Summit boys rugby wins 1st home game in program history, 21-0 against Grand Valley |

Summit boys rugby wins 1st home game in program history, 21-0 against Grand Valley

Story and photos by Phil Lindeman
A Summit player jukes past Grand Valley players during a home 15s rugby game in Breckenridge on April 1. The Tigers won, 21-0, for the team's second win of the season and first shutout win in program history.
Phil Lindeman / |

Summit vs. Grand Valley

1st 2nd Final

Summit 7 14 21

GV 0 0 0


1st — SUMMIT, Noah Martens (Conor Craig conversion)

2nd — SUMMIT, Adolfo Vasquez (Conor Craig conversion)

2nd — SUMMIT, Conor Craig (Conor Craig conversion)

There’s a whole new boys rugby family in town.

On Saturday afternoon, the Summit Renegades 15s club rugby team faced the Grand Valley Griffs at Kingdom Park in Breckenridge. Summit couldn’t manage a win in its debut season last year, but they entered this past weekend’s game with one win — and one looming team goal — already under their belts.

“Goal number one (this season) was to win our first-ever game, and they did that,” head coach Peter Clarke said after the game, referencing Summit’s debut non-league win at a three-team scrimmage tournament in Denver this March. “Goal number two is to make the playoffs. We’ll see how that goes. There are still lots of games.”

But the Renegades didn’t want to stop at just one better than last season. The boys and their coaches are busy building a club from the ground up, and with a little love from the state champion girls team — more than a few Lady Tigers lined the fences with handmade signs — they’re well on their way.

After 60 minutes on the rugby pitch the boys proved they’re here to stay with a 21-0 victory for their second of the season. It was the first shutout win in boy’s program history, bringing the team’s season record to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the Rugby Colorado Division II-North league.

Summit and Grand Valley both started slow with a few turnovers at center field after sloppy passes and several lineouts. If there’s one thing this team (and all teams) can work on, it’s using the fringes of the field intelligently to draw the other team out of position. The girls team has it down to a science, but then again, head coach Karl Barth has been at it for more than a decade.

Summit ratcheted up the energy a few notches in the final 10 minutes when Noah Martens sneaked past a few Grand Valley defenders for a try on the near side. Junior Conor Craig followed it with a point-after kick — the soccer player didn’t miss a single kick on the day — and then Summit did a bang-up job of keeping Grand Valley on its heels. They entered halftime ahead, 10-0, which was new and different and exhilarating.

“They’re becoming more and more of a team,” Clarke said. “Last year we had talented individuals who were trying to do everything, but this year they’re learning that you can’t do that with a 15-man game that’s so physical.”

The Renegades wasted no time adding to the score when senior Adolfo Vasquez streaked up the far side for a try in the first five minutes. Craig’s conversion brought the score to 14-0.

“I expect Conor and Adolfo to score quite regularly,” Clarke said. “Those boys are quite talented. But a few other guys have had trys, so it’s a good combination of people.”

The next 15 minutes were another battle of attrition, as Summit and Grand Valley went back and forth with lineouts and scrums at midfield. The Griffs came dangerously close to a try around the 25th minute, but this year’s Summit line is bigger and burlier than before — think football linebackers like Dean Vangsnes and Trice Scroggins — and the Renegades choked every attack before it got to the try line.

In the last 10 minutes, Summit put a final nail in the coffin when Craig bolted down the far line for a third try and conversion, bringing the score to 21-0. It stayed there until the final whistle, when the Renegades left the pitch bruised, battered and ecstatic.

“Remember, boys,” one of the players yelled from the thick of a post-game pile, “This is family. Family on three!”

One, two, three…


Summit’s second and final home game is Friday, April 8, against Broomfield at Kingdom Park. Game time is 3 p.m.

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