Saturday, May 4 - WEST RUTLAND - The fifth annual Marble
Valley Invitational, a single elimination rugby tournament hosted
by the Rutland rugby club, the "Roosters," will take place this
Tucked down a windy dirt road in West Rutland, past Mary's Café
and just beyond the Sculpting Center on Marble Street there rests a
relatively unknown rugby pitch at Gawet Field. Once a year, teams
from upstate New York, New Hampshire, the Boston area and across
Vermont compete for a ceremonial slab of marble.
"We wanted to start the tournament to try and bring some
awareness to the community regarding rugby," said Tom Edwards who,
along with fellow Rutland rugger Keith "Moose" Page founded the
tournament. Five years ago, Edwards and Page tapped into their
over-50 combined years of rugby history and connections to invited
teams from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont to the first
tournament as a way of kick starting the spring season.
"I came up with the idea of calling it the Marble Valley
Invitational to keep the regions identity, affiliation and history
with marble; especially seeing as our field is owned by a marble
company," said Page, explaining the tournament's connection to
Along with the unconventional marble trophy, it has become
tradition for the Roosters to provide wild game kebabs for the
social event, often moose or deer. "It's a special nice little
twist we have oppose to the usual post game pasta or whatever,"
"We try to keep it social and fun. Teams always want to come
back and play in it and we felt that was always more important than
just trying to win it," said Page of the tournament.
Currently, the tournament consists of six teams but the future
could see it grow. Both Edwards and Page would like to create a
second field to accommodate up to ten teams over a two day
period. "Many teams leave early and miss out on the party. It would
be nice to have a bigger presence in the downtown of Rutland on
Saturday night and bring in the participation of more local
businesses," said Edwards.
The first game of the tournament with begin at 9 a.m., and will
be held at the Gawet Memorial field at 845 Marble Street in West
Rutland and is open to the public.
Photos by Patric Hendrick