After a strong showing at its home tournament, the rugby team is looking toward national playoffs.
Dixie State College hosted a 15’s tournament in Mesquite, Nev., on Jan. 11 and 12. Eight teams from Utah and Idaho attended the tournament.
“The tournament went great,” said team captain and outside center Brad Godinet, a senior psychology major from Sandy. “A lot of good teams were there.”
Godinet said the team worked together for a blowout victory against Idaho State University with a score of 59-0. Brentt Phillips, Tori Taulogo, and Tyler Otteson helped lead the team to victory by making big plays.
The rugby team will have a game about every other weekend until the national playoffs in March in College Station, Texas.
Godinet said the team is preparing right now for the upcoming Las Vegas International Invitational Feb. 7-10. Hundreds of teams from around the world will be participating. Winning brings major recognition to the team.
“It is a really big tournament and is really fun for everyone,” Godinet said. “It is something that the team looks forward to every season.”
The team will also have the chance to play Brigham Young University, The University of Utah, Snow College and Utah Valley University in conference games.
To prepare for its matches, the team practices every Tuesday through Friday at 5 p.m. for two hours. Once a month the team watches film of its previous games and talks about what it can improve on. Including the four practices, each player is asked to run at least three miles a day and complete 10 100-yard sprints, Godinet said.
“Practice, practice, practice,” Godinet said. “That is the most important thing we can do right now.”
Team mate Ian Burgess, a junior biology major from St. George agreed with Godinet, “To be the best, you have to practice the best.”
Burgess said the team has the talent and drive to win the National Title, but what they lack is experience and organization.
“If we organize the team better and put what we do in practice to work, we will be a force to be reckoned with,” Burgess said.
Burgess said between all the practices, the team tries to raise money for traveling by holding carwashes and other events.
The rugby team has a winning record of 5-2, and the team is working to make sure it stays that way so it can reach its ultimate goal of being National Champions.