Displaying the tenacity and togetherness that is central to the 1Excalibur brand, Trent’s men’s rugby team battled hard November 8 in St. Catharines, coming up just short of the OUA bronze medal by virtue of a 29-24 loss to the Brock Badgers.
“It was a great effort from the guys all across the board…I couldn’t ask for anything more,” says head coach Tom McLeod.
“Tactically, we challenged the players to show a different look than what Brock was expecting. They took it all on in stride and treated it like real professionals. Every player gave us an all-out effort.”
Finishing third in its division followed by a huge quarter-final win again McMaster to earn the shot at bronze, Excalibur held a two-point lead over the Badgers at the half but couldn’t close it out. Still, Mr. McLeod is buoyed by the performance of his team, saying his players “really made a name for themselves” this season.
Off the field, individual honours have come Excalibur’s way. Team captain Emerson Prior won the Trillium Award for community service, Darby Bradley and Fawad Nasseri were named First-Team All-Stars, and Kean Varga and Prior earned Second-Team All-Star berths.
“This season wasn’t about just the 15 guys on the field,” says Mr. McLeod.
“It was about all the players in the program. We made a concerted effort to recognize all the players who didn’t get to dress on game day and how much value they contributed each week in preparation, specifically for the Brock game. Those on the bench provided support the entire time without getting into the shoes they wanted to get into. I really think we did a fabulous job of embodying family and the 1Ex brand.”
“As soon as one season is over the next one starts,” Mr. McLeod added. “I can’t wait to get going.”
“The depth charts are already being built and we’re having conversations about what the off season will look like and what we need guys to take on individually. I’m looking forward to what I think will be another good year.”