Dear Friends of Dartmouth Rugby,
As you walk up to the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse early on a late August morning, the first thing you notice is a deep mist slowly receding up from the perfectly manicured grass of Brophy Field and into the surrounding green hills. The sun, just rising over those far hills, begins to break through the mist, and dew glistens brightly below the soaring goalposts. On these early preseason mornings, when we wake up as the sun rises, time seems to slow down. The mist hangs low, the sun shines through, and the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club gathers as a team, ready to embark on a new season.
Over the past two weeks our team has been working extremely hard. We have had two practices a day every day except Sunday, lifts in Floren Varsity Gym, and film sessions and meetings daily. This has been unquestionably the most productive preseason I have participated in as a member of the DRFC. Every day the entire team comes prepared to work hard and efficiently. At the start of this preseason camp we set goals for ourselves as a team. Based on our work these two weeks, I am extremely confident that we are well on our way to achieving these goals. We are hoping to outwork our opponents, be incredibly sharp in attack, and extremely aggressive in defense. Under the guidance of our incredible coaching staff, led by Coach Gavin Hickie, and through hard work from all of the boys, I truly believe we have set a great base through which we can achieve and ultimately eclipse these standards.
This is an incredibly exciting time for the DRFC. The entire club is as deep as it has ever been. In addition to fielding an extremely talented First XV side, we are looking forward to having a very deep Second XV side and an exciting development team. We are very happy to have seven freshmen recruits with us this entire preseason, the most we have had in my time with the team. The First XV strikes a balance between a core group of veteran seniors and juniors and a very exciting crop of young talent. Our own expectations are very high, and we are confident that we can meet them. This year we aim to play fast and exciting attacking rugby. We begin our season on Saturday, September 10th against Boston College at home. The next week we take on Navy at home. Both games will be very important to set a base for our conference play. We begin our Ivy League title defense on Saturday, September 24th at Harvard. The Crimson will be opening a new rugby facility that day, so that game will be extremely important. The ultimate goal of this fall season will be winning a 10th straight Ivy League title. Based on our work this preseason, I feel that we are in a good spot to achieve our 10th straight title.
The beginning of a new season, like the sun rising over Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse before an early morning practice, always holds promise and hope. With our exciting young talent, experienced veteran core, and an emphasis on playing entertaining rugby, I believe this promise is very well founded. Each member of this team knows that we don’t just play for one another; we also play for all those that came before us. As we pursue a 10th straight Ivy League championship during this 2016-2017 season, we are extremely grateful for every alum that makes it possible for us to achieve such great success. Without your incredibly generous support we would just be a group of guys running around in short shorts. But thanks to you all we are the most successful team on campus and one of the top rugby programs in the country. This year we hope to make all of the alumni very proud. The mist is clearing and the sun is rising on what I believe will be a very successful and entertaining season for the DRFC, a season that will end with a 10th straight Ivy League championship.
Hayden Aldredge ’17