After solid wins over Las Cruces (31-20) and Albuquerque (28-18), the NMHU Vatos Rugby Club (13-4-1) will host Santa Fe this Saturday, in Perkin’s Stadium, at 2 p.m.. Losing only one game in league play, the Vatos have already secured the 2011-12 season MD3 Championship for the eighth time in 10 years. The 30 member club will travel April 14-15 to the Regional Final Four in Tucson. With wins over Tucson and Phoenix there, the Vatos will qualify for the National Final 16 in San Diego on May 12-13. The National Final Four are in Denver on June 2-3 and will air on ESPN.
“Our goal this year is to make it to the National Final 16 again. We are only two wins away, but the level of competition increases dramatically. There are over 300 teams nationally in our division. Clearly, a national title is a benchmark in any student athlete’s life,” Coach Greene noted. “We enjoy the challenge at this level, but we will need to improve our game. Taking the ball while running at pace and sharp angles is still a bit foreign to us. We win games by about 10 points when we should be winning by 20 or more. We are our worst foe. We do lazy and silly things at times.”
Captain Scotty Soto won the Man of the Match award against Las Cruces. Ex-Cowboy football standout, Lyndon Liti, was honored against Albuquerque. Both student athletes are from California and will graduate from Highlands this year. They look forward to their professional careers and a lifetime of recreational rugby.
Everyone is welcome to the free game and traditional postgame social.