Bearden Rugby stages more intense practices to prepare for playoffs

As the SMAC [Smokey Mountain Athletic Club] playoffs near, the Bearden Rugby team is confident that they can make a deep run and bring back some hardware.

The Bulldogs enjoy the regular season, but what they really look forward to is the playoffs, where the stakes are high and the competition is relentless. Bearden has a 5-2 record heading into playoff week and believes that they have what it takes to do something special.

Bearden plays their first game on Thursday against South Doyle and they expect a fight, but they know what they have to do to take the advantage.

“We’ll need to tighten down on playing as a team, staying focused the whole game, and be aggressive in order to win,” senior flanker Sean Doyle said. “If we get all of those down, there won’t even be a game at all.”

According to Doyle, they have been preparing for the playoffs all season and they need to master these skills in order to complete their all-around game. It would certainly give the team a huge boost if they focus in and finish their preparation a few days away from the start of play.

Since the playoffs are so important to team members, it is understandable that they have been working hard all season to be at their best when the time comes for them to hone their abilities and talents.

“The guys have been training all year for it,” head coach Marty Bradley said. “The regular season was great, but the playoffs have been on our minds from the beginning.

“It’s definitely a big deal for the players and coaches alike.”

The team would have played Farragut last Tuesday, but the game was rained out and canceled. Their last game was against West on April 11, more than a week ago. So the team has been practicing extra hard to try to create the momentum that would have come from playing games.

Even though they will be coming into the playoffs a little cold, the emotion they bring will make up for that. All the players have been looking forward to it, but it especially important for the seniors on the team.

“I can’t think of a better way to finish out high school than on a high note, and going deep in the playoffs would do just that,” Doyle said. “But it would be just as big for the entire Bearden Rugby program as whole, and we will bring a lot of hype as a result of that.”

Added Coach Bradley: “We know we can do something this year and we have the means to do it… We just need to execute and then anything will be possible for us.”