Summit boys rugby club bounces back from lackluster scrimmages for huge season-opening win over Brighton |

Summit boys rugby club bounces back from lackluster scrimmages for huge season-opening win over Brighton

The Summit men's rugby club team poses for a photo after defeating Brighton 71-0 on Saturday, March 4.
Lance French/Courtesy photo

For the last three years, the Summit boys rugby club has started every spring season a little bit better than the last.

The club may have struggled during its return to the pitch in 2021, but the team started to bloom and flourish last spring. 

This season, the team — which is made up of a strong core of players from Summit and other area high schools — is motivated and now skilled enough to threaten many of the teams in Division 2 of the Rugby Colorado League. 

With 23 players on this year’s roster practicing within the Breckenridge Recreation Center’s small indoor turf facility throughout the winter, head coach Lance French felt it was important that the team play in two scrimmage matches before regular season play commenced. 

“When you have nine weeks in a small, indoor, turf gym that is 30 feet by 40 feet, the players don’t get a chance to understand the game,” French said. “You can’t really go live. You can’t see how big the field is. We needed a scrimmage.”

The club traveled to Colorado Springs on Feb. 25 to play in a dual scrimmage against Castle Rock and the Colorado Springs Falcons. The scrimmages went as French expected, with his team looking a little behind where it needs to be in order to easily compete against the rest of the state.

“They spanked us,” French said. “Needless to say, it was a wake-up call for our team. We really needed it. We luckily have so many new players this year, but until you get a chance to get out on the field, you have no idea.”

After the team got trounced, it came alive. The club came to practices motivated and went into the first regular season match of the season on Saturday, March 4, looking to prove its worth to Brighton and the rest of the Rugby Colorado League.

Dominating throughout match, Summit proved itself to the league and put the scrimmages fully behind them in a 71-0 win.

 “From the very minute of the first kick off of that match on Saturday, the boys were firing.,” French said. “They attacked it right from the beginning, and the wake-up call woke them up.”

The team also accomplished its goals for the match of tackling, attacking on defense and establishing “phase,” ball control rugby. The team was successful in ticking off every major goal for the match and in the process floated to the team’s first triumphant win of the season.

“The team tackled all day long. They had great defense. The best part was watching the team control the ball the whole match,” French said. 

In the win, the team was led by Summit High School senior Ronaldo Wray and senior captain Jack Hodge. 

Wray, from the beginning of the match, established control of the ball for Summit and within the first two minutes of the game steamrolled his way down the pitch for his first try of his career. Hodge, on the other hand, led the team by continuing to control the ball, cutting across the field and scoring tries. 

Contrary to the scrimmage, the Summit sideline was full of smiles after its first win of the season. 

“There were some smiles on the sidelines,” French said. “The parents enjoyed it, and, from the coaches perspective, it was just textbook rugby.”

With a win to start the season, the team plans to win consistently throughout the rest of the season — which includes a slate of games at Summit High School on April 15 and April 29.

“That’s huge,” French said of the home matches. “There are all kinds of other teams coming, which I think is really good for the community to come out and actually see teams. There are three matches on the 15th and two matches on the 29th. We would love to have fans come out.”

Summit will now travel to Highlands Ranch High School on Saturday, March 11, in order to take on a competitive team from Evergreen named PAC. Like the team’s season opener, the team will look to control the ball and pace of play in order to get a second win.

Despite adding eight players from last year, the Summit boys rugby club is still looking to fill a few more roster spots. 

“If we can get five or six more players, we will have two teams which will allow us to scrimmage during training,” French said. “More importantly, at Division 2, the teams that we are playing all have two teams.”

French and the rugby club invites anyone interested in joining the team to come to a practice on Tuesday or Thursday from 3:30-530 p.m. at the Kingdom Park turf field in Breckenridge.

For more information, email Lance French at

2023 Summit boys rugby club schedule

March 11 vs. PAC at Highlands Ranch High School, noon 

March 18 vs. North at Highlands Ranch High School, noon

April 1 vs. Castle Rock at Highlands Ranch High School, 11 a.m.

April 8 vs. North at Highlands Ranch High School. Noon

April 15 vs. Titans at Summit High School, 2:30 p.m.

April 29 vs. Dakota at Summit High School, 1:15 p.m.

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