Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League

Rugby League Season is officially on in Jacksonville after a successful 3 Day Training Camp that tested the players skill, endurance, and strength. The number of players registering with the team this season is at an all time high, with over 30 men’s players and 25 women turning up for camp.

The players fitness was put to the test early on Friday evening at the University of North Florida with the beep test, along with passing assessments, play the ball, and basic ruck plays. Saturday’s session pushed the players endurance even more with group fitness and drills throughout the morning and contact plays in the afternoon. Sunday’s beach session didn’t let up with various fitness drills and competitions such as iron man, beach relay, chariot race, and king of the ring. Special thanks to new sponsor Al’s Pizza for treating the team to lunch both Saturday and Sunday.

Heading into the team’s 19th season, co-owner and general manager Drew Slover was impressed with the number of players this year. “It’s great to see a good mix of returning players and a lot of new talent joining the team this year. I’m especially excited to see the number of women’s players increase and now having a full regular season and postseason schedule, we have a goal to strive for- winning the National Championship.”

Coach Sean Rutgerson was pleased with how the camp went throughout the weekend. “I’m really happy with how the training went- we had good numbers and I was happy with the effort that everyone put in,” said Rutgerson. “There will be a lot of competition for positions this year, and we have a lot of new people. I am looking forward to seeing how they perform.”

Players to Watch for the Men:

Lee Setzer returns for his second season, along with his older brother Ford Setzer, and younger brother Patrick Setzer to add three solid players to the roster.

Tano Monforte also returns for his second season, and after a strong performance at camp, is expected to make on impact on the field this year.

Adam Hicks has made the move to Jacksonville this season after playing with the Atlanta Rhinos and is anticipated to excel within the organization.

Players to Watch for the Women:

Haley Brewer is relatively new to rugby, but showed a solid athletic performance throughout training camp and has the potential to be a key player.

Riley Siegmeister joins the team for her first season of rugby league, and has been putting in an impressive training effort despite recovering from an injury.

Haley Sheldon is back for her second year with Jacksonville, and returns with new knowledge and skills learned from participating in the NRL Rugby League Combine is Las Vegas last March.

Upcoming Season

The men’s 4 team South Conference includes Jacksonville, Tampa, Atlanta and SW Florida. The winner of the South Championship will go on to play the North Champions. The winner between PCRL and Utah Rugby League will host the USARL National Championship on August 24.

The Carolina Valkyrie and the New York State Queens are new teams are added to the east conference- yet the schedule has yet to be finalized. The conference champion will take on the winning team from the West Coast for the first ever USA Rugby League Women’s National Championship.

The regular season kicks off for both teams on Sat. June 1st when they travel to Tampa for a double header against conference rivals the Mayhem and Mischief. Stay tuned for season tickets.