National Small College Rugby Organization LLC: Latest News: NSCRO National Championship - The Journey to the Top

Franciscan and North Florida Camaraderie
Rugby Camaraderie at its Finest - Franciscan and North Florida
Sunday, April 20
NSCRO National Championship - The Journey to the Top

The 2014 NSCRO National Championship takes place this coming weekend - April 26-27 - in Rugbytown, USA - Glendale, Colorado. The venue is Infinity Park Stadium, the mecca for rugby in the US.
Website: http://infinityparkatglendale.com/index.php/rugbytown

This is the 3rd year NSCRO has held its Championship at Infinity Park. The first 2 years saw a total of 8 different colleges reaching this height of rugby success. I was there when each of the clubs arrived for their tour of the facility. It was almost 8 identical scenes with wide eyes and an expression of delight that made me realize what rugby means to young adults. To play at such a venue for these student-athletes is more than a dream come true. It is something many never imagined happening. Then came the matches and the fans. The happiness that they - especially the families of the players - found just added to the overall atmosphere. While everyone wants to win each match and becoming a National Champion, rugby offers this and much more.

The photo above shows Franciscan University and the University of North Florida after their 3rd place match at the 2012 National Championship. Can you tell who won? Actually it easy to tell. They BOTH won. The camaraderie and character building that makes rugby special is clearly evident and that makes everyone a winner!

This competitive year (2013-14) saw 215 small colleges begin the journey to the top of NSCRO. In the end, 4 are left standing and are heading to the Rocky Mountain state to climb all the way and become the Champion. That's right 215 teams. When you look at the NSCRO Playoff Brackets (highly recommended that you print a copy to fully comprehend it) linked below, you will realize the degree of what these teams have accomplishment and what sets NSCRO apart.

For this year's event, 3 teams who made it to Infinity Park in 2013 have returned. A testimony indeed to their creation of a successful rugby program. St. John's University (Collegeville, MN), the defending Small College National Champion, New England College (Henniker, NH) and the University of Denver (Denver, CO) are all primed to become the 2014 Champion. However, there is a new team added to the equation - Mount St. Mary's University from Emmitsburg, MD. "The Mount" won the first-year Potomac NSCRO league and came from behind to defeat a strong Loyola University (New Orleans) club in the Mid-Atlantic South Region Championship 24-23. The Mount, led by head coach Jay Myles, is thrilled beyond belief to have this opportunity for the players and the school.

The enrollment (full time male undergraduate) at these schools is:
Denver = 2300; SJU = 1900, Mount St. Mary’s = 800 and NEC = 500

The only thing small about the best NSCRO teams is their school's enrollment as their level of play is excellent. Last year both semifinal matches provided excitement and suspense as good as it gets in rugby. Duke came from behind to edge New England College 25-24 with NEC in possession of the ball attacking the Duke goalline when time expired. Denver gave up an early 17 point lead to St. John's to regain it in the second half, but the Johnnies scored late to take the lead 37-35 and hold on to win as Denver was at the SJU goalline but failed to score as time expired. This makes for a very intriguing rematch when DU takes on SJU in the first semifinal next Saturday. Following this match, The Mount faces off a determined New England College team whose losses last year in the semifinals of both the NSCRO 15s and 7s national championships have made them hungry to win this year. Personally, I can hardly wait.

Hope to see ya there there. This is an event not to be missed. NSCRO is the home of small college rugby...come and share the excitement with us.

Tickets can be purchased at: http://infinityparkatglendale.com/index.php/rugbytown/tournaments/nscro

At NSCRO our goal is to create a great small college rugby experience for all involved...players, coaches and fans. through responsive leadership, a well-matched competitive structure and a highly effective administration.

NSCRO....the best place to be!

Steve Cohen, NSCRO President 


Handout: 2013-14 NSCRO Men's National Playoffs Bracket