The unrecognized sons of Castleton, otherwise known as the men’s rugby team, have done nothing but dominate the opposition this season. The Spartans have battled their way through scrums and rucks in pursuit of a perfect season. Three matches into the season, Castleton allowed its first try against when Colby Sawyer managed to find one of the few and far apart holes in the impressive Spartan defense. Those five points posted by Colby Sawyer stand alone in the points against column for Castleton rugby.
Playing with a perfect 4-0 record, with one regular season match left to play, Castleton has already earned the top playoff seed for the 2008 season. The Spartan team has mercilessly outscored its opponents 116-5, a nearly improbable scoring differential.
“We are definitely coming together as a team,” said Sean Foster. “We’re peaking at the right time.”
Foster is one of two injured players on the team; Matt Varney joins him with a broken finger. Foster said the sideline plays a prominent role during each match, with water at the ready for the restless players during each of the few breaks per match.
Castleton began its destruction of Division Four with an 18-0 win over Southern Vermont College. The team then cracked heads with Green Mountain College with a 34-0 shutout of its rival. Blood was finally drawn from the so-far perfect Castleton defense, as Colby Sawyer stole five from the Spartans. The deed would not go unpunished as Castleton was en route to a 20-5 victory. The Spartans made the best of its October break with a ruthless beat-down of Lyndon State 44-0.
A lot of the Spartans’ momentum has been inspired by last year’s semi-final letdown against UMass Dartmouth.
“The day we lost in the semi’s, our goal was to win the Division Four championship,” captain Eric Rothy said. “We have new confidence in ourselves, and a bunch of new guys. The older guys from last year have taken on a leadership role, and the younger guys have found their roles.”
Rothy explained that every person on the team is a blood-brother; each player is there for the others on and off the field. Long after the cleats have been hung up and the bruises have faded, the chemistry will be just as strong as it has always been between the scrum brethren.
Castleton will play host for the quarter finals and semi finals after its last regular season match against Champlain College. With construction underway on the new Spartan Stadium, the post-season matches will most likely be located in Rutland. The mental focus has remained intact for the pitch warriors heading into the most crucial point of the season.
“Everyone is hurt in their own way,” said Ben Gleason. “I usually just go focus on the game. There are only 80 minutes to be played. I have the rest of my life to worry about being injured.