For the first time in team history, the CSU club rugby team had a player named to the USA Collegiate All-American team.
Jake Humphrey, a current Ram in his collegiate rugby play, made the All-American team as an alternate before being called up prior to the trip to Canada to play against the Canadian Under-21 team.
“It was a great honor to be chosen,” Humphrey said. “It is the biggest honor you can get, playing for your country.”
Humphrey, who is a 23-year old history major originally from Stone Mountain, Ga., earned his spot on the team following an all-star game between some of the best players who were broken down regionally.
Unlike their Canadian counterparts, the U.S. team is solely comprised of collegiate players. Many of the players playing for the Canadian squad, according to a recent article by rugby guru Alex Goff, are professional players playing in either the BC Premiership or the Rugby Canada Super League.
The All-American team was coached by David Smyth and was managed by John McNamara. The captain is Mike Petri, a scrumhalf from Penn State.
Humphrey’s trip to Canada was not only a great experience for him, but it was also great national exposure for Ram rugby in general.
“This is the first ever rugby All-American from CSU,” said rugby club general manager Blake Stevens. “It is quite an honor for him and a great achievement.”
The two representative squads matched up on Thursday night much to the liking of team U.S.A., as they cruised past the Canadians 40-10 in Victoria, British Columbia. The outcome was much different than that of two years ago when the All-Americans were easily handled by the Canadian team. Goff reported that the Canadian team is fresh off a trip to the Cayman Islands where they claimed three international victories.
Humphrey came off the bench in Thursday night’s contest and was pleased with his effort. He articulated to Stevens after the match that he had “a big hit and ran past a couple guys on a 5-meter take.”
The two nations hooked up again on Saturday night, as the Canadian team brought a bit more play to the field. They knocked off the All-American squad 42-36 in Cowichan, British Columbia.
The experience was also a chance for Humphrey to meet other rugby players from across the continent.
“All of the guys were great, it was great to be around so many knowledgeable players,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey will rejoin Ram rugby for the upcoming season that got under way this past Saturday with a match against Metro State. This upcoming weekend, Ram rugby has their annual alumni game and festivities.