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Blue Goose getting started with match against Glenwood

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE – Head coach Pete Clarke was a bit hesitant in making any predictions for the Gentlemen of the Blue Goose Rugby Club.

After all, with the team’s first home match slated for this afternoon, there’s still quite a bit to figure out.

“It’s not like we have the team from last year, and we just go again,” Clarke said. “Every season is a brand-new team.”

The local Breckenridge squad usually has less than a dozen Summit County players, and each season has many college kids – and, occasionally, an international player or two – come play for the summer schedule.

The turnover makes the beginning of each season a bit unpredictable, but, Clarke said, once the team starts playing, everything falls into place.

“You have to get everybody on the same page. They aren’t used to the altitude, to playing with each other. Everything,” he said. “It takes a little while, but I think we have a good group of guys.”

And today’s matchup with Glenwood Springs will be a good starting point.

The Goose play in the competitive Mountain Division of the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union. In addition to Glenwood, Breck also takes on Steamboat and Vail in league play.

Last season, the Goose finished atop the division with Glenwood, although a schedule snafu – Glenwood only played Steamboat once – gave the title to Glenwood.

Although, Breck did claim the top prize in the All-ERRFU Ruggerfest held at Kingdom Park late last summer.

Clarke feels his team is comparable to that of last year.

Team captain Andrew Noll expects a bit more.

“Honestly, I think last year, we were good. This year, we’ll be better,” said Noll, who’s in his second season with the team. “We have a little more experience this year.”

Part of that experience is coming from overseas.

Although only 18, Ross Buchan has played the sport for years – and in a nine-month season in Scotland.

While on the pitch practicing, Buchan has felt right at home. Off it, it’s taken a little while to adjust.

“It was a bit dodgey at first,” he said. “It was my first time away from Scotland without my parents, so I was a wee bit worried about it.”

After a few weeks, he’s starting to get acclimated.

“So far so good,” he said. “The accommodations I’m staying at is brilliant. All the facilities are great, that’s a brilliant gym. The town’s great. I’ve got my City Market card, so I’m ready and fitting in.”

Now, whether the Goose are ready for game action is still to be decided. Either way, Clarke said today’s match should be a good indicator.

“You’ve just got to see how it goes once we play,” the coach said. “We’ll know pretty soon.”

Today’s game is slated to start at 3 p.m. at Kingdom Park in Breck.

Season schedule:

Today – vs. Glenwood Springs, Kingdom Park

June 19 – at Steambaot Springs

June 26 – vs. Vail, Kingdom Park

July 3 – vs. Denver Harlequins, Kingdom Park

July 10 – at Cow Pie Tournament

July 17 – vs. Steamboat Springs, Kingdom Park

July 24 – at Ski Town Tournament

Aug. 7 – at Glenwood Springs

Aug. 14 – at Vail

Aug. 22 – All-ERRFU Ruggerfest, Denver

* All games slated for 3 p.m. but subject to change


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