Playing the field: Ruggers enjoy clinic, softball season begins

Sports match-ups from across the Carolinas

by Jon Hoppel  Contributing Writer  
Published: October 13, 2012 in Playing the Field

Fall is here! With it brings the start of several sports seasons. So, if you’re looking for something to fulfill your sports needs with something other than the NFL, NCAA football or the MLB playoffs, you’ve come to the right place!

Rugby

World Barbarians coach Gus Ventura, left, and his assistant were on deck to share match tips with clinic participants.

The Charlotte Royals rugby football team started off their season on Sept. 15 with an open rugby clinic hosted by World Barbarians coach Gus Ventura. This event brought brought out over 40 ruggers from five states to participate in drills and fundamentals of the sport. The afternoon culminated with a rugby match between the Royals and the Charleston (SC) Blockade, a brand new team started by ex-Royal Frankie Brown.

The Royals got out to an early lead with a try by fly-half Danny Wadsworth, who ran it in from the 15 meter line. They were able to keep a 10-point advantage throughout with solid tackling and taking advantage of several miscues from the newly formed Blockade. The final score ended at 30-15 with the Royals taking the victory. Earning Man of the Match honors was forward, Jeff Enochs, who made a triumphant return to the team after taking a year off.

Charlotte Royals’ Arthur Milne, left, and
Zack Anderson, right, in match
play against Nashville Grizzlies’ Brad Janke.

Next up for the Royals was the annual match-up with the Nashville Grizzlies on Sept. 29. The first away game of the season for the Royals provided a strong test against an experienced opponent for many new players on the Charlotte roster. It also was the last match for past president and captain for the Royals, Thomas Southerland, as he takes his talents up to Chicago. He did not disappoint in his final appearance for the Royals, scoring two tries and making several huge tackles at the inside center position, giving Charlotte a 15-5 lead at halftime. The Grizzlies surged after the half, scoring quickly, cutting their deficit to five points. But, Charlotte regrouped and answered with their own try, maintaining a 10-point lead until the end, winning 25-15. Also scoring for the Royals were fly-half Danny Wadsworth and the New Zealand sensation and flanker, Arthur Milne. Earning Men of the Match honors were J.T. Wentz for the forwards and Thomas Southerland for the backs.

Softball

The Carolina Softball Association started their season on Oct. 7. All games are played at Veterans Park, 2139 Central Ave., between 2-5 p.m. For those interested in joining the league, visit carolinasoftball.org, as players are still allowed to join a team within the first two weeks of play.

The K-Town Softball league in Knoxville, Tenn., will be hosting their annual K-Town Klassic tournament from Oct. 14-15. Teams from across the southeast, including Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky, will be competing in C and D divisions of coed softball and two women-only divisions, competitive and recreational. Charlotte’s own Carolina Showtime team is the defending champion in the D division, while the Cincinnati’s Shooters team is the defending C division winner. The next “Playing the Field” will have a full breakdown of this tournament, as well as Raleigh’s Triangle Tennis Club’s October tournament, along with the complete analysis of the next Royals match versus the Atlanta Bucks. : :