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Short-handed Operators lose opener

Team finishes match with just nine players, while opponent has 15


by: JOHN BREWINGTON - Nick Premo runs up the middle during last Saturday's match. Premo was a standout for the local Columbia County Operators club, a team made up of players from St. Helens and Scappoose. Premo has dedicated his season to his uncle, Robert Carrigan, who recently deployed to Afghanistan.The season rugby opener for the Columbia County Operators wasn’t an easy match Saturday.

The team started two players down because of injuries at a tournament the previous week. Before the first half was over they were down to 11. By the end of the game they had just nine players, while the visiting Valley Rams (McMinnville, Yamhill-Carlton, Sheridan) maintained a full complement of 15.

The local team fell behind in the first half and trailed 22-7 at the break. They would eventually lose 35-10.

Tjohn Wolfe scored the only try for the Operators, while Nick Premo had a conversion and a penalty kick.

Coach Jeramie Dawley said, “We had some injury problems in the match. One player ended up with a dislocated shoulder. We had a fractured pinky finger, one concussion, and a player with breathing problems.”

Dawley noted that Premo has dedicated his season to his uncle Robert Carrigan, now deployed to Afghanistan.

Dawley said the team knows rugby can be difficult physically and plans to trudge on with the season.

The team is home again on the Scappoose Middle School field this Saturday, hosting Polk County.

Upcoming games

(home matches in caps)

March 16 POLK COUNTY

March 23 Pendleton

April 6 VANDALS

April 13 Eastside

April 20 BEND

April 27 Westside Alliance

May 4 North Clackamas