Unbeaten Aspen Junior Gents host spring kickoff
ASPEN – Rugby’s official spring kickoff in Aspen is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Rio Grande Park.
The Junior Gents, who started their rugby season more than a month ago, will host a touch rugby match against all-comers as part of the annual membership drive.
The spring kickoff is sponsored by the Gentlemen of Aspen, who have developed the Junior Gents team, a joint venture of the Roaring Fork Valley high schools, to compete in the Colorado high school ranks.
The Junior Gents (2-0) finished second in the state high school playoffs last year in the B division. They extended their early unbeaten record this year with a 49-19 victory at Boulder last weekend.
According to head coach Gary Williams, the Junior Gents faced their toughest test of the season.
Boulder threatened early, but the Junior Gents’ defense turned back the attacks.
The defense was led by Jonny Medrano, a Basalt High School football standout.
The Junior Gents scored when Wiehan Pretorius scooped up a loose ball and offered a nifty pass to speedy Jake Gentry, who ran 20 yards for the first try. Pretorius converted for an early 7-0 lead by the Aspen Junior Gents and later added a 45-yard penalty kick for a 10-0 lead.
Williams said more solid defense set up Caiden Sorrensen to score a try.
The Junior Gents’ offense started to click when forwards Michael Wampah and Josh Mc-Kee provided the ball to scrum half Matt Williams. His long passes triggered the attack that included speedster Kody Fox.
By halftime, the Junior Gents led, 27-7, after another try and conversion by Pretorius.
Medrano scored to open the second half.
His try was followed by one of the most exciting plays of the game, according to Gary Williams.
“First, there was a scintillating run by “Happy Feet” Kody Fox from 80 yards, and then a powerful 30-yard break by the impressive Austin Schneider,” Williams said, adding that the game was only the third rugby game ever for Schneider.
Pretorius added a conversion and then a penalty goal for a personal tally of 24 points for the day.
The Aspen Junior Gents team includes players from the Roaring Fork Valley high schools. The team is supported by the Glenwood Springs and Gentlemen of Aspen rugby clubs.
The Junior Gents are scheduled to play a home game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Rio Grande Park, weather permitting. If the field is unplayable, the game will be moved to Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale.
There will be a celebration, complete with refreshments, after Wednesday’s spring rugby kickoff.
For more information on the kickoff or the Aspen Junior Gents, contact coach Gary Williams at 650-399-5807.
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