Western’s club rugby team captures East Coast Division III championship

CULLOWHEE — The Western Carolina University men’s rugby team won the 2002 East Coast Division III Championship held April 27-28 in Pennsylvania.

Western defeated Lehigh University in the semi-final round by a score of 21-7 on Saturday, April 27. Western defeated Stonehill College in the championship game by a score of 15-7 on Sunday, April 28.

Mike Williams of WCU was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Rugby at Western is designated a “club” sport to distinguish it from NCAA-sanctioned sports. Club teams compete against club teams from other universities, but the games are administered through WCU’s intramural sports program, a part of the Division of Student Affairs.

Rugby is considered the forerunner of American football. Each team consists of 15 players, and the oval ball can be passed, dribbled with the feet, or carried. Unlike football, players do not wear protective padding.