Rugby Club connecting with Mountain Cat pride

Sarah Francowic, Staff Writer

The Pitt-Johnstown men’s rugby club changed their team name Feb. 6 from the FarmApes to the Thunder Cats to better connect to Mountain Cat pride.

Rugby club President Owen Small said, even though the FarmApe name was cherished by players past and present, the team felt separated from school.

“I don’t think it represented Pitt-Johnstown in the right way, we hope it connects us more to the school and represents the new era of competitiveness and growth for our team.

“NCAA rules say we cannot be the Mountain Cats, so we decided on the Thunder Cats. The new name keeps the lightheartedness of our old name, while connecting us to the Mountain Cat pride of our school too,” Small said.

The Thunder Cats participated in a 7 vs. 7 scrimmage against West Virginia University Feb. 18, a tough competition, according to junior wing Grady Zagorac.

Zagorac said it was definitely a wakeup call to the team.

Junior fly-half Jake Bowser said the team needs to work on communication and conditioning before the Blood Tournament to be held April 1 Pitt-Johnstown’s track.

“It was a learning experience playing a big school like that, but I know the team will strive every day to better themselves and the team as a whole,” Bowser said.

Former head coach Josh Horner said the Blood Tournament is the next big event the team is preparing for now.

“I’m so excited to bring this tournament back to Pitt-Johnstown. We didn’t have it last year things just fell through, but we have a lot of interest from teams like California (Pa.) Universiy,” Horner said.