. But before that dream can be realized, the Hoggies have three consecutive home games to make magic happen. This upcoming Saturday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m., the Hoggies will host a Valentine’s Day love fest against Angelo State. This will possibly be the most important game of the season. The team plans on gathering at the Church of the Incarnation at noon for a rosary before the match and welcomes anyone who would like to join.