Tracy Curtis, the head coach for the University of Oklahoma was kind enough to write up a rave for the latest University of Oklahoma Alumni Weekend.
I did not attend this year as I was afraid I would be to tempted to try and play…would not be good for the new ACL in my left knee, but the event has always been a blast and I look forward to it every year.
The weekend started on Thursday night with silly booger (two-hand touch). I think there were over 100 men and women out to play, with probably 20 youngsters playing alongside their parents. That’s good stuff!
Friday, our men’s team hit the links for the golf scrumble. I was at work and missed that fun. I can tell it was a good day, because they were all very sunburned and silly. Friday night, everyone descended upon the clubhouse for good conversation among old friends. Folks started arriving from out of town, and we were there giggling incessantly until the wee hours of the morning. It was neat, because people could tell first hand stories about the various pictures, trophies, and banners that adorn our walls and rafters.
Saturday began with a match featuring the Oklahoma War Ponies, a rugby league for youngsters of all ages. They were adorable! I love watching the kids shake it up.
Saturday morning, the OU Roses played against the Arkansas Iron Maidens aka the Shitty Pigs (Karen Monson’s team). The Roses boast great athletes who can tackle well and play heads up rugby, albeit without many years of experience under their belts. The Piggies have played together for years and years. We think most of them have played together since the Roses were in grade school. The match moved up and down the pitch well, but the piggies were the clear winners by a score of 24-10. I was proud of the Roses and look forward to where we are headed as a team.
The men played their varsity alumni match at noon. I could hear grunts of glory and chest pounding, so I know they were having a blast.
The OU Roses varsity vs. alumni match followed our men. We dedicated the match to Mady Byrne, a 19-year old Rose who died a few weeks ago of liver failure due to prolonged use of Tylenol.
Here is the line up for the Alumni team:
Holly Iker, prop; Michelle Corr, hooker; Nancy Perry, hooker; Moira Redcorn, lock; Barbara Shove, lock; Janeen Lovelace, flanker; Carrie Bateman, flanker; Melissa Hutchinson, #8; Stephanie Adams Hawkins, scrumhalf; Linda Stumpff, flyhalf; Jessica Corbett, inside center; Karen Monson, outside center; Heather Taylor, wing; Kary Kemp, wing; Tracy Curtis, fullback; Leila, wing; Sallie Ahlert, wing; Mary Kathryn Weaver, conversion kicker; Karen Doviak, spiritual leader; Rhonda Noland, moral support; Melinda Long Foreman, moral support; Ingrid TerSteege, spiritual leader; Ladonna Baxter, moral support; and probably others that I can’t remember (sorry about that). The team was coached by Karl Stumpff, the best damn coach in the land.
Humans, it is a great experience to step back on the pitch and make some big tackles, catch an impossible pass, run like the wind, and kick your team out of trouble. We mauled the current Roses sometimes 10-20 meters at a time, a winning tactic for every old and slow team. The alumni prayed the Roses would not kick too often, and they did not! Hooray for that! The old girls took advantage of our experience and savviness by toying with their weaknesses until the Roses could stand it no more. The alumni won the match 235 – 12. All is well.
I must admit, I have my new big rugby moment to hold onto until next year’s match. What was the play that I will remember fondly? The Roses thought they had a try in the bag, and I made a big tackle on one of their strongest runners to stop their attack and win back the ball. Yes, I was thrilled. And yes, I am still really sore in that shoulder. It was worth it! That is my favorite part of alumni matches, giving ourselves a few memories to help us walk strong for another year.
Saturday night was festive, with a live band and good times.
Sunday morning, we hosted a survivors brunch. There was way too much food. Many people brought photo albums to share and lots of laughter could be heard for miles. Ruggers came by to say goodbye on their way out of town, and it was the perfect ending to a really fun weekend.
Now I am at work. My hip hurts. My lower back hurts. My rotator cuff is killing me. My hamstring is strained. I have lots of scrapes and bruises. And I have a smile big enough to light up the sky that will sustain me until St. Patty’s weekend of next year.
…and I’ll be a Rose until they tag my toes!
For pictures from the alumni event, click here. Lee Davenport took these great photos and put them in a photo album, the women’s pictures are at the very end!