Come play for the Middlesex Barbarians. We have made the National Playoffs six years in a row. We started in division 3 and now play in division 1. We also have made the National Playoffs for 7s twice where we finished 7th in the nation twice. We have played against many players on the National team in both 7s and 15s. We have a program called the Middlesex Savages where we focus on college players and their development during the summer. If you are interested you can go to our website middlesebarbarians.com or email me at email@example.com
Name: Nicholas Vettese
College: UMASS Lowell
Grad Year: 2006
College Primary Position: Wing
Current Club Team: Middlesex Barbarians Rugby Club
Current Club Primary Position: Flyhalf
RNE: Since you’ve graduated, what have you been up to rugby-wise?
I have been playing for the Middlesex Barbarians for eight years. I also coached UMASS Lowell Men and Women’s rugby for three years and then coached Bentley Women for two years. I also coached the Middlesex Falcons, a summer collegiate 7s program that made the National Playoffs twice. I also played for the Northeast Olympic Development team last year in Las Vegas and in the New York 7s tournament twice. I also ref a game here and there when needed.
RNE: Have you returned to campus since graduation to see a game, or do you plan to in the near future? If you have, are other alums present? What do you think the role of an alum is with their former college team?
I have been to a few UML games and have noticed a strong alumni presence at the games I went to. Alumni is a huge factor in the present college team. What has really helped Lowell is the alumni game every year has the Men and Women play the same day so its more of a reunion. Also all the alumni donate money every year at the game where in return we get a t-shirt, a thank you letter and a tax write off form in the mail. UML men past three coaches have been alumni which is a huge factor on the support provided. Just recently an email list has been complied so that we all are aware of when the games are and how the team is doing throughout the season.
RNE: How much does your current role in rugby help or hinder the ability to support your former college team, and what would you do to change things (either club structure or college structure) to help improve the support you and others are able to give, whether it be monetary, helping at practice, or showing up at games to cheer and support?
Playing hurts my ability to help out and support the team, its the main reason I stopped coaching. The balancing act of coaching and playing just got too much. I don’t think any college games should be played on Saturday. They should play on Sunday or even better Friday night. This would help not only with alumni presence but also better refs for the college games. The top clubs get the best refs on Saturdays so if the games were ona different game the good refs could do those games as well. When I coached I did my best to schedule games on Friday night or Sunday, and more than not we got a good ref. I know travel has some to do with it but every team should be able to travel ona Sunday, its no different than Sunday.
RNE: Are you familiar with Rugby Northeast, and how the new competition works? If so, what has been your primary source of information? Is there anything we as a conference, or your former team can do a better job of to educate you and other alums about the competition, and to further engage alums?
I am familiar with Rugby Northeast as I have coached in the conference as well as am the current Disciplinary Director. I like the focus of 15s in fall and 7s in the spring. I would like to see more little 7s tournaments popping up at the different schools. With 7s being an olympic sport now it would help out with recruitment. I follow the conference on facebook and the website, the only suggestion would be more up to date scores on facebook. It usually takes a while for the scores to be posted.
RNE: What was the most memorable moment(s) of your college career? What do you miss most about your college rugby experience?
The most memorable moment of my college career was making the two select side teams. I got to play with some really good players and got some good coaching as well. I don’t miss much as playing club has been similar.
RNE: How easy or difficult was it to transition from college to senior club rugby? What aspects of your college experience prepared you for the transition?
While in college I never had a coach so the transition was a little difficult. The competition was more difficult as well. I think now a days it is easier as most teams have a coach. Playing a couple times for a club team helped me as well.
RNE: What advice would you give to current college players who are considering senior club rugby after graduation?
Playing for a club after graduation is a must for any rugby player. The competition is better and overall play of the game is better. Also you learn a lot from the senior players on the team. Most teams also have b-side games which helps the recent grad transition quicker up to the club level. Also find a local club and see if they need extra players for b-side so you can see what the competition is like.
RNE: Here’s your opportunity to plug your current club… Tell us what you like best about your current team and competition, and why should college players come play for your club after graduation?