Vatos Rugby Club Repeats as National Champions

Margaret McKinney/Highlands University

Margaret McKinney/Highlands University

The Highlands Vatos rugby club hoists its national champions trophy and other trophies at the welcome back celebration June 7 at the university’s Student Union. Standing from the left are are Raymond Henley, Celester Asuega, Earl Smith, DiAmaal Holmes and Chris Encee. Seated from the left are Eric Sykes and captain Kevon Williams, while Rydell Curtis is in the front. The Vatos defended their 2015 national title at the National Small College Rugby Organization’s seven-on-seven tournament in Philadelphia June 4 – 5 by beating St. Mary’s College in the final game with a score of 31-7. The Vatos dominated in scoring at the national tournament, posting a composite score of 157-19 against other regional champions in five games. The Vatos longtime coach Dick Greene, a Highlands biology and engineering professor, established the club at Highlands 25 years ago and is passing the reins to another coach. Greene said since its inception the Vatos has won 80 percent of its matches and more importantly, 80 percent of its players have graduated from Highlands.