Monday, April 15, 2024

US Naval Academy Commitment

 DSHA senior Meghan Finerty ‘24 has committed to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.  She joins their newly elevated NCAA varsity program next fall.  Congrats and best wishes.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Spring Warms Up

 Wisconsin girls teams have been kicking off their seasons after a long winter

This Week:

CMH defeated Hamilton in a 15s warmup game.

DSHA traveled down to Iowa.   It’s great to see Iowa and Kansas City continue to expand and play some 15s:

DSHA jv 46 Kansas City 10

DSHA 59. Iowa Hawkettes 0

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

WGR College Commitments (Feb 2024)

 Joining the list of WGR seniors committing to NCAA varsity play next school year is DSHA senior Melanie Sanchez '24.  She commits to NCAA D1 program Quinnipiac University.  Best of luck to all the seniors in the class of 2024.  There are still opportunities for student-athletes at NCAA women's rugby programs for this year's class of seniors., so stay tuned to see if any additions emerge this spring.

WGR Class of 2024

Grace Beatty        Sussex Hamilton HS                  Lander University                NCAA D2

Meghan Finerty    DSHA

US Naval Academy            NCAA D2

Melanie Sanchez Divine Savior Holy Angels HS   Quinnipiac University         NCAA D1

Scout Spadoni     Stevens Point Area HS                Frostburg St University       NCAA D2

Cecelia SapiOmoa Stowers West Bend Youth Rugby Davenport University       NCAA D2

                        Historical Record of WGR Scholarship Collegiate Student-Athletes

WGR Class of 2023

Mya Alexander       Bruisers                                     Lander Univ.                     NCAA D2

Katrina Clark          Madison Furies                         Grand Canyon Univ          CRAA D1 (not NCAA)

LaJess Jordan        DSHA and Bruisers                   Frostburg State                NCAA D2

Maddy Kosmoski    Catholic Memorial HS               Bowdoin                           NCAA D3

Yesenia Morales    Divine Savior Holy Angels HS   Army West Point               NCAA D1

WGR Class of 2022

Katie Stomma      Catholic Memorial HS              Bowdoin             (NCAA NIRA D3)

WGR Class of 2021

Aly Cunningham   Catholic Memorial HS                   Sacred Heart         (NCAA NIRA D1)

Maggie Dineen      Divine Savior Holy Angels HS      Queens                 (NCAA NIRA D2)

Emme Ohnmacht   Catholic Memorial HS                   Brown                   (NCAA NIRA D1)

Lea Preuss              Brookfield                                      Queens                  (NCAA NIRA D2)

Lexi Scott              Pulaski HS                                       Lindenwood         (USAR D1 Elite)

Ellie Villnow          Stevens Point Area HS                   Lindenwood         (USAR D1 Elite)

WGR Class of 2020:

Haley Crow             Catholic Memorial HS                 Quinnipiac University      (NCAA NIRA D1)

Alexis Haskins        Catholic Memorial HS                 Quinnipiac University      (NCAA NIRA D1)

Bella Huschitt         Divine Savior Holy Angels HS    Dartmouth University      (NCAA NIRA D1)

Abby Kayser           Divine Savior Holy Angels HS    Dartmouth University      (NCAA NIRA D1)

Gwen Knutson        Brookfield                                    Queens University          (NCAA NIRA D2)

Hannah Pfersch       Hamilton HS                                Quinnipiac University    (NCAA NIRA D1)

Angelina Pieters      Catholic Memorial HS                 Lindenwood University   (USAR  D1 Elite)

WGR Class of 2019

Jenna Klenz                     DSHA                                    Queens

Chanel Lubsey                 Brookfield                             LIU-Post

Makinzie Youngblood     DSHA HS                              Sacred Heart

Stephanie Wilson            CMHS                                    Sacred Heart 

WGR Class of 2018

Madison Black              CMHS                                      U.S. Naval Academy

Allison Koenig              CMHS                                      Quinnipiac

Emily Morris                 Pulaski                                     Lindenwood

WGR Class of 2017

Megan Bird                  Oak Creek                                 Davenport 

Emma Conrad               Fond Du Lac                            Lindenwood

Alyanna Primer             Brookfield                                Lindenwood

Erin Wright                   CMHS                                      Harvard 

WGR Class of 2016

Kelsey Gustafson          CMHS                                      Sacred Heart

Lizzy Walicki               CMHS                                      West Chester U

WGR Class of 2015

Reina Anderson             Brookfield                                Lindenwood

Taylor Bragg Brock       DSHA                                      Lindenwood

Courtney Crouse           Kettle Moraine                          Lindenwood

Lexi Prusheik                Vernon                                     Lindenwood

WGR Class of 2014

Julie Else                      CMHS                                      Norwich U

Rebecca Haight             CMHS                                      Quinnipiac

Maggie Wesolowski      CMHS                                      Quinnipiac

WGR Class of 2013

Lindey Wise                 DSHA                                      Quinnipiac

WGR Class of 2001

Amy Lalko                   DSHA                                      Eastern Illinois

WGR Class of 2000

Katie Plant                    DSHA                                      Eastern Illinois

Allison Urbanski           DSHA                                      Eastern Illinois

WGR Class of 1998

Erin Voelz                    DSHA                                      Eastern Illinois 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Winter Rugby in the U.K.

 Winter Rugby Time!

Image: Snow in Wisconsin on the left and the most snow Cardiff usually gets on the right

As you likely know, the winter weather in Wisconsin is far too harsh to keep the rugby season going in the winter. For better or worse, the UK has a milder climate and rugby is a winter sport that runs roughly from September to April. This might seem like a somewhat minor difference but it actually changes a lot about how rugby is played and the traditions that surround it. Let’s talk about that.

The most interesting thing to me are the Christmas traditions surrounding rugby clubs. Most rugby clubs in the UK will host holiday parties and many will play a match on boxing day (the day after Christmas). Boxing day matches are usually friendlies of some sort. I have one friend who’s club hosts a boxing day match that allows former players- like older retired players or students returning from "uni"- to play against current players. I personally find these traditions very charming and think they are a nice way to celebrate the holidays and make a real community out of rugby. Although, as a uni student who goes home for Christmas I’ve mostly only heard of these traditions second hand from friends and clubs I’ve visited as a referee. 

That’s not to say we don’t have our own versions of holiday traditions in uni rugby. Annually we have a Christmas dinner at our student union pub. Christmas dinner in the UK is a lot like a Thanksgiving dinner with roasted ham, chicken or turkey, vegetables, potatoes, stuffing and gravy. It is by far the most wholesome rugby social event of the year. We sit down, many in silly Christmas sweaters, pop Christmas crackers, wear the paper crowns and read the jokes inside. Some years we’re able to get dressed up and have a Christmas ball as well!

From a rugby standpoint, we get to watch/play the Cardiff Clash- a match against our local rival Cardiff Met that happens twice a year at the beginning and end of first term. The exciting thing about the Cardiff Clash is that it is played in Cardiff Arms Park. Cardiff Arms Park is the home stadium of the Cardiff Rugby rugby team.  The venue  also hosts many of the women’s Six Nations matches. It is incredible to go from watching games played at this stadium on TV to playing and training there.

This has also been the first year where the Cardiff Clash has been a double header for both the men’s and women’s teams as our first XV just got promoted to the top league in UK uni rugby -the Women’s National League. Our other rugby tradition is a last training session filled with fun rugby-related games, Christmas attire, and mince pies after practice. This is my personal favorite tradition. In the thick of exam season and the midpoint of rugby season it’s nice to have a fun run-around with good friends. 

Cardiff Clash December 2023

Of course, there is also a less fun side to a winter rugby season. The UK rugby season is long and temperatures stick around the freezing mark for a fair chunk of it. While us Wisconsin ruggers are certainly familiar with cold matches and practices at the end of fall or beginning of spring season, consistently motivating oneself to train in the cold can get quite difficult. Particularly in the heart of exam seasons when you desperately need a break and don’t really get much of one.

However, if you can find the motivation, winter rugby is a great way to get some exercise, socialize and fight off the urge to hibernate all winter. As hard as it can be, winter rugby is truly amazing for your mental health. If you have a favorite winter sport you play in the states then maybe you don’t need it, but if you’re like me and rugby is your favorite and only sport,  the UK might be for you- especially if you prefer 15s to 7s. Since 15s takes up most of the year 7s is more of a fun after thought for the summer rather than a competitive season (for most people). 

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season with or without rugby and wishing you luck surviving the rest of winter!

From Cardiff University, Wales.
A WGR Alumn

Monday, January 8, 2024

Girls High School National Tournament (Single-Community Teams & Clubs)

Teams are reminded to contact organizers if interested in the High School Girls Rugby National Tournament on May 18th-19th, 2024 at Madison United Rugby in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.

*Club girls rugby teams will also host their national tournament at Cottage Grove.  Club teams will play on Friday and Saturday, May 17th-18th.

These are two separate tournaments with separate registration.

The Girls National High School tournament is for teams that draw players from one community.  They do not need to be full varsity teams or even recognized, yet, by school administration.  Organizers realize many teams are working towards building these relationships with schools and communities; teams working towards this goal may likely qualify.  See the team agreements below for eligibility policies and mission statement goals of the national tournament.  The club tournament is for clubs that actively recruit and draw from multiple communities.

Interest in the event has been strong.  Eleven teams are already on the expected list of competitors at the National High School Girls Rugby Tournament.  Organizers are planning to fill 8 spots in the D1 Championship Bracket and 8 spots in the developmental D2 bracket. Organizers will accommodate any teams interested in competing.  This is not an invitational tournament.  Teams that are interested just need to express the level of competition they are looking for, and organizers work with teams to find the best fit.  Organizers are also working to set up JV or b-side matches for programs that attend.

**update (1/22/24) there are 14 teams signed up already.  The event will max out at 16 teams in the two brackets.  Some JV matches are still available. 

Event registration, mission statement, and past event results linked below:

Interested teams register here

Event Site with hotel info & schedules

Entry fee and Team Agreements due 3/15/24

The National Girls Coaches Committee Mission Statement & Nationals Historical Records

2023 Nationals Results and Schedule

Saturday, January 6, 2024

New Girls HS Team Start-Up Support Opportunities

 USA Youth & High School Rugby supports the development of new girls high school teams with multiple programs and grant offerings.

All applications are due January 19th.

Varsity Initiative:

This offers teams a pathway towards registration and compliance with USA Rugby requirements.  Teams may register with USA Rugby for an overall $200 team fee, saving individual families some individual costs.  Idaho, Illinois, and Hamilton HS from Wisconsin take advantage of this route to compliance.

Ignite Club Fund

This offers direct funding for all kinds of youth and high school teams starting up their organization.  No team that applies for this has ever been turned away, to our knowledge.

New High School Grant Program

YHS, in partnership with the US Rugby Foundation (USRF)(which has been doing this for two decades), provide seed funding to new high school programs.  These new programs must be on campus programs via varsity status OR an affiliated club sport status recognized by the school's athletic department.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

DSHA's Yesenia Morales to attend USA u20 Camp


DSHA grad Yesenia Morales ('23), currently a plebe at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, will attend the USA Rugby u20 Women's Camp over Christmas Break.   A key contributor during her first year in college, Morales scored three tries this season at the NCAA Division One level.  At DSHA she led her team to state and national championships.  Congrats and best of luck.  (West Point article here)