The Canton Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce the schedule for the 5th annual free, non-contact rugby skills clinic. Our clinic will be hosted at Hall of Fame Fitness center's indoor field on Sunday February 15th and March 1st, from 2-4pm. We encourage all boys and girls in the Stark County area from ages 12 and up to attend this clinic to learn more about the sport of rugby. We will put them through fun, fast paced drills and games, and stress the importance of teamwork in rugby.
Canton Rugby Foundation President and Stark County High School Rugby head coach Dan Sturtz is quoted saying "This is our 5th year doing this for the youth of Stark County. We get new kids every year, and plenty more coming back after the fun they had the previous year. We have sign up sheets for our Middle School teams, and our High School team as well. We have been successful in building our teams by getting the kids started with our free clinic."
Rugby has grown immensely in the US in the past few years. Carlin Isles, a product of Stark County, is a member of the USA Eagles 7's National team, which competes internationally in the World Rugby 7's league. Rugby 7's will be an Olympic sport in Rio in 2016. The USA Eagles 15's team will compete in the Rugby World Cup Tournament this year, and hosted a monumental game in October 2014 where they were defeated by the #1 team in the world, the New Zealand All Blacks by a score of 74-6.
Sturtz said "Rugby has so much popularity now. The Seahawks trained with rugby players to improve their tackling skills. Nate Ebner, a former rugby player who walked on to Ohio State's football team, just won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. And with the success and promotion of both USA national teams, rugby is just going to keep growing. It has been said that rugby is the fastest growing sport in America."
"The Canton Rugby Foundation is part of that growth too. We started this free clinic 5 years ago, with less than 20 kids. Last year, we had around 80. This year, we are expecting over 100. And we welcome the growth. Our club now has 7 coaches who have been certified by USA Rugby. Plus we have veterans from the Canton Maddogs who help in running the games and drills. The kids that run through this clinic have lots of fun, and they come out better rugby players. Who knows, we may be training the next Isles or Ebner in our upcoming clinic."
The Canton Maddogs improved their Midwest DIV league record to 6-0, with a 39-10 win over North Central West Virginia this past Saturday. Scoring Try’s for Canton were Aaron Traugh, Mike Pitcher, Anthony Wilkens, Andrew Hopwood, Pete Sweitzer, Ryan Moton and Tim Donnelly. 2 conversion kicks were made by John McMullan.
Head Coach Dan Strutz said “Another good team effort with 7 different players scoring today. Although this was not our best performance, the guys pulled out another win. We must learn from our mistakes and finish this season out exactly how we started, moving forward with constant pressure on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. We have two more league games left, it’s time for the Canton Maddogs to finish their 2014 season strong and cap off another great year of rugby.”
Canton travels to Columbus to take on the Coyotes this coming Saturday, kickoff is slated for 1:00pm.
The Canton Maddogs hosted Greensburg RFC this past saturday in Midwest DIV league action. Canton came away with a 34-5 victory. Scoring trys for the Maddogs were Chris Wright (2), Andrew Hopwood, Will Walmsley, Matt Carmany, and John McMullen. McMullen and Walmsley also converted one kick each.
Head Coach Dan Sturtz said “Our weeks of training and conditioning paid off for us today as we put pressure on both sides of the ball the entire match. It was a great way to start off league competition. The Maddogs played as a team today and had constant support for one another the entire 80 minutes. Now it’s time to use this momentum to move forward each week on our way to the DIV league title.”
Captain Kris Karroll stated "These guys played their hearts out today and we came out with a great win against a good team. Now we focus on keeping this attitude and momentum going forward as we travel to WV next week."
Canton travels to North Central West Virginia RFC this coming Saturday for their second league match of the fall season. Kickoff is slated for 1:00pm in Fairmont WV.
High School Rugby Updates
The Canton Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce the upcoming schedule for the Stark County High School team. The team is comprised of players from high schools all over the county, including Lake, Hoover, Perry, GlenOak, Jackson and Dover. They will be playing in Ohio Division IIAA Cleveland South Region, which culminates at the end of the season with a state tournament for all Ohio schools in Division II.
The Maddogs will host Copley March 30th at 1:00pm, Brunswick on April 5th at 12:00pm, Coventry on April 19th at 12:00pm, and St Ignatius on May 2nd at 7:00pm. They will travel to play Hudson April 13th at 1:00pm, to Revere on April 27th at 1:00pm, to Coventry April 30th at 6:00pm, and to Strongsville on May 9th for a 5:00pm match. All home games are held at Weis Park.