• Lee Rugby
    Lee Men's Rugby

    Lee University rugby squads enjoyed outstanding seasons this school year, according to Lee campus recreation director Kevin Hudson.

    In the regular season, the men’s rugby club had what might be its best season ever, going undefeated through matrix play and winning its first conference championship since 2008. With a 62-35 win over Valdosta State, the team advanced to the regional final where they fell to University of North Florida 12-19. They finished with an overall record of 8-1 and ranked 14th in the National Small College Rugby Organization’s (NSCRO) final national top 50 list.

    Lee Women's Rugby
    Lee Women's Rugby

    Women’s rugby has also been very successful at Lee. They won five straight conference championships and made appearances at the regional level, advancing four times to the national round of 16. 2014-15 was a rebuilding year, but in recent seasons the club has dominated regional play, consistently notching wins over Emory University, University of Alabama, University of Georgia and Middle Tennessee State University. During that time the ladies were also ranked in the top 10 nationally by Rugbymag.com.

    The NSCRO also plays a modified playoff schedule for “sevens,” which is an accelerated form of rugby with shorter game periods and only seven players on the field at one time.

    This spring, Lee men’s 7s squad won a regional qualifier in Knoxville, going 5-0 and defeating the University of Southern Indiana 29-17 to pave the way for their trip to nationals in Philadelphia. The team finished 8th but competed well. Chris Martin was one of four honorees for leadership and character at NSCRO rugby nationals. Martin will serve as assistant coach of the women’s squad in the coming year.

    All of this competitive activity is separate from Lee’s varsity athletics program. It arises out of Lee’s campus recreation program, which oversees intramural programs, fitness programs and club sports. These two clubs started with student interest, grew and self-promoted, recruiting from the student body, gained momentum and expertise, affiliating with a national association of similar teams, and enjoy a legacy of passion from student leaders and faculty sponsors.

    The intramural programs are busy every semester, organizing tournaments and seasons on campus in over thirty sports and games in the course of a year, including softball, indoor volleyball, racquetball, flag football, billiards, 3 on 3 basketball, 5 on 5 basketball, ultimate frisbee table tennis, spades, table soccer, bowling, darts, sand volleyball, indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, wrestling, dodge ball, golf and tennis.

    But there is also a rich history at Lee of intercollegiate recreational play, from men’s volleyball to table tennis to roller hockey and wrestling. Over the years, these sports have fielded Lee competitors against other schools, both regionally and nationally, on the sheer drive of student passion for their sport. Rugby is one sport with active clubs competing now. What sport will you bring a passion for to the Lee campus?

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