The Druids are an invitational rugby seven-a-side team that competes in tournaments around the Mid-Atlantic region. Based in the Blue Ridge area of Southwest Virginia, the Druids recruit top college and club players from Blacksburg, Radford, Roanoke, and neighboring areas. The Druids are managed by founder Craig Bucher and coached by Perry Pence.

The Druids enter teams in tournaments at multiple competitive levels, so interested players of all experience and ability levels are welcome to join us. Players for other fifteen-a-side rugby teams play with the Druids while remaining members of their home teams.

If you are interested in joining the Druids as a player, sponsor, or partner, contact us.

Share

Strong Finish for Druids in Tennessee but Cup Still Elusive

The Druids started the summer 2012 season with a third consecutive top four finish at the Blue Plum sevens tournament in Johnson City, Tennessee, taking third place after losing only one match on the day to the tournament champions from Charlotte.

In the Druids’ first two tournaments over the past several months since being founded in 2011, the new team had notched a semifinal appearance and a final appearance, so hopes were high to continue the promising run in Tennessee. A tough pool draw led to a rocky start, though, as the Druids opened the day with a 43-0 loss to runaway favorites Charlotte. The Druids bounced back quickly, though, by jumping to a 21-0 lead in the first half of their second match against Knoxville on the back of tries from Martin Sexton, Matt Murray, and Craig Bucher and three conversions from Bucher. Blacksburg survived a late fightback from Knoxville in the second half, leveraging an unconverted try by Murrary to preserve a 26-19 win despite three second-half tries and two conversions from Knoxville. The Druids ran by Tusculum 34-0 in their last pool match, with Murry running in three tries, Daniel Germroth and Jason Gordon adding a try apiece, and coversion duties distributed across a few players in the side. A 2-1 finish in pool play earned the Druids second place in a strong pool behind the dominant Charlotte side.

The Blue Plum tournament included no semifinal matches, so despite a second-place finish in a strong pool the Druids had no opportunity to fight back into the grand final. Instead, they went straight to a bronze final against North Atlanta. The Druids ended the day strong to take third place by a 33-12 margin, with Bill Whalen nabbing a brace of tries and Sexton, Murray, and Bucher also crossing the whitewash to finish the tournament at 3-1. Meanwhile, Charlotte cruised past the other pool’s winners, Western Carolina, to win the grand final 48-0.

With a nice start to the summer 2012 season in hand, the Druids return to training at the Virginia Tech Drillfield Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. Depending on interest, the Druids may travel to Richmond for the Monk Vaughn Sevens on 9 June, and they are scheduled to attend the Triad sevens in Greensboro, North Carolina, on 23 June. All interested area players are welcome.

Druids Roster at Blue Plum Sevens
Craig Bucher (Druids)
Brett Fontaine (Druids)
Nick Funk (Virginia Tech)
Daniel Germroth (Virginia Tech)
Jason Gordon (Roanoke)
Matt Murray (Virginia Tech)
Joe Pallante (Blacksburg)
Martin Sexton (Druids)
Donny Tran (Virginia Tech)
Bill Whalen (Virginia Tech)

Coach: Perry Pence (Druids)

Share

Druids Off to Tennessee to Open Summer 2012 Season

A strong Druids team composed of a mix of experienced players from are teams and some new blood without prior rugby experience will start the summer 2012 rugby sevens season with a trip to Johnson City, Tennessee, to take part in the “Blue Plum” sevens tournament Saturday, 2 June.

While the invitational Druids team is less than a year old, the new side has gotten off to a promising start with a semifinal and final appearance in its first two tournaments in Virginia. Saturday marks the Druids’ first trip out of state in its efforts to try to continue its good run.

The Druids’ ten-man squad for the trip to Tennesse has a roughly equal mix of college and senior men’s club players. Fully half of the side is made up of Virginia Tech students, including four members of Virginia Tech’s 2011-2012 rugby team and rugby newcomer Donny Tran. Four more of this week’s Druids are either current or recent players for area senior men’s clubs, and Brett Fontaine is another local senior club-eligible player who will get his first taste of rugby in Tennessee. Druids coach Perry Pence, who will lead the team Saturday, is no stranger to success at the tournament after taking a mixed side from the Blacksburg area to a final appearance there in 2011.

The “Blue Plum” appearance will be the first of several for the Druids this summer, so interested players should contact druids@druidsrugby.com or visit training Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Virginia Tech Drillfield to join in. All new players from the area are welcome regardless of team affiliation or level of experience.

Druids squad for “Blue Plum” sevens tournament in Johnson City:

Craig Bucher (Druids)
Brett Fontaine (Druids)
Nick Funk (Virginia Tech)
Daniel Germroth (Virginia Tech)
Jason Gordon (Roanoke)
Matt Murray (Virginia Tech)
Joe Pallante (Blacksburg)
Martin Sexton (Druids)
Donny Tran (Virginia Tech)
Bill Whalen (Virginia Tech)

Coach: Perry Pence (Druids)

Share

Druids’ Training for Summer 2012 to Begin 15 May

After two promising tournament appearances in the past several months, the Druids will begin preparations for their 2012 summer campaign when they beging training at the Virginia Tech Drillfield on 15 May at 6:00 p.m. Having notched one final appearance and one semifinal showing since being founded in late 2011, the invitational sevens team welcomes all area college and club rugby players to be a part of the team’s first full sevens season in 2012.

While some seven-a-side tournaments are held outside of the summer months, fifteen-a-side rugby has traditionally dominated the fall, winter, and spring rugby calendar in the United States.  With the fifteen-a-side seasons drawing to a close for most college and men’s clubs, though, the Druids are hoping to be able to pull a strong group of top college and club players to play sevens rugby for the team during their regular clubs’ offseasons.

As an independent invitational sevens team unaffiliated with any fifteen-a-side club, the Druids welcome players associated with all area college and club teams to attend training.   Players who are new to rugby but interested in participating are also welcome.

Sessions will be held near the center of the Drillfield in the center of the Virginia Tech Campus at 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Participants should wear training gear suitable for contact play and bring a personal water supply.

(Parking at the Drillfield is NOT open to the public when training begins, so please park at an adjacent lot and walk the short distance to the Drillfield with your training gear to avoid being ticketed.)

The Druids are in the process of planning a tournament schedule that is expected to include challenging competitions across the Mid-Atlantic region, with multiple teams traveling to some tournaments to provide all Druids players the opportunity to compete.  The first tournament of the year for the Druids will be the “Blue Plum” Sevens Tournament in Johnson City, Tennessee on 2 June, with other events to be announced.

Please contact the Druids with any questions about training or the upcoming season.

For directions to the Virginia Tech Drillfield, see the map below:


View Larger Map

Share

Druids Fall Just Short of the Cup in Thrilling Grand Final at Todd Miller Memorial 7s

The Druids opened 2012 in promising fashion at Longwood University’s Todd Miller Memorial 7s tournament, winning their pool and a semifinal before coming off second-best by the thinnest of margins agains the hosts in the tournament’s grand final.  A sudden-death 24-19 loss to Longwood wrapped up a strong performance for the Druids in their second-ever tournament appearance.

The Druids won their pool with three wins over Rappahannock (a late addition to the list tournament participants), a Longwood reserves side, and Warrenton, which earned then a place in the tournament’s semifinals againt Virginia Military Institute.  A semifinal win put the Druids in a championship showdown with hosts Longwood, who had been unbested on the day and were still no doubt feeling the momentum of a creditable performance in the consolation rounds of the USA Sevens Las Vegas Invitiational earlier in the month.

The Druids took an early 7-0 lead in the grand final with a converted try from Alan Rhodes, who has been playing his trade as a midfielder with invitational sides from Virginia to Dubai in recent months, but Longwood managed to draw level at 7-7 by the half and took a 14-7 lead in the second half.  The Druids brought the scores level again at 14-14 through a converted try from Mark Seiss, on loan from the Washington Irish.  Longwood pulled ahead once more with an unconverted try to bring the score to 19-14, but Rhodes crossed the whitewash once more at the death to give the Druids a chance at a last-second win.  A missed conversion left the scores drawn at 19-19, forcing extra time, but not for long.  Longwood pounced on the opening kick  of extra time to run in a try, a 24-19 grand final win, and the tournament cup.

The Druids thank Longwood for hosting an excellent memorial tournament and a massive grand final match, as well as the other participating teams and referees Chris Davis, Sean Kelly, and Stuart Willis.  With seven-a-side tournaments in short supply during the early months of the year, the immediate future will see the Druids disperse to their home clubs while awaiting their next chance to join up later in the year.

Druids Match Results at Todd Miller Memorial 7s:

Pool Matches:
Druids 45 Rappahannock 0
Druids 28 Longwood Reserves 7
Druids 10 Warrenton 0

Semifinal:
Druids 29 VMI 5

Grand Final:
Longwood 24 Druids 19 (XT)

Druids Roster for 2012 Todd Miller Sevens Tournament:

Craig Bucher (Druids) (3 Tries)
Max Erwin (Roanoke) (2 Tries)
Kurt Goddard (Roanoke) (4 Tries)
Jason Gordon (Roanoke) (1 Try)
Matt McCarthy (Blacksburg)
Bobby Middaugh (Roanoke) (2 Tries)
Joe Pallante (Blacksburg) (1 Try)
Alan Rhodes (Blacksburg) (5 Tries)
Mark Seiss (Washington Irish) (4 Tries)
Martin Sexton (Blacksburg) (2 Tries)

Coach: Perry Pence (Druids)

Share

Druids to Open 2012 at Longwood’s Todd Miller Memorial Sevens Tournament

After a promising debut in Richmond, the Druids will be meeting up in Farmville, Virginia, to get 2012 underway at Longwood University‘s Todd Miller Memorial Sevens on Saturday, February 25th.  For the Druids’ sevens focus, the tournament is a rarity in a region where fifteen-a-side matches dominate the early months of the year and sevens tournaments are less common before May.

Longwood is coming off a strong performance in the consolation rounds of the USA Sevens Las Vegas Invitational, so the Druids will be challenged by a pool draw that includes two sides from the host club in addition to a team representing Warrenton RugbyThe other four-team pool features the Virginia Military Institute, James Madison University, George Mason University, and a third Longwood side.  Two sides from each pool will advance to knockout play, with the rest relegated to consolation matches.  A women’s seven-a-side tournament will also be held concurrently with the men’s event.

Pool play begins at 10:00 a.m., with knockout rounds scheduled to begin at 1:40 p.m. and a grand final set for 3:00 p.m.

Druids Roster for 2012 Todd Miller Sevens Tournament:

Craig Bucher (Druids)
Max Erwin (Roanoke)
Kurt Goddard (Radford Staff)
Jason Gordon (Roanoke)
Matt McCarthy (Blacksburg)
Bobby Middaugh (Roanoke)
Joe Pallante (Blacksburg)
Alan Rhodes (Blacksburg)
Mark Seiss (Washington Irish)
Martin Sexton (Blacksburg)

Coach: Perry Pence (Druids)

Share