“If you do something, do it well,” Coach Dick Greene quotes his favorite President, Abe Lincoln. “This is what I ask of the Vatos.”
Last Saturday the NMHU Vatos rugby team completed its fall season at 6-2 with a well-deserved 23-12 win over a tough but slower Clovis-Cannon Air Force Base RFC. For his passionate play and field vision, graduate student Ikaika Neizman was voted the “Man of the Match.”
“Ikaika is blessed with wonderful athletic ability, speed, courage, and poise,” Greene said. “As he learns the game, he will play rugby at a very high level for many years. Along with outstanding veteran alumni players Mike Esquibel, Andrew Sanchez and Mario Perez, the Vatos can go far into the national playoffs next spring. It is a simple matter of commitment.”
“I hope that our many younger players will commit and learn the game,” ex-Rugby Super League player and Las Vegas native Mike Esquibel. “It may help them stay in school and graduate with useful skills. They will need to work on their physical fitness and individual rugby skills. As a rigorous contact sport without protective gear, untrained and unfit players can risk injury. Players need to come to training and learn the game. It is a minimal time investment for a significant gain in fun, safety and skills. It is all about the quality of the game.”
The Vatos will resume training and a full schedule of league games in February. Their goal is to win the men’s Division 3 national championship in May. Their highest rankings in more than 300 teams nationally was eighth place in 2005 and 16th in 2006.
“The Vatos greatly appreciate the support of NMHU and the Las Vegas community,” Greene added.
“They will continue to represent the region with quality rugby and sportsmanship. All new and experienced participants are most welcome to join this historic, respected, and successful club.”
Those interested are advised to contact Greene at 454-3365 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch the Optic in February for more on the Vatos.