Pitch Directions

Bremer County Captures Division A All Iowa Championship

The Bucks concluded their spring season in Iowa Falls at the annual All Iowa Tournament May 1-2. After winning the Division B championship in 2009, the Bucks competed in the Division A bracket this year. The Division A bracket is the top bracket in the tournament in which the best teams in Iowa compete. Bremer County was matched up with Iowa Falls and Clinton on Saturday for pool play.

The Bucks opened against the tournament hosts, Iowa Falls. Bremer County started out a little flat and almost gave up an early lead when an Iowa Falls back broke a long and almost scored, but was eventually brought down from behind by Peanut. From this point on the Bucks had very little trouble for the rest of the tournament. The Bucks went on to beat Iowa Falls with a final score of approximately 45-7.

The second game of pool play was a rematch of the previous week's match against a tough Clinton Muddy River team. Clinton got off to an early 3-0 lead, but the Bucks scored a couple times to go up 10-3 and then broke the game open in the second half to go on to win 30-3. Some highlights of the game included two well-placed kicks by Neil Boettger who decided to show off his past soccer skills. Both were recovered for tries for the Bucks. Another highlight came late in the game off a Bremer penalty play where Brett Behrends took the ball himself from the Clinton 22 meter line and ran through most of the Clinton team to score a try.

Bremer County faced Des Moines in the championship on Sunday. Des Moines made it to the championship by defeating Iowa State and Pearl City on Saturday. The Bucks didn't have too much trouble defeating Des Moines to capture the Division A title. Bremer County came away with their first shutout of the tournament en route to beating Des Moines approximately 50-0. Team president Zach Behrends came away with the tournament MVP award. This was the Bucks first Division A All Iowa championship and fourth All Iowa championship overall (1 C title, 2 B titles, and this A title).

Although the Bucks were supposed to play in the Luther tournament the following weekend, too many guys had other commitments so instead the players that were available traveled to Clinton to play with Clinton in a friendly match against the DI Nationals-bound Palmer. Five Bremer players made the trip. Although the Clinton-Bremer Muddy Bucks(?) lost by two tries the game went well.

That wraps up the 2010 spring season for Bremer County. We hope to see everyone back in fall, and congratulations on another great season Bucks!

Bremer County Follow Opening Loss with Two Victories

After dropping a close opening match Metropolis, the Bucks went to Cedar Rapids to take on the DIII playoff-bound Head Hunters. Although the game started out close, the Bucks did a good job of handling Cedar Rapids and pulling away in the second half. The Bucks scored first off a Will Daniel Scott try. The Bucks extended their lead when Joe Randall put another one in. Finally, Bremer County sealed the victory with second half tries by Neil Boettger and Zach Behrends. The Bucks did an excellent job of shutting down the Cedar Rapids offense, as they only allowed two kicks and no tries. The final score was 22-6. In addition to the victory, it was a very positive game for Bremer County because there were a number of new players that not only showed up, but played like seasoned veterans.

After taking a week off, the Bucks travelled all the way over to Clinton to take on Muddy River. Bremer-Clinton matchups are traditionally low-scoring, close, physical games, and this past weekend was no exception. Throughout the first half, both teams beat up on each other, but neither team could break free and score. That changed at the beginning of the second half when the Bucks were able to get the ball outside to rookie Cody Pierce who made some Barry Sanders-esque moves to score a 50 meter try to put the Bucks up 7-0. Later in the second half someone else scored for the Bucks (sorry, can't remember who) to go up 12-0. Clinton managed to score one try in the closing minutes to put the final score at 12-7. This was first time in at least a decade that the Bucks have beat Clinton. However, the Bucks can't rest on this victory because the two teams will face off again on the opening day of the All Iowa this weekend.

Bucks Lose Spring Opener but Play Well

Bremer County opened up the Spring 2010 season last weekend when Metropolis, a Division I team from Minneapolis, travelled down to Waverly. The start of the match was very back-and-forth between the two teams, but neither team scored points until about the mid-point of the first when Casey Hansen punched in a hard-fought try. Had this been any other game he might have been drug down short of scoring (ok, well probably not), but Casey was cheered on by a large crowd of Amish spectators that seemed to give him the extra push he needed to score. The kick after was good and the Bucks were up 7-0.

Later in the second half, Metropolis kicked from deep within their own territory. One of their wings chased after the ball, and if he would have recovered it he would have had a lot of open field ahead and may have even scored, but Jody Fisher was there to snatch the ball away and ran right past the pursuing Metropolis players. He dished the ball off to Brett Behrends for the go-ahead score to go up 12-0. Just before the end of the first half a Metropolis player was holding onto the ball on the ground. Zach took it upon himself to politely remind the opposing player that holding onto the on the ground is against the rules. Unfortunately, the sir did not appreciate Zach's message and sent him to the sin bin for a little while. Metropolis scored a kick putting the halftime score at 12-3, Bremer.

Bremer County had a number of new players to be rotated into the lineup in the second half. All of the new players played well, however, there was one casuality. Alex Six, playing in his second game after suffering a quick concussion in his first outing last spring, fell victim to a very split lip after laying the hit stick on the opposing back. Metropolis went on to score a couple tries in the second half and defeat Bremer 20-12. Despite the loss, the Bucks were happy with the game, as the team played pretty well for an opening game and many new players got significant playing time in their first game.

The Bucks' second game this spring will be at Cedar Rapids. The game will be played at Seminole Valley Park.

Practice Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00

Practice is starting this Tuesday (3/23) at 6:00. Practices are every Tuesday and Thursday at the pitch. They run 60-90 minutes, and consist of a combination of fitness/running, skill work, and pick-up rugby games. If you're interested in playing come out to some practices. No prior rugby experience is necessary. We'll cover all the basics that you need to get started. The important part whether you're new or been around for awhile is to SHOW UP ON TIME! So once again, practice is Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 at the pitch.

Spring Schedule Posted

The spring schedule is now posted. It's mostly the same one that has been posted on our facebook page for awhile now, but we have added the Luther Rugby Daze tournament for May 8. Also, there is a possibility that the April 10 match with Cedar Rapids may get moved to Waverly, but for the time being plan on going to Cedar Rapids. Also, look for a message about practice starting very soon. Practices are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 at the pitch with optional bar time to follow.

Bucks Night March 5

Good news everyone! Spring season is almost here, and with that comes Bucks Night. Bucks Night this year will be held Friday, March 5. The biggest change this year is that Bucks night will be held at the Pourhouse. There will be a team meeting at 7:00, before the auction begins, and we will vote for officers for the upcoming year. The auction will begin sometime around 8:00. As always we will have lots of cool rugby and beer-related items up for auction, so bring as many of your friends and family as you can, as well as an open checkbook. If you're a new guy considering playing, this is a great opportunity to come out and meet the team and have a great time.

Bucks Finish Season Strong but Barely Miss Playoffs

Last weekend the Bucks played their last regular season game of the fall when they hosted Des Moines Rugby. Going into the game, the Bucks were going to need to win with bonus points to have any chance at making the playoffs. Bremer County came out fired up and got off to a much stronger start than the previous week. The Bucks scored their 4 tries for bonus points well before halftime, and kept Des Moines from scoring any points in the first half. Tempers were running short on both sides of the ball which led to a questionable call that forced the Bucks to play an man down for over half the game.

Despite playing 14 on 15 for over half the game, the Bucks still managed to score 8 tries compared to Des Moines' 2 tries and pull out the 42-12 victory. Since I waited a week to post the update and 8 tries is a lot remember, I don't recall exactly who scored what and when, but among people I remember scoring were Casey, Travis, Brett, Whitcome, Saunders, and Llama. Sorry if I'm missing anybody. Tom Harn took Man of the Match for the Bucks who was playing in (supposedly) the last game of his career. Man of the Match for Des Moines was their hooker, who gained a pretty sizable bump on his forehead courtesy of Pryor.

Although the Bucks ended the season very strong, with bonus points in both victories, they fell just short of a playoff bid. The Bucks finished 8th in the standings with 15 points and a 3-3 record, while the 6th and 7th place teams both had 17 points. The top 6 teams make the playoffs. One more victory or a couple more bonus points and the Bucks would have been in. Even though the Bucks didn't make the playoffs, we should all feel proud about being very competitive in our first season of DII play. Congratulations on a great season, and we'll be back in the spring!

Bucks Win Big Over the Condors

This past weekend the Bucks played the first of its two home games to end the regular season. The Chicago Westside Condors traveled to Waverly for the Bucks' first home match in nearly a month. Bremer County started out slow, giving up the first try to the Condors. The kick was no good and Bremer County was down 5-0. The rest of the game would belong to the Bucks. I'm not even going to try to remember all the scores and what order they came in, but the Bucks would go on to outscore the Condors 9 tries to 1 over the remainder of the game. Bremer County was already into bonus points at halftime by scoring four tries in the first half.

The Bucks didn't let up in the second half, and continued to pound the ball down the Condors' throats. Near the end of the game, Joe Randall attempted 45 meter drop kick with the wind to his back and it nearly went in, just narrowly falling short. On one of the final plays of the game, second year player Peanut had an impressive run, juking and spinning by defenders, but was brought down just shy of the score. Bremer County went on to win with a final score of 55-12.

The Condors game marked a huge turnaround for the Bucks. They close out the regular season this weekend at home against Des Moines. Kickoff is at 1:00 Saturday. Bremer County can still qualify for the playoffs, but they will need to win big again this weekend and get some help in a few other critical matchups. The only thing the Bucks can control is their game, so lets finish the regular season with a bang!

Division II Playoff Schedule

The following is the Midwest Division II playoff schedule. The top six teams in the Western Conference will play each other the weekend of October 31 in Des Moines (one game each day), with the top four teams qualifying for the round of 8 that will be played April 10, 2010. The Midwest Final Four is the first weekend of May, and the opening rounds of Nationals are May 22 and 23.

4/10/2010 - Midwest Division 2 East/West Crossover Matches
5/1/2010 & 5/2/2010 - Midwest Division 2 Finals
5/22/2010 & 5/23/2010 - USA Rugby Sweet 16 Playoffs

Bucks Lose in Close Match to Clinton

Bremer County wrapped up their 3-game stretch of away games this past weekend when they travelled to Clinton. Bremer County has a longstanding friendly rivalry with Clinton Muddy River, with many close matches. This past weekend did not disappoint in bringing the excitement. The game was cold, wet, and muddy.

The first half was very back-and-forth, with neither team gaining a decisive edge. The Bucks got on the board first with some great play on the outside between Jody Fisher and Ryan Saunders. Saunders was eventually able to power the ball over the line and set it to put the Bucks up 5-0. Near the end of the second half, Clinton had the ball inside of Bremer's 22, but the tenacious defense and strong tackling of the Bucks prevented Clinton from scoring and they held onto the 5-0 lead going into halftime

Both teams came out strong again in the second half. Clinton nearly scored once, but the ball was ruled held up. However, Bremer had problems controlling the mauls on Clinton's lineouts. Clinton scored one try, but Bremer got back on top after Saunders put a kick through to put the score at 8-5. Clinton put up two more scores, but they couldn't convert on any of their kicks which put the score at 15-8. Bremer County continued to play tough and spent the final 15 minutes on Clinton's half of the field, with much of that time spent within the 10 meter mark. Unfortunately, the Bucks just couldn't quite punch another score in and the game ended for the Bucks in a 15-8 loss.

Despite the loss, the game proved to be a positive mark for the Bucks who have had a hard time putting together a solid full game the past couple weeks. If they can keep it up and play that way for the final two regular season games, the Bucks should see much more success. The Bucks host the Chicago Westside Condors this weekend, and wrap up the regular season against Des Moines at home the next week.

Bremer County Drop Two in a Row

The past two weekends the Bucks lost their first two regular season league matches in 3 years. On September 19 the Bucks travelled to Eagan, MN, to take on the Eastside Banshees. Bremer County was looking to avenger their postseason loss to the Banshees two years prior. The Bucks got off to a slow start, and gave up 23 points in the first half. Bremer County had a couple early scoring opportunities, but could not capitalize and went into halftime down 23-0.

Things were looking bad in the second half when the Banshees put up another try early in the half to take a 30-0 lead. However, the Bucks would not give up and continued to play tough. Llama took the ball with a full head of steam at the five meter line and put it in for the try. Later, the Bucks put another one in to bring the score to 30-14. Bremer County kept the ball pinned on the Banshees' side of the field, but couldn't manage another score and lost the game 30-14.

Next, the Bucks made the long trek to Milwaukee. Bremer County started out the game strong, and kept up the momentum from the second half of the previous week's game. Although the Bucks went into halftime down 16-6, they played a strong first half and kept the ball mostly on Milwaukee's half of the field. However, things went south for the Bucks in the second half. Early in the half Bremer County had a 22-meter drop kick off a missed Milwaukee kick attempt. A Milwaukee player blocked the kick on a controversial offsides no-call. After that Milwaukee score, the Bucks gave up a couple more quick scores off of stolen passes and missed tackles. After another controversial call where Brett Behrends was ruled held up in the try zone, Zeus scored a try for the Bucks. Bremer County continued to keep Milwaukee pinned in their half of the field, but it was not enough and the Bucks went on to lose 35-13.

This weekend the Bucks look to get back on the winning path when they travel to Clinton in what should be a great game.

Bucks Victorious in Season Opener

Bremer County opened their Division II league schedule this past Saturday against the Southside Irish of Chicago. This was the Bucks' first Division II match after having played Division III throughout the club's history. This was also the first Division II game for the Irish in some time because they have been competing at the Division I level in seasons past. Bremer County proved to be up for the challenge, however.

The Bucks took the early lead off a Travis Behrends (I think...or maybe it was Zeus?) try. The kick was successful and the Bucks were up 7-0. The Irish answered and tied the game at 7-7. Tom Harn scored the Bucks' second (he might have actually scored the first...it's hard to piece together these games) try, and Bremer County was up 14-7 at halftime.

The Irish had a chance to tie the game, but the Southside player scoring the try knocked the ball when lowering it down for the score. We'll give Mac credit for the psyche out on that one. Bremer County added another try when Eric Whitcome took advantage of a penalty by the Irish and proceeded bowl over a number of opposing players during an impressive run. Eventually Joe Randall put the try in to extend the Bucks' lead to 21-7. Somewhere in the second half Ryan Saunders made a kick to extend the Bucks' score to 24 and the Irish managed a second try to go to 14 points. I'm not sure about the order of those events. However, on the final play of the game Joe Randall made an awesome 25 meter kick to put the score at 27-14.

Bremer County travels to Minneapolis this weekend to play the Eastside Banshees. The Bucks will be looking for revenge for their second round playoff loss two years ago when the Banshees edged out the Bucks to qualify for the Midwest Final Four.

Practice Starts August 18

Well, it's that time of year again. Practice will begin August 18, and it will be held every Tuesday and Thursday starting at 6:00 at the pitch. Notice that it says practice STARTS AT 6:00. It doesn't say stroll in at 6:10 and take your time getting on the pitch. Be on time and ready to practice at 6:00! If you have to, pretend that practice starts at 5:30. We understand that some people will have valid excuses for being late. If that's the case, show up when you can. We normally have a post-practice at one of the nearby bars and have a couple beers.

Also, Des Moines has been selected for the opening rounds of the Western Conference playoffs the weekend of October 31 (games both Saturday and Sunday). The top six teams in the Western Conference will be qualified for the playoffs that weekend.

Finally, everyone who is planning on playing this fall needs to get CIPP'd before they can play! Do so here: USA Rugby Online Registration, but don't register until after August 14 or else the CIPP will expire August 31, 2009. So get CIPP'd AFTER August 14.

Bucks Win Des Moines 7's Tournament

On July 11 the Bucks traveled to Des Moines to take part in their first and only 7's tournament of the summer at the annual Toys for Tots 7's tournament hosted by Des Moines. 10 Bucks players made the trip down to Des Moines, and they were joined by Jake Meyers and two Clinton players that helped fill out the team. Bremer County finished the day 4-0, and came away from the 16-team tournament as champions. In the background of this picture lies the secret of our team's success.

Bremer County expected a tough opening match when they started the day playing the Kansas City Blues. However, the Bucks started the game strong when Mac Stahr ran back the opening kick off for a Bremer County try. The Bucks continued to dominate the match and won in a blowout. Bremer Counties second match of the day was against the Iowa old boys. This match would be the team's closest and most dramatic victory of the day. The Bucks were down 12-5 (give or take some kicks in there) with time winding down when Mac broke a long run and Ryan Saunders converted the kick after to tie the game. With the game tied in the closing moments of the game, Saunders managed to break a run and score the game-winning try.

The semi-finals match was a much easier game for the Bucks. Bremer County was matched up against the Black Sheep, a team consisting of pre-college Wisconsin standouts. The Bucks rolled past them to earn a spot in the finals. Suprisingly, the Black Sheep were actually the biggest trash talkers of the day. The Bucks faced Dubuque in the finals. Bremer County got off to a strong start, and gained an early lead. However, aggressive scrum-half play by Dubuque kept them in the game. The Bucks pulled away in the second half and finished the tournament with a sound victory.

Schedule and other Misc. off-season stuff

Our schedule for this fall has been determined and it is posted below. As most all of you should know by now, as a result of our winning at the Midwest Final Four this past spring we are moving up to Division II. This means tougher games and more traveling, but it's also a chance for Bremer County to make more of a name for ourselves as a premier club in the Midwest.

July 11 there is a 7's tournament in Des Moines and Bremer County is planning taking quite a few guys down there. If you're interested in going, contact Zach.

Finally, I moved most of the old stuff from this page to the archives section. So if you're looking for past game results, check it out.

Get CIPP'd!

Everyone who is planning on playing this fall needs to get CIPP'd before they can play! Do so here: USA Rugby Online Registration

Buck's Schedule Fall 2009

Sat. Sept 12 vs. South Side Irish
Sat. Sept 19 @ Eastside Banshees
Sat. Sept 26 @ Milwaukee
Sat. Oct 3 @ Clinton Muddy River
Sat. Oct 10 vs. Chicago Condors
Sat. Oct 17 vs. Des Moines
Sat. Oct 24 off
Oct 31/Nov 1: Playoffs (Top 6 in Western Conference)

Links to the complete Division II Midwest Rugby Union Schedule and Conference Standings (Not up yet).

Spring 2009 Pictures Posted

Most of the pictures that I received from this past spring season are finally posted in the Pictures section. Big thanks to Brian and Nikki, and Heather Randall for all the great pictures.