Over the last several years, rugby has gained popularity in the United States and even in the Midwest.
The Nodaway County Rugby Football Club started four years ago. And this year, Maryville Assistant Principal Craig Borey, who played college rugby, spearheaded the efforts to start a high school club.
While rugby is not a MSHSAA-sanctioned sport, as a club sport, the Spoofhound Rugby Club allows students from area high schools to participate.
Head Coach Matt Finney, who also coaches the Nodaway County club, said he’s eager to introduce the sport and teach the basics.
“(I’m excited to) introduce kids to a new sport that they can be a part of for the rest of their lives and the international brotherhood that welcomes you with it,” he said. “Our efforts will go to teaching new players the ins and outs of rugby. When to be where and how to set the pace of the game. Much of rugby is about timing.”
Finney will look to several key players to help the team in its first season: senior Alias Cullin, scrum half; senior Frederic Goudge, fly half; and junior Jacob Reuter, openside flanker.
Other Spoofhound Rugby Club players include Jacob Adams, Joe Brownsberger, Marcello Brownsberger, Brandon Carnes, Vyron Galapin, Ben Hargrave, Tanner McKinney, Charlie Patterson, Joe Rousseau, Jackson Sanders, Justus Voss, Logan Walker, Chase Graves and Dylan Saldana.
“We encourage kids from all backgrounds, shape, size and athleticism to come try out this amazing sport,” Finney said. “Rugby changes lives. Any lifelong player will tell you that they’d be a lesser person without rugby.”
The club got its first win of the season on March 18, defeating Winnetonka, 45-37.
The Spoofhounds will travel to face the Kansas City Jr. Blues on April 1 and be back home on April 8 to face the Liberty Jays and April 15 against Liberty North.