After an undefeated season and a trip to nationals, many rugby clubs around the country would be satisfied and consider that a success. Not the IUPUI Jaguars Rugby Football Club, though. They have their eyes set on the spring season and a national championship.
In the fall season, the Jaguars finished ranked top five in the nation with an 8-0 regular season record. This included a four game stretch where they outscored their opponents by a staggering 178-0. They also played a Division 1 school, Middle Tennessee State, and beat them 39-32.
They secured the top seed for their conference tournament where they took care of business for their second consecutive conference championship. They beat Kent State in their tournament game by a score of 63-14 and Thomas Moore in the championship game, 60-12, securing a trip to nationals.
The magic ended when they matched up against Iowa Central, a team loaded with international talent, and lost 56-15.
Team Vice President Spencer Strout, who lead the team in trys (a five point scoring play where the ball touches the opponents in-goal area or their goal line) with 13, is returning for the spring season. Zach Harlan, Levi Hawk, Will Richards and Brandon Boals, who were all listed in the top 20 for their positions in the country, are also returning and ready for another campaign.
They only lost a graduated senior from the fall to spring team. With a talented group of players that have continuity the sky’s the limit for them.
When asked what he’s most excited about this spring, Spencer pointed out the new freshmen coming in, “I’m really excited about the freshman recruits coming in and giving us a little more depth.”
For the spring season, the Jaguars already have four away tournaments lined up; Moosemen 7s, a tournament at the University of Kentucky (TBA), Fools Fest 7’s and the Upper Midwest 7’s.
Moosemen 7’s is located in Murfreesboro, TN and it starts on Feb. 23. For the Fools Fest 7’s, the team will travel to Winona, MN and that begins on March 30. On April 27, the team will travel to Cottage Grove, WI to participate in the Upper Midwest 7s tournament.
Unfortunately, while their away schedule is busy, the team has not been able to book any home matches yet, but are currently looking. If they manage to find home matches, they play at Carroll Stadium on the soccer fields.
They even have their own hashtag on social media. Look up #RollJags throughout the spring to keep up on their performances.
Success in sports is hard to achieve and even harder to sustain, but this team is up for the challenge. Spencer spoke for the team about their expectations via email, “We have big expectations. We plan on playing more D1 teams and winning the national tournament.”.