A brisk chill filled the air as the University of Dallas alumni rugby game commenced on Saturday, Feb. 3, the afternoon of Groundhog. In a friendly game that had more the atmosphere of a backyard pickup game than the usual full-fledged melee, past and present Hoggies gathered together to participate in one of the most highly anticipated events of the Groundhog weekend.
“This year was a lot less formal,” said alumnus Ed Houser, one of the participants in the match. “Everyone was a Dallas person. Last year we had a couple of sides outside of Dallas come in, that was fun in a different way because it was more serious, but this year is a very nice kind of informal event with a lot of camaraderie.”
Scores of green 2018 Groundhog sweatshirt-clad spectators attended the contest, all of them there in the spirit of festivity to support their friends on the pitch.
Alumnus John Simpson was one of those responsible for bringing together many different generations of UD students for the game.
“It’s pretty spectacular,” said Simpson. “It’s an honor to have played and come back and continue to play.”
“It’s always an amazing experience just because it’s Groundhog,” said sophomore Hoggie Lawrence Dombrowski. “We all know how much tradition [goes] into it just like [everything] else… it’s just one of the best games of the year.”
The game featured tough defensive play from both sides in the first half, making it virtually impossible for either team to reach the endzones. The game opened up in the second half as both offenses took over with several tries scored by both teams. The points did not matter, however, since nobody kept score.
In spite of the informality of the game, all parties involved, both spectators and players, enjoyed their afternoon.
“These games are really entertaining, and they’re good matches,” said alumnus Jack Teller.
“It’s like a reunion,” said Houser. “It feels like our group, our friend group, kind of belongs [here] the most.”