Not only has football grown here, but rugby has risen as well, however in a bit of an opposite manner. Grassroots development and community are the catalysts behind rugby's growth in the KC area. The great area high school programs have produced some of the best rugby players in the nation. USA Eagles Michael Baska, Walter Elder, and Tim Kluempers among others, guys making MLR appearances such as Matt Wirken, and many other players getting well deserved attention have all come up through the KC high school area rugby programs. The key example of this growth and development can be seen in the Kansas City Blues, where local talent can be seen absolutely crushing it at a high level of competition. The development the game has seen in this area has been incredible, and it's not going to stop any time soon.
Haven't seen or heard the buzz? Maybe come experience it for yourself. The Blues play Wisconsin Rugby Club tomorrow at 6pm at the KC Current's training facility off of 635 in Riverside. You will see just what kind of program the Blues are building, and as man with firsthand experience, the sky is the limit over the next decade. Kansas City could see another world event come in 2031 with the Rugby World Cup, and if the committee sees the local growth around KC they'll have to say yes. It takes effort and commitment though, effort and commitment guys like Derek Pearson, Matthew "Panama" Hoover, and the entire Blues organization have put in yeoman's work to get. Many hands make light work, however, and with fan support and help growing the game Kansas City could become a hub for USA Rugby.
In short, the Blues are building something great. Come be a part of it all and support local athletes and teams. The boys will be up against some tough competition tomorrow against Wisconsin, but the relentlessness and intensity shown throughout this week's practices as well as a strong fan turnout Wisconsin doesn't stand a chance. The physical, intense play I saw along with a commitment to excellence that permeates throughout the Blues will carry this team and rugby to new heights, and it commands your respect. 6pm Saturday, KC Current Training Facility @ Riverside, BE THERE TO WITNESS.
Burn Notice: 10/10 Rugby Rising