The Lancer Rugby team was one of the first high school rugby teams in Kansas City. Now, nearly 25 years after its origination, the 2014 East Rugby season is midway.
The East Rugby season started with a tournament in Tulsa, Okla. The team won one of the games, and lost the last two. Now, in the current East season, the team is 2-2. With the Tulsa tournament included, the team is 3-5 overall.
Senior Wingman Logan Hanaway says that although the team went 1-2 in Tulsa, they still played well.
“We made some mistakes that were hard to come back from, but overall I think we did pretty well,” Hanaway said. “We’re still a new team and I think we’ve improved a lot since then.”
The season is going decently, according to head coach Rob Loney, and the boys are performing very well.
“The season is going alright,” Loney said. “We play in an area that has nationally ranked teams, but the boys are doing great.”
Although the team doesn’t have a winning record thus far in the season, the team is still enjoying the sport, according to senior inside-center Nick steiner. Steiner says that everybody on the team has learned a lot, and had fun while doing it.
Hanaway agrees with Steiner that the team has enjoyed playing this season. Hanaway says that players like him and Steiner, who had no prior experience playing East rugby have improved greatly and are enjoying playing rugby this year.
“I think we’ve gotten a lot better since we started,” Hanaway said. “When I started, I had no idea what I was doing along with a lot of other kids on the team. Coach has had me try out different positions and has been giving me playing time, which has helped me improve a lot, and I’m having a great time playing.”
Hanaway joined the team this year, making this his first rugby season. A few of Hanaway’s friends convinced him to play, and he immediately loved it.
“I thought it would be fun,” Hanaway said. “There’s a couple kids who stopped playing lacrosse and baseball to play this year, and they told me to play and I loved it right away.”
Steiner joined the team for the same reasons.
“I ran track the previous three years and wasn’t really enjoying it, so I decided to give rugby a try,” Steiner said. “A few of my friends that were playing persuaded me to play and I’ve had a great time playing this year.”
Coach Loney says that kids who haven’t played before join all the time. He says it’s a contributing factor to the teams record so far this season.
“Lots of kids on the team haven’t played before this season, but they’re doing great,” Loney said. “They’ve learned the game quickly and improved their skills, and everybody’s doing a great job.”
This is coach Loney’s second season coaching the Lancer Rugby team. Andrew Parkinson, who played rugby nationally in England, coached the team before Loney did. Loney says he started coaching the Lancers Rugby team because he loves working with the kids, and because coaching rugby is rewarding.
“I coach rugby because the sport truly is one of the greatest fraternities around,” Loney said. “The greatest thing I get out of coaching these guys comes years down the road when they tell me what a great time they had playing for the Lancers and how much they love rugby.”