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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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With promotion to Division I, men’s rugby meets bigger challengers

Stony Brook rugby was promoted to Div. I for Fall '10. (Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Rugby)

After going undefeated in the fall of 2009, the Seawolves are looking to continue their success this upcoming year after promotion to a bigger, more athletic Division 1 of club rugby.

A repeat performance of last fall will be a tall order, but assistant coach Mike Moulton is confident that the Seaswolves will hold their own.

“We will be undersized in comparison to other teams in our union, however if we play to our strengths, we will do well.” He said. “We should have a good shot at winning our union.”

The team this year does not have a single superstar player, but instead the players rely on each other to fully execute and form a well-balanced team, according to Moulton.

Seniors Josh Friedlander and Pete Demato, both of whom were named collegiate regional all-stars last season, will lead the team this fall. Russell Carr will also play a prominent role on the team, as the junior was a collegiate all-star in his second year on the team last season.

The players entered preseason training—called “hell week” among their ranks—with an eye towards priming themselves for the upcoming season. Hell week consists of both fitness and training sessions, as well as scrimmages to get players back into that competitive feeling before the year begins, Moulton said.

Both the players and coaches have high expectations this year, as a winning record as well as a division title is the goal for 2010. Ultimately, the Seawolves want to make their first ever appearance in the national championships.

Moulton emphasized a hard work ethic as well a team-oriented mentality as keys to succeed. He mentioned “healthy, intense” competition and “pressing each other” as some specific keys to victory. “As long as our athletes raise their level of play and make the next [guy] perform to the best of his abilities, we’ll do well,” he said.

The program has become increasingly competitive as more people become interested in the sport, leaving the coaches to say they expect great things from the program. Head coach Danny Yarusso said, “I am truly excited with the future” of Stony Brook rugby.  Moulton added, “the sky’s the limit.”

The men’s Division I rugby team opens its season on September 12 against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

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