The Rats of Summer
Summer is always an exciting time to be a Rat. With the warm weather, we finally get some freedom to run around and shake our tails after a long winter and hard fought Spring season. This Summer saw some especially exciting things for both the men’s and women’s clubs, with 7s tournaments, warm weather social activities, and a yearly trek north for the CanAms tournament in upstate NY! Women’s team captain, JugGs, and men’s team…
Summer is always an exciting time to be a Rat. With the warm weather, we finally get some freedom to run around and shake our tails after a long winter and hard fought Spring season. This Summer saw some especially exciting things for both the men’s and women’s clubs, with 7s tournaments, warm weather social activities, and a yearly trek north for the CanAms tournament in upstate NY! Women’s team captain, JugGs, and men’s team super Match Sec, Phil, caught up to chat about the summer fun. Check out their chat to hear all about the Rats of Summer as Chuck River heads into another exciting Fall season!
Jehanne: Oh hey Phil! How’s it going?
Phil: Oh hey, Jehanne, can I call you JugGs?
Jehanne: Why of course, Phil!
Phil: Wonderful, JugGs. So how was the summer for the women’s team?
Jehanne: Oh great! In July we played in the 29th Cape Cod 7s. It’s always a fun tournament for us, but this year we did really well. The theme was “Animal Kingdom” so naturally we went the pun route and donned tuxedos to be “The Rat Pack”. Not only did our outfits look good, but we played great and made it all the way to the semi-finals!
The roster this year was: Kate PK Condon, Ari Willet, Val Ernst, Susan Lackey, Cati Swak Sawicki, Cristi Trotter, Whitney McCoy, Alex Zadel, Julie Butner, Jamie Carrillo, Shay Tierney, and Chrissy Vailas, with Coach Brian Lottridge there to lead us on.
Did you guys play any 7s this summer?
Phil: We sure did. This summer, Charles River joined forces with guys from a few other teams, and played most of our 7s as the Greater Boston Wasps. The Wasps were started by John Faherty and have been around for a few years. John started playing 15s with Charles River this past year, so we formalized the 7s connection. It gave us a chance to play both open and social sides at tournaments all summer.
The Wasps competed in the new NERFU 7s Championship Series, going to tournaments in Worcester, Newport, Springfield, and Saratoga. The Wasps didn’t win any hardware this summer, but we settled into our system and definitely left an impression with the other teams in the tournaments.
The Wasps also played a couple 10s tournaments for good measure – North Shore 10s and Acton 10s. It was a busy summer for us.
Jehanne: Wow sounds like you guys really got around? *wink* hahaha…ahem. Gate City 7s looked like a lot of fun, too!
Phil: Gate City was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t the same without the women playing, too. The men stayed busy, though. Having Charles River, the Wasps, and UNH alumni all represented meant that some guys pulled double- and even triple duty. Everybody definitely played plenty of 7s that day. But no matter which jersey they had on, all the Rats did a great job.
It wasn’t the same without the women playing, too, but it was great seeing you guys at CanAms!
Jehanne: Oh yeah! Charles River men and women took CanAms by storm! The ladies teamed up with the motley side of the Missfits team again. Last year we finished second overall in the social division so we were looking to follow up with a great finish this year, too.
This year’s Missfit Rats lineup included: Sarah Bee Wetherbe, Katy Wilks, Susan Lackey, Chrissy Vailas, Jamie Carrillo, Erin Gillespie, Kara McAuliffe, Jess Packard, Whitney McCoy, and Alex Zadel.
Our first match of Saturday finished with a wild penalty kick shootout, after which we made it through thunder, lightning, and rain filled matches the rest of the day to continue on to Sunday morning play! After winning (albeit somewhat sleepily) the 8am Sunday game, we advanced to the Consolation Final and stomped out the competition to finish as the Consolation Champions!
How was CanAms for you boys?
Phil: CanAms were a roller coaster, for sure. The men played in the social division, with all three of our matches on Saturday. The men came to Lake Placid short a couple players, so we picked up a few at the fields as the day went on. We started off with a close loss that morning, which dropped us into a consolation bracket, and gave us our first of several hospital visits of the day. But we rallied in the afternoon. Our second match was delayed a couple times because of the weather, but even with the interruptions, we won a hard-fought contest to stay alive. The third match (only 15 minutes after the second) was a battle, too. The day had taken its toll, though, and we lost by 3 in the final minutes. Even with a few big injuries and a couple tough losses, we’re proud of the way we played.
Jehanne: We were proud to be part of the best looking club at the tournament, that’s for sure!!
Phil: Of course, our custom Mighty Ducks jerseys we the hit of the whole tournament! We had guys asking to play in our matches, just to wear the jersey.
Jehanne: Outside of the pitch we had a blast too! We had Charles River’s first Bar Crawl this Summer, weaving through Boston’s North Station area. The theme was Sun’s Out Guns Out so everyone got really sweet custom tank tops for the crawl. It was a great event within the rugby community and beyond, with players from many teams taking part and having a good ol’ fashioned Summer time.
And we had a ton of contests, one of which was a photo scavenger hunt. People joined up in teams and documented themselves completing tasks from a master list, which included things like, ‘A stranger with their “guns out”’ and ‘Photo with a Rat’. They then posted the photos to Instagram with their team name and #sunsoutgunsoutbarcrawl so we could keep track of the fun. Look up the hashtag and you can see all the crazy photos and good times!
Phil: It seems like on and off the pitch, all the Rats had a full, fun summer.
Jehanne: It was a busy summer for Charles River, but we can’t wait to get back into the swing of 15s and take on the rest of NERFU! Bring on the Fall!!