Vail rugby starts season early |

Vail rugby starts season early

Spring has come early to the Vail Valley and so is rugby season.

The Vail Rugby Football Club will be getting a jump on the 2002 season by heading north to Maggot Fest in Missoula, Mont., May 3-5.

“It’s nationally known as one of the funnest tournaments in the United States. It’s a blast,” new club president Scott Marino said.

Marino will head up the club along with new vice president Brian Dalrymple, likely the first Tenneseean to hold the post in club history. New Zealander Nick Trimble has been lured out of retirement to coach the club in its 31st season.

“I honestly feel this is going to be the best season since I’ve been in town,” Marino said. “Just the talent of players, the quality of leadership and level of support from the Old Boys has us all excited.”

The early start to the season means the team is starting its practice regimen earlier than usual. Workouts are expected to start April 16 at Avon Elementary. After Maggot Fest, the team hopes to move its sessions to the friendly confines of the Vail Athletic Field.

In the meantime, the club is welcoming anyone interested to join up. If you’re interested, call Marino at (970) 479-9917.

“The great thing about this season is that we have enough people already coming into town that we can guarantee two full sides,” Marino said. “Any beginners who want to learn will get full games.”

It should be a very busy summer for the Blue and White. The side’s traditional slate of fixtures begins with a tilt at Colorado Springs May 25. The Home opener is against Queen City on June 1.

Other highlights include the Missoula Maggots making a stop at Vail on their tour June 22. Vail and Aspen renew their rivalry with a set of home-and-home games. The Gentlemen host Vail July 6, with the return engagement at the Vail Athletic Field on Aug. 24.

The annual Ski Town Tournament stops at Aspen this year July 27-28. Vail will also head down to Aspen in September for Ruggerfest. In a change for 2002, the Blue and White will have games in September to prepare for Ruggerfest. Vail Hosts Boulder Sept. 7 and the Denver Babas Sept. 14.

There’ll be plenty of fun off the field as well. Garfinkel’s has stepped up as a sponsor as well as the Paint Bucket, which means plenty of beers, burgers and brats on the sidelines of home games. The club is also planning an Old Boy Hall of Fame roast June 19 in what should be an uproarious and sudsy evening. Marino is closely safeguarding the name of the honoree.

“I can’t announce the first Old Boy to be roasted, but we plan to get every single Old Boy by the time I’m an Old Boy,” Marino joked.

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