BY MATTHEW EBBERWEIN
Putting an undefeated regular season aside, the men of the Franciscan University’s rugby team agree that their 2014 season has been more than a success.
“It’s so hard to put into words just how well the season has gone. Words can’t describe the success that we’ve had,” said Head Coach Chris Courtnell.
To the men of the Franciscan Barons rugby team, rugby is more than just a sport. To them, it is a brotherhood in which each member is able to learn valuable life lessons.
Senior Robert Praetzel gave his thoughts on the season saying, “I think we’re doing better than I would’ve imagined as a team learning how to grow together and play together and growing as we play and as we move on.”
The Barons (7-0) have won all of their games by 28 points or more and haven’t given up more than 14 points in one game. While this success on the field is impressive, there is concern for how the Barons will be able to handle more challenging opponents in the post season.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to play teams that are at that same skill level yet, which could be dangerous for us coming into regionals,” said Praetzel.
On the other hand, Coach Courtnell has full confidence in his team’s ability to go far in post-season play.
Courtnell commented, “What we’ve done this season is we’ve taught the guys on the field to react and adapt to situations. So were at the stage now where the guys are almost coaching themselves. We’re teaching them to think for themselves.”
Ultimately, the results don’t matter to the Barons. Coach Courtnell stressed that the main goals of the team were to foster brotherhood and a growth in holiness.
“It’s not just about the rugby and winning games and winning championships. It’s the lessons they learn,” said Courtnell.
As the Barons enter post-season play they lead the 3RRC standings and they hope to continue their dominance in a tournament setting.