2004-05-07 / Sports

Rockaway Closes Spring Season At Long Beach

Rockaway Closes Spring Season At Long Beach

The Rockaway Fisheads will close out a disappointing spring season this weekend at the Long Island Rugby Classic in Long Beach. After a string of sensational seasons, the locals found themselves squarely in the crosshairs of every side they faced this spring. Even though the spring season is an exhibition schedule that does not count with regard to Metropolitan Rugby Union standings or division positioning, opposition teams were gunning for the Fisheads each week.

"When you beat teams a few times in a row, they come out that much more motivated each time you face them. It doesn’t matter if it’s the spring or the fall season. A win is a win, and beating Rockaway is a nice notch on any teams belt", said player/ coach Bob Johnson at a recent practice session.

The Fisheads seemed to have been caught napping most weeks and their recent success finally caught up with them. Johnson said it is part of a cycle he has seen repeated countless times during his 20-year career.

"When you get to the top, or even near the top, everyone is trying to knock you down. The old adage is true: Getting to the top is not nearly as difficult as staying there", Johnson said.

"But down seasons can have an up side. Guy’s see what its like to be on the short end and return that much more inspired for the next season. Instead of running and working out twice a week, they make it four times a week. Often times, that makes all the difference. Frankly, I’m glad this happened in the spring. The ship will right itself in the Fall."

The Fisheads can salvage some modicum of pride with a strong showing Saturday. "We nearly won this tournament last year and would like to take home the silverware this year. It would make an otherwise disappointing season a little less so" said perennial optimist and co-captain Grouch McCann. "We feel good about our chances" said Irish Pat, a sentiment seconded by Mike The Russian and the rest of the team.

The tournament will be held at Lido Beach Blvd. near the Loop Pkwy entrance at the South fields. Play will begin at 10:00 A.M. Local Ladies Man Tyrone Sperling may have captured the essence of the season best:

"We got lazy and paid the price. But this is a capable and talented team that can beat anyone at any time. Every team knows it and its time for us to remember it and play like the champions we have been before and will be again," Sperling says.

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