News & Events

Thoughts of Another Phoenix Rugby Season

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By: Joe Delagrave

The Phoenix rugby season started a little slower than most seasons with four players getting back from the 2012 Paralympics in September. After Scott, Nick, Chance and I took some much deserved time off, the Fusion started its season getting ready for Best of the West in November. The tournament was top notch as always, and the Fusion beat the Aoki-led North Stars twice to take 1st place. After a long holiday season filled with scrimmages, Thanksgiving meals, scrimmages, tryouts for Ernie and me, Christmas gifts, and more scrimmages the team was ready to go play someone else again. We flew up to Portland and had a lot of fun playing against other teams and devouring some Voodoo Donuts. (We are the heaviest team in the league for a reason.) Portland and their hometown crowd proved to be too much this time around and we settled for 2nd place.
 
Next on our schedule was our annual Rugby Rave, but this time we invited 8 teams to sunny Arizona. The players, coaches and fans were treated to a world-class facility in the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center, top notch competition, a great food spread and every rugby player's dream: a cold one at the end of the day! Portland met us again in the championship game and showed that they are the team to beat heading into Nationals.
 
We are excited to be headed to Louisville with a chance at winning it all during the USQRA’s 25th anniversary. However, the 25th anniversary of our league makes me think about other things than winning, awards and rivalries. I think about how this league has directly affected the lives of all us in regards to our mental and physical health, how this league has given us something to be prideful about, how it has given us the avenue to fulfill dreams unimaginable before. Even this season the Fusion have had new players come out that have had a huge part in our team being able to scrimmage, and others came out that wanted to see what the sport was all about. Nevertheless, in observance of the
25th anniversary I challenge myself and all the other current players to take a look at what the game has done for us, and find ways to pay it forward to make this league blossom and grow for another 25 years for the Paralympic player, the recreational player, and for the player peeking in the gym door wondering what the heck is going on in there.
 
Cheers to another year!!
March 10, 2013 — 2:56pm