BILLUPS AWARD – presented to the Iowa Youth Rugby team that scored the most points throughout the regular season

Coach of the Year honor: (left is Isaac Bention, asst coach with runner up trophy and to right is Head Coach Deandre Moore with Billlups Award, Moore was coach of the year)

 By Joe Hadechek

In the third year of existence the youth rugby team from Wolf Creek (Union Community) had a second chance to play in the 1A title game.    They were up at the half 14-7 but ended up losing to first year team Waverly-Shell Rock who vastly dimproved throughout the season, 35-21.    To qualify for the finals, Wolf Creek defeated Van Meter 42-0.    Last year Wolf Creek was the 1A state champion.  All games for the finals were played at the Des Moines East Football Complex in Des Moines.   There are two classes of youth rugby 1A and 2A.

1A All State honors: Kaleb Roach, Koby Alpers, Isaiah Vaughan (Wolf Creek honors)

Wolf Creek has 19 players on their roster and also had a JV season to help the younger players improve their skill set.   Wolf Creek is coached by volunteers, DeAndre Moore, head coach, and Isaac Benton, assistant coach along with volunteer alum Jared Jolley.    This is the first year the team was able to have home games and hosted four tournaments that were well attended in Dysart at the Union Middle School football field.

Iowa Youth Rugby League MVP: Isaiah Vaughan (Wolf Creek), 2nd consecutive year

Rugby is the fastest growing youth sport in the USA according to some resources.    Iowa has seen the number of participants and teams grow from year to year.    It was originally started to work together with boys track as there are only two practices per week and games on Friday.

The game is fast moving and physical.    In addition the football trend of rugby style tackling makes the game even more likable.    When you have two – seven minute halves and a two minute half time you could say it’s like watching a two minute drill in football.   Everyone loves that part of the game.

Elite All state honors: Koby Alpers, Isaiah Vaughan ( Wolf Creek, best of best 1A/2A team)

“I have more and more football coaches asking about rugby and how to get it started.   If you have never seen a live high school rugby match you  need to come out and watch.   It is exciting, it’s uptempo, and it’s a great conditioning sport where balls skills are also needed.     At our school we have more boys out for rugby than soccer.    Next year we already have some guys that were not out asking how to join.    The kids are having fun and that is what is missing with the majority of sports.    Some are year round with no breaks.     Here you have a short season, lots of excitement, and little equipment needed.   I hope someday the Iowa High School Athletic Association makes it part of sports officially recognized.    It’s already happening in other states.”   Comments from Union Head Football Coach, Joe Hadachek.

For more on Iowa Youth Rugby on forming a team go to:  http://www.iayra.org/.