By Jeremy McDonald
MONMOUTH, Ore.– The Salem LostBoys Rugby squad are sending five of their own to the next level. Ayden Lundin (Dallas), Tye Tenorio (McKay), Sangato Letisi (South Salem), Keith Barnett (North Salem) and Lue Lorenimus (South Salem) will be joining the Wolves this upcoming season.
“We had a fantastic group of young men this year. They worked extremely hard in the preseason, but unfortunately our season was over before it ever got started due to this pandemic. I know these five young men will make moral leaders, strong husbands, fathers, and athletes. I can’t wait to see them develop on the pitch playing for Western Oregon,” said LostBoys Head Coach Joe Boyd.
The ten-year coach of the club knows the Western Oregon University Head Coach in Sean Pomeroy, who led the Wolves to a fifth-ranked finish in 2019 in the Men’s Small Colleges Division, losing only to the eventual National Champions and a 7-3 start to the year before the season was canceled due to the pandemic.
In a program in which saw success since its inception 2001, with successful campaigns in the 2009 season where they won Club won the Pacific Northwest Division-2 Championships and a berth in the D2 National Championships and in 2019, that they were having a ‘down season’ this year.
“Yes, it was a rebuilding year. We lost a lot of good talent from my first year as a head coach. Going into this year we implemented a new offense, and had some new additions to the team to make up for the losses the year before. We had a strong season but even this year we lost some good seniors,” said Pomeroy, who was in his second-year at the helm this year. “So, all in all, these incoming freshmen could help us tremendously if they have the drive to get better every day. My expectation is that when you walk through the gates onto the field you are ready to put in work.
“If they can show me that they are willing to put in the time and work to learn, and grow as rugby players and young men, they can find a way onto the field very quickly. My philosophy is to build young men with upstanding character, through the use of a game I love and hopefully they will learn to love as deeply as I do.”
Pomeroy spoke to the chemistry of the five, knowing they’ve all played with one another in the past will help once they get onto campus and mold themselves around the rest of the unit.
“The fact that all the boys played together really helps. They already have chemistry with one another, and once they have that getting them to be cohesive with the rest of the unit will be much easier,” said Pomeroy.
“I think that these young men will be great assets to our team. Speaking with them already I get the feeling they are ready to come and put in work right away. I’m very excited to have these LostBoys on my roster because they all have mentioned they want to earn a spot in my starting lineup.”
The pressure is there for sure for those incoming freshmen knowing the task at hand. But for them, they know they’re walking in with a familiar face next to them.
“I’m even more excited to continue playing with some of my teammates from the lost boys. We have great Chemistry, we work hard, we play hard, and we have each other’s backs on and off the field. We are a family and to me that’s one of the most important aspects of this journey. The coaching staff at WOU is knowledgeable and supportive. I’m really looking forward to my future as a wolf,” said Barnett.
“I’m nervous for sure. I’m a scrummy so I’ll be the smallest guy on the team. I have to depend on my mates to protect me but I trust them for sure. On the flipside I’m super confident in my abilities.”