This semester, the New Paltz Rugby Football Club will celebrate its 25th anniversary, and the team is looking to improve on past disappointments.
A year ago, the team had their entire exhibition season suspended after a number of off-the-field incidents involving club members. They followed up with a winless season the semester after.
Now the club will be dropping a division to Division II after the Metro New York Rugby Football Union reorganized its divisions, preparing to play smaller schools.
The team has upped their practice routines to get bigger and better for this season, participating in conditioning workouts like running and sprinting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays the team practices hitting drills and simulations to prepare for Saturday games. In between this, players try to get out to the gym as often as they can.
Coach Chris Cantiello said he admires the dedication of his team and thinks it will help them reach new heights in the future.
“We have a heavy commitment from our guys,” he said. “I think we can have an all-out winning season this year.”