College rugby clubs are relatively new to Bozeman but are continuing to grow in size and following on both the men’s and women’s sides. “Rugby is a very intense sport that can really draw you in. The game is unique in that it can use players of every physical size,” Bozeman Whitetail Rugby Captain Kelly Bard said. “Because it is such a team sport, the game depends on the actions of the team instead of the talent of just one.”
The Bozeman Whitetail Rugby club began in September 2011, “with four energetic girls and the club grew from there,” Bard said. The group is now composed of about 20 women who are mostly MSU students with a few others that live in the Bozeman area. They play against other women’s teams in and around Montana including Betterside from Missoula, Idaho State University, Gonzaga University, Boise, Spokane Women’s Team, Lethbridge Women’s Team from Alberta, Canada and Whitman University.
Last weekend the club kicked off their season against the Betterside club from Missoula. “The Whitetails put up a great fight, but could not match the Betterside’s experience,” Bard said. The team also played Idaho State University claiming a victory 10-0. The two tries scored were a result of a maul the Whitetails pushed into the endzone and one by MSU junior Sakai Scheffer.
Last season the team was a young organization that had to work through the hardships of finding a new coach, however, “Last season has really set us up to have an awesome season this fall,” Bard said.
The Whitetails are working to become a strong team ready for the competitive season. “This season we have brought in a lot of athletic talent,” Bard said. “We have great numbers at practice and a lot of energy.”
[pullquote align=”right”]“The Bozeman Whitetail is full of really great girls. During the season the girls become friends and hang out outside of practices and games. The Whitetail is a great way to get out and make friends, play an intense sport, and take a break from studies.” — Bozeman Whitetail Rugby Captain Kelly Bard[/pullquote]
In addition to developing themselves on the field, another goal of the club is to become more established in the MSU and Bozeman community. “We hope we can begin to help with events in the community and help introduce the sport into Bozeman,” Bard said.
“The Bozeman Whitetail is full of really great girls. During the season the girls become friends and hang out outside of practices and games,” Bard said. “The Whitetail is a great way to get out and make friends, play an intense sport and take a break from studies.”
The team is open to college age females who wish to play. They practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 – 8 p.m. on the Kagy fields. For more information about the Bozeman Whitetails contact Bard at 406-529-4989.
The Bozeman Whitetails will host their first home match of the year against Gonzaga University on Oct. 12.