The weekend before Thanksgiving, the Northeast Passage rugby team traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to compete in Beast of the East, a major tournament for Division II quad rugby teams.
Beast of the East features the most competitive teams from across the Northeast. “We’ve been trying a long time to win it,” says Chandler Bullard, who has coached the Northeast Passage Wildcats team for the past nine years.
And, after a second-place finish in 2014, the Wildcats came back to do just that.
“It’s great,” says Bullard. “We really wanted to take it home this year. It was nice to see us working together as a team.” Video of quad rugby team in action
The Wildcats played three games on that Saturday, taking the top spot in their pool and earning a shot at Sunday’s championship against the Medstar NRH Punishers, a Washington, DC, team. Final score: Wildcats 45, Punishers 43.
Bullard says the Wildcats team includes players from the local community as well as the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine, areas. UNH student Robbie Dudzisz '17 wears the number-two jersey for the Wildcats.
In January, the team will travel to Jacksonville, Florida, for the Southern Slam Wheelchair Rugby Tournament.
Northeast Passage is a program of the department of recreation management and policy in the UNH College of Health and Human Services.
Video: Northeast Passage Quad Rugby at UNH