Screaming Minks Rugby

The Washington & Lee Screaming Minks Rugby Club seeks to develop young men of principle, character, and honor through learning, teaching, developing, and participating in the sport of Rugby. Screaming Minks Rugby gives W&L students a chance to participate in a competitive, high-level athletic competition that also provides a fun and social environment. W&L Rugby provides a flexible schedule that allows students to experience all aspects of college life and gain the benefits of a true, comprehensive liberal arts education.

Contact: Chase Flowers '18

Constitution

Introduction

For close to fifty years the Screaming Minks Rugby Club has been a part of the Washington & Lee campus. Since our founding in 1966, the Minks have grown to be one of the strongest organizations on campus, always striving to achieve excellence both on and off the rugby pitch. The Minks Rugby Club aims to help in the development of dedicated, principled Washington & Lee gentlemen through participation in and learning from the sport of rugby.
An almost entirely student-run organization, the Minks begin each year by cutting short their summer breaks early to return to school and participate in preseason to prepare for the coming season. The rugby team has both fall and spring seasons, and team members devote most of their weekends to rugby while also participating in practice three days a week. The Minks compete in the Cardinal Rugby Conference against schools such as VMI, Hampden-Sydney, James Madison, and the University of Richmond. Beyond the Cardinal Conference, the Minks compete for regional and national titles against teams from across the country under the umbrella of the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO).
The past few years have seen the Minks continue their tradition of excellence. In the past four years the Minks have won two conference titles: 2011 and 2014. In addition, the Minks won the 2014 NSCRO East Coast Regional Championship and competed in the NSCRO Challenge Cup national finals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past April, placing third. All of this was accomplished even with the loss of the Minks home pitch, Fuge Field, in February for the construction of third-year housing. In recognition of this achievement, the Minks were recognized at the Washington & Lee LEAD banquet as the 2014-2015 Student Organization of the Year in March.
Every year each member of the Screaming Minks Rugby Club pays both fall and winter dues, as well as participating in multiple fundraising events throughout the year to help offset the costs of running a fully functioning athletic team. Support from the Executive Committee and Alumni are also very important sources of funding that are vital to the continued success of the Screaming Minks Rugby Club.
With the 2014-2015 season being one of the most successful in Minks history, the club is eager to build on that success in the coming year. The team will play another full schedule of home and away matches and is eager to defend their conference and regional titles while seeking to secure their first national title. In addition, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Washington & Lee Rugby, the team is already laying the groundwork for a 2016 Spring Break tour of Argentina, following in the footsteps of the 40th anniversary team's very successful tour of the same country. With a young team that currently has over forty-five members, excellent coaches, and strong alumni and institutional support, the future of the Screaming Minks Rugby Club is very bright.

Mission Statement

The Washington & Lee Screaming Minks Rugby Club seeks to develop young men of principle, character, and honor through learning, teaching, developing, and participating in the sport of Rugby. Screaming Minks Rugby gives W&L students a chance to participate in a competitive, high-level athletic competition that also provides a fun and social environment. W&L Rugby provides a flexible schedule that allows students to experience all aspects of college life and gain the benefits of a true, comprehensive liberal arts education.

Requirements for Membership

Membership in the Screaming Minks Rugby club is open to all W&L undergraduate and Law school males. Minks Rugby also encourages the growth of rugby among W&L women by offering the chance to learn the sport through a variety of managerial roles. W&L women who want to play rugby are welcome to join the VMI women's team, and Minks Rugby fully encourages the eventual creation of a W&L women's rugby team if enough interest existed from the student body.

Benefits to the W&L and Greater Lexington Communities

As previously mentioned, Minks Rugby directly benefits Washington & Lee students by giving them the opportunity to participate in the sport of rugby. By encouraging W&L students to participate in rugby, Minks Rugby hopes to develop life-long relationships with this challenging, but rewarding sport. Minks Rugby also offers students a fun and enjoyable social environment that welcomes students from all parts of the Washington & Lee community; drawing together students from a wide variety of intellectual backgrounds, several different nations, and a multitude of different fraternities as well as independents.
Beyond W&L, Minks Rugby is also beneficial to the relationship between W&L students and VMI cadets by having multiple joint practices and training sessions throughout the year, several scrimmages and official games, and social events that all serve to increase communication and a sense of community between students of the different schools. Minks Rugby also benefits the greater Lexington community through participation in Habitat for Humanity build days. In addition, beyond the umbrella of W&L Rugby, many Minks, who are leaders in a variety of student organizations, provide hundreds of hours of community service through a variety of programs throughout Rockbridge County.

Coaching Staff

While the Screaming Minks are a largely student-run organization the team does receive vital and critical support from our exceptional and dedicated coaching staff. The team has four coaches: John Welsh, Tom Lovell, Andrew Higgs, and Woody Harris. All four of our coaches have been instrumental in the success the Minks have enjoyed over the past few years. They have also served as a mentors and a guides, helping to mold and influence both current Minks and graduated members that have gone on to have great success in life. Head Coach John Welsh is a Lexington developer and owner of Welsh Construction who just finished his seventh season with the team. Assistant Coach Tom Lovell is the associate dean of Alumni affairs at W&L, and a former Mink himself, having played for the team in the late 70's. He has been an integral part of the club in both its organization and as an intermediary with the administration. Assistant Coach Andrew Higgs is a professor of Chemistry at W&L and became a forwards coach last year. Woody Harris has been with the club a number of years, is a local restaurant owner (Foothill Mamas, best BBQ in Lexington, seriously you need to check it out if you haven't) and is a front line/props coach.

Student Leadership/Officers

Summary of each officer position and their respective responsibilities for Screaming Minks Rugby:

President

• Liaison between Club Sports Coordinator, Athletic Department, Coach, Virginia Rugby Union (VRU) and the club.
• Oversees all entities of the club.
• Ensures CIPP and Union (USA Rugby insurance requirements) compliant.
• Works with Coach to establish training routines and facilitate training.
• Recruitment and retention of new members.
• Ensures constant safety at all club practices, games, and events.
• Oversees other club activities such as overseas tour, alumni newsletters, special events, etc.
• Strength and Fitness Program Leader on and off the field. Deals with all administrative duties pertaining to the school (field availability, times, travel, etc.) and VRU (registration, game times, etc.). Delegate responsibilities to other officers.

Captain(s)

• Works with President and Coach to establish training routines.
• Leader of team during practices and games. Makes all decisions during game time. Must know all the rules of the game. Makes major club decisions with president.
Treasurer
• Fiscally responsible for the club.
• Maintains club's bank account.
• Collects and records all club receipts and expenses.
• Prepares club budgets: fall and spring.
• Prepare EC budget requests: fall and spring. Responsible for all the club's finances in Club Sports, EC, and off campus accounts. Must keep an up to date budget of the club's expenses and revenue. Holds club checkbook. Communicates with school about club spending.

Match Secretary

• Liaison between W&L and all scheduled and prospective opponents.
• Schedules all matches, including match time and field location.
• Ensures proper directions to fields and events are had by all relevant parties (e.g. opposing team, refs, fans, alumni, etc.).
• Confirms matches and refs.

Publicity/ Social Media Chair

• Responsible for publicizing practices and games to parents, alumni, and the student body.
• Runs the clubs social media accounts (Twitter, facebook, etc.)
Recruiting Chair
• Responsible for leading in the recruitment of new members, both freshmen and upperclassmen.

Field / Equipment Secretary

• Works with president and treasurer to purchase new club equipment (balls, pumps, uniforms, etc.)
• In charge of designing and purchasing team gear and merchandise (t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, etc.)

Election Process

All officer positions are for the duration of one calendar year. Elections are held every November and all club members are open to vote. All club members are also open to run for any elected position they so choose. Members are allowed to hold a position for multiple terms.