The Oberlin Review

Senior President Sam Paul is the only senior and four-year player for the Gruffs, the men’s club rugby team. The team plays its final matches of the season tomorrow in a tournament with Kenyon College, Tiffin University, and Taylor University.

Gruffs Gear-Up For Fall Tournament

November 9, 2018

The North Fields are not a pleasant place to be on an early autumn afternoon. They’re hot, sticky, and full of bugs. Somehow, this is exactly where the Gruffs — Oberlin College’s men’s club rugby team — find themselves every Tuesday and Thursday. By mid-September, most club rugby teams will be working on rucks — situations where when a tackled player goes to ground, they must release the ball immediately and each team fights for possession of the ball — advanced line-out maneuvers...

From left: Sam Paul, Matt Sarro, and Brian Cabral, Gruffs Rugby Captains.

In The Locker Room with Matt Sarro, Brian Cabral, and Sam Paul, Gruffs Rugby Captains

February 23, 2018

College seniors Matt Sarro and Brian Cabral and junior Sam Paul all came to Oberlin without any experience playing rugby, but the trio has found a love for the sport and formed a brotherhood after joining Oberlin’s club team. The team — which has no coach — schedules its own games and practices. They play six games in the fall and compete against teams of their choice in the spring. Their first open practice is Monday at 4:30 p.m. on North Quad, weather permitting. Anyone interested is wel...

Rugby Rolls Out at Ashland

Marissa Maxfield

September 16, 2016

The men’s rugby team is ready to rumble in its first game of the 2016 season at Ashland University tomorrow. The team, nicknamed the Gruffs, is stacked with young athletes drawn to the camaraderie and competition of club rugby. Gruffs president and College junior Jimmy Fleming explains that a handful of the team’s core members are varsity athletes. Also, Fleming cited senior varsity cross-country runner Steve Meyer, sophomore varsity swimmer Jacques Forbes and junior former varsity football player Dylan Mehri as contributors to the team’s athleticism. Leading the Gruffs are two experienced senior captains, forwards captain Joey Velez and junior backs captain Matthew Sarro. Velez has played rugby for eight...

Leah Cohen, Shelby Raynor and Joey Velez

In The Locker Room With Shelby Raynor, Leah Cohen and Joey Velez

November 13, 2015

This week, the Review sat down with captains of the Rhinos — Oberlin’s women’s and trans’ rugby team — junior Shelby Raynor and sophomore Leah Cohen. The Review also spoke with captain of the Gruffs — the men’s rugby team — junior Joey Velez and senior player-coach Dustin French (not pictured). The four athletes discussed their rugby careers at Oberlin, their club sports experience and their most memorable team moments. Did you play rugby for the first time at Oberlin? Shelby Raynor:...

Senior Phillip Hsu (left), sophomore Joey Velez and fifth-year Shonari Edwards

In the Locker Room with Phillip Hsu, Joey Velez and Shonari Edwards

October 31, 2014

This week, the Review sat down with members of the Gruffs, the men’s rugby team — senior Phillip Hsu, sophomore captain Joey Velez and fifth-year captain Shonari Edwards — to discuss some of their favorite moments of the season, on-campus recruiting and this weekend’s game against rival Kenyon College. How does this year’s roster size compare to those of past years? Phillip Hsu: We have around 30 people this year, which is about double what we had last year. It’s about what we were...

The forwards of the men’s club rugby team ruck over the ball in a game last Saturday against Baldwin Wallace University. The team fell 28–11 in the match.

Added Depth Has Gruffs Optimistic

September 19, 2014

Last Saturday, the men’s rugby team, the Gruffs, opened its fall season with a 28–11 loss against Baldwin Wallace University. Despite the defeat, the team is still proud of its performance and knows what to work on for future games. “The game this past Saturday was great,” said sophomore scrum half Joey Velez. “We all fought hard throughout the entire match, which is more than I could have asked for from my team.” With limited practice time, the Gruffs faced an uphill battle this...

Junior captain Andrew Follmann kicks the ball in a match last fall. The Gruffs will play host to Ohio Wesleyan University on April 12 in their first match of the season.

Despite Weather, Gruffs Remain Confident

March 14, 2014

The Oberlin men’s rugby football club struggled through its fall season last semester, but spirits are high heading into this spring season. “Spring semester, because we have two to three months to prepare before we play a game, there’s more time to teach our new recruits about the important parts of rugby,” said senior President Matt Kendrick. “The teams we play are also more for fun. We know we’ll get a good game and friendly welcome when we go on the road.” The Gruffs, as the...

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