Alex McCarty barrels forward with the ball in his possession. Photo courtesy of Ed Nasis

The UTSA men’s rugby team recently returned from the National Club team tournament in Glendale, Colorado, an enclave of the city of Denver. After an exciting season the team departed from San Antonio on Thurs. May 18 and returned on the 22. The team took a 16 hour bus ride to get to Glendale and was warmly greeted by an icy snow storm in the middle of May. However, the weather during the remaining days of the tournament was cool, crisp and in the 60s: The perfect weather to compete in.

The tournament has two divisions: 1 and 2. The ‘Runners competed in the Division 2 half of the tournament playing against teams like the University of North Carolina, UNC Charlotte, Drexel and North Carolina State among others. 16 UTSA players traveled to the tournament, with 12 players taking the field. Junior William Wallace, co-captain and president of the team, was one of the players who traveled to Glendale.

“It was a fantastic environment to play rugby in,” Wallace said. “It was beautiful weather.”

Although the ‘Runners didn’t perform as well as they would have liked, the trip was a learning experience since many of the players on the team are underclassmen.

The rugby team however, did better in the previous year’s tournament placing 6th overall. The trip was much more than just about playing rugby; it was also about making connections and friendships with students from other universities.

There were 14 teams competing in Division 1, and 12 in Division 2.

“The thing I like the most about these tournaments is that it’s such a bonding trip,” Wallace said. “You learn all about your teammates because you’re stuck with them in a hotel room for 3 days.”

UTSA Campus Recreation paid for the team’s hotel expenses for the duration of their trip.

Some of the rugby team members have another exciting trip to look forward to. Every year Texas chooses the best players from each division in the Club Rugby conference pool, and those players go on to represent the state in an all-star competition out of the country.

This year the competition will be held in Middle Earth, New Zealand. UTSA has five players going to New Zealand this year to compete against other all-stars in rugby. Wallace is one of those five players.

“I’m stoked for the trip. I’ve never been out of the country before so I’m really excited. It’s going to be crazy,” said Wallace. The rugby players are set to leave to New Zealand on June 9 and are spending two weeks there, returning back on the 24.

Club team play is a great way for incoming freshmen to network and make new connections at the University and with other schools as well. Multiple sports have club teams to interest almost any sports enthusiast. Club sports include baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, rugby and more. Club teams offer more team organized play than intramural sports. Students interested in joining club teams can visit campusrec.utsa.edu/club-sports.

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