Weekly Feature

2010-04-20 / Front Page

Volcaniceruption disrupts team’s trip


Conrad Conrad Last week, the Kenmore West Club Rugby team had its planned 10-day European trip come to a halt after flights were stopped across the globe.

The team was on its way to England to compete against club rugby teams from Europe.

“We were scheduled to leave Thursday,” said coach William Conrad. “When we checked the flight, it said it was delayed. It wasn’t until we got to Toronto, where we were catching our flight, that we discovered the reason for the delay.”

The cause of the team’s delayed flight and the cancellation of other flights across the world were prompted after a fiery volcanic eruption in Iceland sent an ash cloud into the air, making visibility difficult for pilots.

Conrad also noted, “Had our plane flown into that area, the contents from the eruption could have gotten into the engine, possibly causing a crash. Better safe than sorry that we didn’t travel.”

The coach added that his team waited a couple of days, staying at a hotel in Toronto, to see if their flight would be rescheduled.

However, the team had allotted only a specific amount of funding for this trip. Once Conrad was told by the airline that the rescheduling of flights wouldn’t occur until this week, he decided to bring the players back home.

“It was a hard decision to make because we had 28 players, including 10 seniors planning to take this once-in-a-lifetime type trip,” said Conrad. “We were supposed to train with professional rugby players and go sightseeing. It was going to be an athletic, cultural and academic experience.”

Additionally, Conrad said his team would have been the first club rugby team from New York to compete internationally and that plans are in the works for a rescheduled trip in July.

“These guys worked their butts off to get enough money to go to England. Hopefully, there is a way to make up for the money we lost on this trip. We’re looking at $200 to $300 more per student to travel in July.”

For now, the team has its sights set on completing a winning season.

Leading the pack are seniors Dominic Chimera, Fred Costantino, Matthew Davoli, Garrett Doolittle, Connor Drew, Timothy Griffin, Mike Hoare, Ray Howell, Nathan Mang, Adam Piatek, Christopher Rezabek, Zak Smith and Sam Tato.

The squad’s next game is at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 2, at Fairport.

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