It’s a little wet at Ken Wilson Field, the rain seems to have subsided and umbrellas dot the bleachers keeping spectators as dry as possible while they enjoy the U20 exhibition match.. It’s the beginning of Rugby Weekend! One of the spectators is Bill Donaldson is a member of the Mountaineer rugby team, He’s playing on a few different teams during Rugby Weekend including the Mountaineers.. He and his family, Jennifer, Sam and Lexi are weathering the rain on the top level of the bleachers just to the left of the scoring stand..
One advantage the Saranac Lake Donaldsons have is that dad has found the biggest red umbrella I’ve ever seen –
AUDIO Bill Donaldson (Bill tells the story about the umbrella and introduces his kids)
The Bleachers are practically brand new and the field is in very good condition considering the lack of rain.. Needless to say it was raining Friday evening as 36 girls split in to two teams in an exhibition match of national caliber. Last year this team and their coach played to the number two spot in the world.. These girls are vying for 26 spots on the national girls U20 USA team and next week they’ll find out whether the championships in 2013 will be inSouth Africaor inEngland.. The timing building is warm and dry and seemed like a good spot to stop next… we caught up with Eric Wilson who is the announcer for most of the games throughout the weekend.. The game is in it’s final minutes and number 9 Natalie Cosco has just brought the blue team to 15…
AUDIO – Eric Wilson (Eric announces the score and then follows the point after kick.. and he tells a story about the “Old Boys” day on Friday with several different older age group brackets)
Down at field level, Jay Annis is keeping an eye on the contest. His Daughter Bailey is playing for the blue team.. She’s vying for one of those 26 spots on the national U20 team..
AUDIO – Jay Annis (He took over in 2004, before that John Muldowney and Peter Frenette – This year is the 39th year and they’ve finally got it to the point where they’re ready to play rugby!)
Jay says there are 110 slots that are available along with two extra teams plus the U19s playing east vs west.. All of the brackets will fill up today and tomorrow and the final count of teams is usually over 100.
AUDIO – jay Annis (Jay says you’re looking at about 2,500 hundred players plus 500 alternates and their families – and the economic impact is in the millions)
We caught up with jay’s daughter Bailey on the way to the athletes tent after the game..
AUDIO – Bailey Annis (She says it’s good to be representing Saranac Lake in a national league youth 20 level – she says they took in a lot of things they had been working on in the past week – and Sunday they’ll be playing another game against a collegiate group of players)
AUDIO - She says the girls are from all over theUnited States– one even fromHawaii. They’ve been selected to come play with the developmental team to help them prepare for the Nations Cup in summer of 2013
Friday marks the beginning of “Old Boys Day” on the fields inSaranacLake…