The state champion Oswego State men's rugby club team fought their way to second place at the national tournament in April and elevated their status for next season.
The success at the National Small College Rugby Organization tournament in Cherry Hill, N.J., promoted the team from Division III to Division II, where they will compete against tougher opponents next year.
In Myrtle Beach, S.C., the players were greeted by a crowd of alumni and the smiling faces of Oswego State's girl's rugby team, who rallied for them the entire way.
"It wasn't an easy battle getting to the final four," co-coach Kevin Gilman '74 said. "No one was given an inch."
The Oswego team took out Newport, R.I.'s Salve Regina University 39-19, but fell to the Coastal Carolina University squad 36-25 in a hard-fought championship game.
Gilman said he is proud of the current rugby roster and the strong support from alumni in helping the team get to Myrtle Beach. The trip cost an estimated $3,000 and the Student Association provided $1,900.
"It was great watching these guys work together," said Gilman of his team, which claimed the state championship in November. "Everybody had his own talent to contribute."
-- Jose Terrero '10
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