The lads of the DRFC embarked on the Club’s annual Tour March 13th. Tour has long been one of our most cherished and exciting traditions since the late Dick Leisching ‘59 pioneered the first historic journey to England in 1958. This year, the team traveled to the great state of Florida. The trip was divided into three sections, beginning in Key West, followed by a handful of nights in Miami and a final stop in Orlando.
After a nice bonding journey from Miami down to the Keys, the boys took some time to settle in, enjoy the beach, and get some touches in during a little off-the-cuff beach volleyball tournament to get both the laughs and the competitive juices flowing. Training commenced that first evening with 7’s work, incorporating some members from a local men’s club. That Saturday, we fielded two full sevens sides in a tournament at Florida International University, competing against FIU and a skilled, sizable men’s club. Both sides performed well and benefited from the live play. The first side came out victorious.
From there, the squad relocated to Miami, got in some solid lifts, and settled back into a two-a-day schedule, which has served the team very well historically, throughout pre-seasons and Tours. In a rare Thursday match, the First XV took on UCF. Having met last spring in the DIAA playoffs, an intense match was anticipated. It became a rather chippy encounter shortly after play began, but the boys were intent on availing themselves of the opportunity to get back into the fifteens rhythm. Dartmouth conceded a penalty early on, leading to UCF’s only points of the match resulting from the proceeding penalty kick. Skipper Struan Coleman ‘19 broke open scoring for the Big Green with a try in the corner after breaking through two tackles on a ball out the back from Mikey Weir ‘22. A few minutes later, Weir danced through the defense for a score of his own under the sticks. Credit to the forward pack for strong running in the opposition 22, which contributed to the scoring platform throughout the match. A barreling run up the middle from Malcolm Robinson ‘22 set Jack Badenhausen ‘19 up for a try off a penalty 10 meters out. Co-Captain Fuller Winston ‘19 touched down the next one off some play through the hands by the backs in the wide channel. Charlton McArdle ‘21 scored next off quick cross-field ball movement from a dominant Dartmouth scrum. In short order, Dartmouth found themselves deep in the UCF half. Mason Koch ‘20 pushed through the defense and connected with JM Seibert ‘19 on a supporting line for the final try of the match. Big credit to the Dartmouth defense, who put in a number of big hits and a strong shift to shut down the UCF attack. Final score 34-3, with conversions coming from Pat Sheehy ‘20 and Mikey Weir. The final day of tour saw an intense conditioning and training session back at UCF in the Florida sunshine.
As always, Tour is the result of months of collaboration and effort at all levels of the DRFC, from the generosity and support of alumni to the lads putting in the work throughout the year. Congrats to Tour Director Dylan Burke ‘19 who shouldered the majority of the work to make this trip a reality. We would like to extend our utmost thanks to all those parents, alumni and friends of the Club who brought the boys out for meals, arranged for training locations, and lent hands in a variety of other ways down in Florida, especially Dick Berlin, Jamie Goodman, Tom Perelli, Mike Murphy, the Burke’s (P‘19), and the Seibert’s (P‘19).
We turn our attention now to a packed spring season, which will see friendly matches against UMass opening for the New England Free Jack’s, Ivy Sevens, the DIAA Playoffs, and the CRC. Stay tuned for more as the boys look to leave a legacy in the coming months.