STEUBENVILLE - The Franciscan University of Steubenville's rugby team is heading west to compete in the Small College Rugby Organization National Championships Saturday and Sunday.
The Barons will take on Salve Regina University at 3 p.m. Saturday. The University of North Florida will meet Cal Maritime Academy in Saturday's other semifinal at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo. The championship match will be played at 5 p.m. Sunday, with the third-place match preceding it.
"We represent all parts of the country - Ohio, Rhode Island, Florida and California," said Mark Hanrahan, coach of the FUS?squad. "None of us are in the same union, so we all face a level of unexpectedness. But we have all proven ourselves to be worthy contenders. One-hundred-forty-seven teams had to be beat out in order for any of us to qualify as a national final four team."
HEADING WEST — The Franciscan University of Steubenville’s rugby team is heading Colo., to compete in the Small College Organization National Championships Saturday and Sunday.
"We all qualified at different times: November, March or April. Now, it's time to meet and see who is the best and most prepared."
Each team will face an unfamiliar foe - the altitude.
"We will be playing at an elevation of 5,280 feet, which is hard on athletes," said Hanrahan. "All teams will be battling with dehydration. I hope we are the most fit and have a deep bench.
"We will focus on playing with dignity and passion. It's about 15-on-15 with one ball. It's about rugby.
"Each team has particular strengths and weaknesses. However I can only speak for Franciscan, and I say we are ready to play and ready to win."
Tweets from the sidelines can be followed on the Twitter feed located at the top FUS's athletic website, or you can follow the @BaronVonSteubie Twitter.com handle.
The matches will be streamed live from the NSCRO, USA Rugby, UStream.tv and the FUS websites, along with Damon's Sports Bar and Grille.