Summit rugby hung up on hanging onto ball
Whether it wins or loses against Littleton today, the Summit Girls Rugby Club won’t lose its statewide No. 1 status, but it might lose the ball … which holds bragging rights.
Littleton is Summit’s longstanding rival, and that rivalry is symbolized by an old ball, stenciled with each game the two teams have played against each other over the years. The dominant team gets to carry the ball.
“I have it sitting with me right now,” said Summit rugby head coach Karl Barth Friday. “Basically, ever since we started playing, the winner keeps it. It was an old, flat ball. The original coach for Littleton, a friend of mine, said, “We’ll play for this ball.’ It has a great use, not as a rugby ball, but for bragging rights. We’ve had a lot of alumni showing up this week telling us we better not lose it. All bragging rights are on the line. I don’t care about bragging, I just don’t want to be on the other end of it.”
Littleton’s team is sitting at No. 3 in the state, although it recently beat No. 2 Fort Collins. The Summit team gave Boulder, the worst-ranked team in the state, a 42-0 beating Tuesday and is prepared to step it up against Littleton.
“We could have played a lot better against Boulder,” Barth said. “But everyone was pretty intense at practice (Thursday). Littleton has the best offense in the state. It is probably going to be the most intense game we play all season. They have three or four All State players on their back line. Plus, we’re playing on their field. You can never underestimate the advantage of home field. They’re coming in as underdogs, and if I know their coach, and I do, they’ll have lots of motivation to get the ball back. They never come in without putting up a fight. They want the ball.”
The Summit U17 team will play Boulder’s A team today following the U19 game against Littleton. In Tuesday’s win against Boulder, Kate Orlin, Sally Gentling and Wendy DiMiranda put up most of the points, and Kelly Moberly was Player of the Game. A lot of Summit’s younger players were in on the shutout and hope to repeat the beating today.
Barth and other local rugby enthusiasts have been trying for years to put together a middle school team. Today, for the first time in history, a Summit U15 team will compete against Sagewood Middle School following the U17 and U19 games. Former Summit High School quarterback Carlos Ebert-Santos has played a large hand in coaching the young team, which has never had the opportunity to compete against another team in its age bracket.
“The last time we had a middle school game, they ended up playing a high school team,” Barth said. “They played against a bunch of freshmen and sophomores and whumped them. These guys are good. We’re trying to have more games scheduled, but they’re so busy. They’re running track and playing soccer and all sorts of other things. We’re trying to work around their schedules.”
After today’s game in Littleton, Summit will compete in the Colorado Cup May 11 and then in Nationals May 24-27 in Seattle.
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