By Jillian Ramsey
It’s a crisp fall day, sun high in the sky, with the wind blowing all of the fresh fallen leaves all over campus. It’s the perfect day to be outside, the perfect day for a rugby game and more importantly a rugby game donating all of its profits to the Wounded Warrior Project.
This past Saturday afternoon, the DeSales men’s rugby club held its first “Sevens for Soldiers” tournament, which is a charity tournament held to support the Wounded Warrior Project. The team sold t-shirts, raffle tickets, as well as snacks and water, and all profits were donated to charity.
The team divided themselves into two seven-person teams for the tournament, which consisted of three rugby games played with seven players, also known as “sevens.” The teams were the camouflage team versus the American flags. Each team dressed in their respective colors, and the American flags won all three games.
After the game, the teams and the spectators enjoyed grilled food, and the winners of the 50/50 raffle were called. The 50/50 raffle winner kindly donated their winnings back to the team.
Men’s rugby decided to choose the Wounded Warrior Project because it is a cause near and dear to their hearts. Each player chose someone who is currently serving or has served in the United States armed forces.
“My Uncle Dave was one of the only people I knew growing up who served in the military. He set forth the example of how every person that has served or is currently serving in any branch should conduct themselves,” said senior John Kradzinski. “To me growing up, he was and always has been an ‘American hero.’”
Another reason it is such a close matter to the team is because one of the team’s own former teammate is currently in training to become a service member. Former DeSales student Randall Harrison is in Georgia going through the Army’s Ranger Assessment & Selection Program (RASP), which is the training program soldiers must complete to enter an Army ranger unit.
All in all, the team was able to raise nearly $800 in donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, which is an organization determined “to support and help generate the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” The team is proud to donate the money to such a great cause that is so important to them.
Junior Tim Hofmeister, president of the men’s rugby club, who helped start the tournament discussed plans for future tournaments. “We would love to expand the game to more teams and make it a sevens tournament. Our goal is to get six college teams and have a tournament with prizes and more exposure for a great cause. We would love to raise more awareness and more money with a possible expansion.”