As part of UR7s content change for 2017, we are going to take a look at the College Programs in the USA, meeting coaches, players and administrators and learn more about how the sport of rugby is growing in these great institutions. First up, the Army Cadets at Westpoint Academy
Matt Sherman is well known in the world of US Rugby. He played and coached the USA before moving to the collegiate world and leading a program at the world renowned Stanford University in California where he was supported by former London Wasps player and coach Rob Hoadley. Sherman now leads the rugby program at Westpoint, leading young US Army Cadets on and off the rugby field.
Sherman is also one of the coaches at the USCD Camp in June at Dartmouth College, widely seen as the best access point and camp for high school students from across North America and the rest of the world to access college coaches, understand the application process and of course develop themselves as young rugby players.
UR7s: What makes your institution/college different from others?
Coach Sherman: The obvious difference is that on top of being the top ranked public education in the country, we’re also a military Academy. However the most significant difference that’s not as often talked about is that we are primarily a leadership development institution. Our primary focus is to develop leaders of character to guide our country’s future.
UR7s: How does the application process work?
Coach Sherman: There are some aspects typical to most Universities (grades, standardized tests, reference letters, etc.). What’s unique to West Point is that you also need to earn a congressional nomination through your congressman or woman, or your states senator.
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UR7s: Tell us a little more about yourself, your rugby history and how you ended up leading the program?
Coach Sherman: After playing and coaching for the USA, I wanted to focus on building a collegiate program somewhere where my wife and I could raise a family. West Point provided the perfect opportunity. As a varsity program, the Academy is giving us the resources to build a top class program. Furthermore, we love the Hudson Valley, and love interacting with the inspiring cadets, instructors and officers at West Point on a daily basis.
UR7s: How would you describe rugby at your program?
Coach Sherman: Our program’s motto is ‘Brothers XV’ and that’s what it is, a brotherhood dating back over 50 years. I’ve never been a part of such a strong legacy and tradition, or a collection of men that cares as much about each other and the jersey they wear than here. Furthermore, as a varsity sport, we are essentially supported like a professional team: strength and conditioning, medical, the world class Anderson Rugby Complex, and more.
The Anderson Rugby Complex is one of the best collegiate facilities in the USA
UR7s: What does the season look like? Do you play 7s & 15s
Coach Sherman: We play in D1A Rugby East Conference in the Fall for 15s. We also typically play Air Force at this time. In the spring we typically prepare for Navy and playoffs by playing a few local teams, then touring over spring break to find challenging competition. We then play Navy prior to heading into the Varsity Cup Championship.
When those conclude we, start our 7s season in late spring, playing a few warm up tournaments prior to the culmination of our 7s season, the CRC 7s (Collegiate Rugby Championship).
UR7s: What would the average week look like for your student athletes?
- Monday: Afternoon Lift, Film, and Walkthrough (Review/Installation)
- Tuesday: Afternoon Training: Typically Contact Day
- Wednesday: Morning Lift / Afternoon Training
- Thursday: Afternoon Team Run
- Friday: Walk through or travel day
- Saturday: Game Day
- Sunday: Off/Medical Recovery
UR7s: What advice can you give to students thinking about applying?
1: Be the best applicant you can be in all facets (grades, test taking, reference letters etc.). 2: Demonstrate your leadership capabilities (sports, community, school projects, etc.) 3: Reach out our coaching staff
UR7s: How do camps like the USCD help students in the Collegiate Application Process?
Coach Sherman: Most importantly, camps like USCD are great for aspiring players because they’re fun and rewarding. You’ll have a good time while improving. They provide a great platform to get better through quality coaching. They also give you exposure to multiple coaches from different collegiate programs.
Interested in going to University in the USA and play rugby? The USCD Camp at Dartmouth College is a valuable tool for students 14+. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and visit USCD website here >>>>