End of Year Coach's Letter

Dear Family & Friends,


The fall of 2018 chapter closed this past November, culminating with the DRFC winning its 11th consecutive Ivy Championship defeating Brown in trying conditions, 37-7. This result was the product of months of hard work and dedication from the students and staff. We set out in late August to write a new chapter, a chapter not complete yet, but definitely has a promising foundation all due to the consistent hard work and effort from the students.


A great deal is spoken about leadership and developing leaders. Something the DRFC has done since its inception in 1951, with the student involvement being crucial in the daily running of the program. This year has been no exception with a particular emphasis, or possibly lack of emphasis on the term “leader”.  Early in pre-season we spoke as a squad about leadership and what that means and how the traditional approach can imply that by calling certain students’ leaders, we imply that others are not. With this in mind we spoke about leading being the ability to make those around you better, a skill that we all have, regardless of experience or class year.


Using this approach and the weekly training environment we worked to provide decision making, problem solving and peer driven feedback opportunities throughout the weekly process.  From players scouting opposition film to player driven conversations on the training pitch the rate of development and level of understanding is continuing to improve. With incredible direction and example coming from the senior class the returning students have done a phenomenal job of welcoming and integrating the newest members.


This Fall along with the first XV and second XV we set out to provide more games for development players, entering a 3rd team in a local New England Rugby Union competition. This providing crucial experience to our younger players. Playing a total of 16 games for all sides across the fall season, Including approximately 17 new first side appearances, 9 new first side caps from the class of 2022.


This Fall also saw the addition of Mike DeRosier as athletic trainer Hamish McCallion as our resident Kiwi rugby and S&C specialist, along with Peter Sickle who assisted with all teams. All who added significant value and embodied all the values that we hold dear.


The DRFC would not be what it is without the support of our Alumni, friends and families. A special thank you to Dan Kenslea whose tenure as chairman of the board of governors has come to an end. His contribution to the program and student athlete experience had been extraordinary. We would also like to extend a very special thank you to the parents, led by Carolyn Badenhausen, the organization and support week in and week out has been incredible (it would be no exaggeration to state that we are the best fed team in the county!).


We thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing you all this spring.




James Willocks