Summit boys rugby loses first match of the season; Jack Hodge commits to Cal Poly

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

Following a huge win last weekend to begin the season, the Summit boys rugby club struggled in its second match of the season in Highlands Ranch on Saturday, March 11.

The Summit boys rugby team knew it needed to play at its absolute best in order to beat a talented PAC team which is made up of players from Evergreen, Bailey and Conifer High Schools

Head coach Lance French says his team got off to a good start against PAC and that the two teams battled in the early parts of the game. However, as the first half progressed, PAC slowly became the clear favorite in large part because of mistakes made by Summit.

“It was our issues,” French said. “We didn’t make a tackle, broke a couple tackles, left some open territory, and they found it.”

PAC led 17-0 at halftime, and Summit searched for a way to stop its opponent.

“Every effort we were working hard to get, we canceled out because we got a cheap little penalty,” French said. “It was due to pressure. The issues we were having were due to the high-intensity, quick-moving game.”

Summit worked to fix its penalty problem and prevent further mistakes in the second half of the game. Led by senior Jack Hodge and senior Ronaldo Wray, Summit put points on the board almost immediately upon taking foot back on the pitch for final half of play.

The try from Wray brought the score to a more manageable deficit of 17-5, but Summit could not overcome the quick offense of PAC.

“Middle of the second half, we started to show some signs of fatigue,” French said. “The match up to this point had been so fast, and both teams were making mistakes.”

The fatigue affected Summit a bit more than PAC, and so it capitalized on Summit’s mistakes to pull to a 22-5 victory.

Summit is now 1-1 on the season and will look to improve upon its record on Saturday, March 18, when it takes on North High School in Highlands Ranch.

Outside of rugby action, Hodge has decided to attend California Polytechnic State University this upcoming fall in order to continue his academics and play rugby at the collegiate-club level.

Hodge has been a vital part of the Summit boys rugby club over the last few years and has helped transform the program and recruit new players to the team.

Senior GC Martinez was also committed to Regis University in Denver for schooling and rugby before he deferred to pursue a career with the U.S. Marines.

“I am really excited for both of them to play at that level,” French said. “They have both been instrumental on the leadership on the field. They are great captains. They do everything. They work side-by-side with the players. These two guys are standout performers. Both are very coachable. I expect both of them to have great careers in rugby at the collegiate level.”

Summit boys rugby team captains Sam Daly, left, Jack Hodge and GC Martinez pose for a photo ahead of the team’s first match last season.
Stefan de Vogel/Courtesy photo

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