Old Methodist Rugby Enjoys Best Season in Years
Wesleyan’s club rugby team, known as Old Methodist, ended its spring season 5-0 in league play this Saturday with a close win against Quinnipiac University. The season represented a remarkable turnaround for the program, which won only one game in 2009 and 2010. In spring 2011, the Men’s Rugby team doubled that total to win two games, and last fall the squad earned its first winning record in years by going 3-2-1 with two losses against the same team and a tie against another that had beaten them 28-0 the previous year.
This spring, “Old Meth” beat Trinity for the first time in several years and embarrassed rival Connecticut College with a 50-14 swin. Wesleyan students took notice of the team’s success, and the 150 fans at the Conn. College game represented the biggest home crowd the team has enjoyed in years.
Though Wesleyan rugby used to be more of a laid-back affair, this year’s captains (Peter Frank ’12, J.R. Mannetta ’13, and Jeff Price ’13) grew tired of the team’s losing ways. Frank took charge in spring 2011 and upped the intensity by bringing in an official coach for the first time in the team’s history, Pete Velcofsky. Frank also enlisted help from Middletown resident and rugby enthusiast Lou Petruzzelo.
“We saw this success because the overall team dedication has improved,” Frank said. “We have a coach, people come to practice, we had a lot of excitement and retained our newly recruited players.”
The increased dedication has paid off for Old Methodist, who will hope to maintain their momentum as they travel to Bard College this weekend for a seven-on-seven tournament, the culmination of their season.