By Bree Hughes
The Saint Mary’s University “Hellfish” Rugby team took fourth in state in the Division Three Final Four Tournament in Eagan, Minn., late last week.
Throughout the rugby season, the team has been making their name known, not only in the state of Minnesota, but also throughout the Midwest. The Hellfish have defeated teams from Iowa, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota, allowing them to advance to the Final Four Tournament. The team has been a valid competitor in the tournament the last few years: in ’07 they took third and in ’08 they placed first.
Captains Jack Sullivan, Nick Powers and Andrew Noyes have worked hard this season, along with the entire team, to overcome tremendous odds. During the entire season, the Hellfish were short on players, due to the large amount of players that graduated last year. The team played most of the season with three or less substitutes. With such a small team, every player was held to a higher standard and depended on more than ever.
To kick-start the year, the team hired the intuitive athletic training company “Performance Training” to help get them ready for the season. Within the first few weeks of school, this program had the players working on speed, agility and strength.
The players underwent rigorous and creative training drills involving throwing kegs, pulling tractor-size tires and running constant sprint drills. The team feels as if the training paid off, as each individual player advanced and the team grew as a whole.
The Hellfish are looking forward to their spring season and optimistic about what lies ahead. Whether they are short on numbers, or have an abundance of players, one thing is for sure: they are a team to be noticed.