Never say die.
That is the attitude the Sam Houston State University rugby team lives by every tournament they compete in.
The Bearkats finished the 7’s tournament in Austin this past weekend in first place. They were followed by Steven F. Austin and Prairie View A&M.
“This tournament has us as the number one seed in our conference as we go into the national qualifier,” Vice President and starting outside center Donald Dorsey said. “We had to win two back-to-back games in which we were down 10 or more points in order to win it, showing our ‘never say die’ attitude we’ve had all year.”
Overall, the Kats have shown they are something to deal with before they enter the national qualifier.
“I’m proud of the work rate we have kept up this season,” Dorsey said. “It’s a long year and we’ve managed to keep going at it 100 miles-an-hour from day one.”
The sport of rugby has been around for over 200 years but it doesn’t get the national attention of sports like basketball, football or baseball in the U.S..
“Rugby has been around for a long time,” Dorsey said. “I think the best way it can be improved is to raise awareness for the sport here in the U.S. It’s pretty big in a lot of other countries. So I’d say popularity is its weakness but loyalty is its biggest strength for those that play and follow the game.”
Rugby is an international sport that draws comparisons to both football and soccer. The main goal is to score, which are essentially touchdowns that are worth five points and the point after conversion is worth two points.
SHSU had several of players to make an impact this season, but according to Dorsey, the three that stick out are Deionte McMurray, Jeremy Seligsohn and Ryan Bradshaw.
“For a first year player, he has grasped the concept of the game incredibly fast and been an extreme value to the team,” Dorsey said about McMurray. “Jeremy Seligsohn stepped in as a leader of the team on the field, providing direction and being the on-field voice for the team. Ryan Bradshaw has had the biggest leap forward with just his presence on the field coming back after a shoulder injury. Without missing a beat, he became not only a leader but a captain.”
Bradshaw also led the team in points with 93 total points.
“This season was made special by everyone who participated and supported this team,” Dorsey said. “It wouldn’t have been the same without them, but a special thanks goes out to our coach Ramon Serrano for being out there pushing us to get better every day.”
Once the offseason comes, the coaching staff plans to recruit to get their numbers up.
“We are hoping to take a shot at nationals in Philadelphia first,” Dorsey said. “Once the offseason starts, then we can increase our training to get ready for next season.”
The rugby team practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. on intramural field 1.