The men of New Paltz rugby made history this past weekend by capping off an undefeated regular season.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, the New Paltz Rugby Football Club clinched an undefeated regular season in the Tri-State Rugby Conference by defeating Monroe College 38-15 at home. The Hawks, who entered the game as Central Division champions, finished the regular season with a 6-0 record, tallying wins over SUNY Maritime, Drew University, SUNY Oneonta, Vassar College, Monroe College as well as a forfeit win over Bard College.
Featuring a team mostly comprised of veteran players, the Hawks were led by fourth-year inside center Kevin Menyhart as they overcame a stiff challenge from Monroe College, who finished their inaugural season in the conference. Menyhart attributed the program’s unprecedented level of success to the defense, which has allowed the least amount of points in the Central Divison, and the physicality of their offensive scheme.
“I’m extremely proud of the way we’ve played this year,” Menyhart said. “We were able to take what we had learned last year from our old coach and implement it this year with the help of our new coach.”
In an interview on “The Opinionated Oracle” radio show on 88.7 WFNP The Edge, fourth-year 8-man Dean DeVitis and fourth-year fly-half Tim Stanson both reiterated the growth the team has made under head coach James Fryer, ‘16. They also said they look forward to the Hawks’ next match, which will be on Oct. 30 at 1 p.m., when they host SUNY Maritime for a rematch in the conference semifinals.
Menyhart said that their next game will be challenging, considering that they only beat SUNY Maritime by five points in their previous match. However, he remains confident in his team’s ability to compete in the postseason.
“Even though they have some big guys, I think our greater experience as a team and our willingness to strive for the conference championship will push us forward and past them,” Menyhart said.