Wayne State Rugby complex in Wayne, Nebr., last weekend." /> Wayne State Rugby complex in Wayne, Nebr., last weekend." />

Wayne State Rugby devastated by tornado

Wayne State Rugby devastated by tornado


An F-4 tornado destroyed the Wayne State Rugby complex in Wayne, Nebr., last weekend.

The five-field, 20-acre facility, not funded by the College or city recreational department, was built on dreams and 11 years of hard work by the Wildcat Rugby Club. In seconds, the Club lost its press box, goalposts, P.A. system and scoreboard. The biggest loss of all came in the form of two 48-foot storage trailers, which took flight in the tornado and were demolished.

The Wayne State women’s rugby team won the National Small College Rugby Organization Championship in 2012.

To help the Wildcat Rugby Club rebuild its rugby park, please consider donating a “Buck For Luck.” Find the donate page here.

For more information, contact Wayne State College’s Darrin Barner at 402.256.3366 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Comments (3)

  • Guest - Cindy (Denton) Seeman

    Doing our best to spread the word through my daughter's local rugby club. Unfortunately, they don't start practice for another couple of months. Will try to set up some sort of fundraiser locally for you guys.

  • Guest - Chris Morfeld

    Beyond an educational hour put on by the coach, I have only been to 2 rugby matches in my life, but wanted to comment on my experience with The Wayne State Rugby Club team.
    Immediately after the F4 tornado had passed, the Wayne State Rugby Club players made their way to their complex only to find devastation. They combed the cornfields around the complex in an attempt to find anything they could salvage from their storage units/locker-room semi-trailers that had been dragged across their playing surface which chewed up the earth and grass in its path before being been ripped apart and displaced some 300 yards from their original positions. They didn't find much to save in the shadows of their now pathetically leaning goal posts, one of which had been snapped in two like a twig ... maybe a uniform sock here and there before it became too dark proceed. I spoke to my daughter, a freshman player, that evening by phone and it was obvious that she and her teammates were really feeling their loss. When I arrived in Wayne the next morning, I spoke to my daughter and several of he rugby players at breakfast. It then became clear to me that the kids' feeling of loss took a back seat to their feelings about how their coach was coping with the situation. Their coach, Darrin Barner, created Wayne's rugby club out of nothing but his dedication, passion and love for the game. I sat quiet at breakfast and listened to the players talk about the devastation and about their beloved coach and what he must be feeling. They were advised via text message by Coach Barner that the players were on standby as far as entering the complex due to downed power-lines and other potential hazards and that emergency vehicles were blocking all roads going in and out of their fields. The kids sat there feeling powerless. This feeling was short lived as a player I only know as "Burke" quickly stated that he wasn't going to just sit around waiting. He shifted the conversation to the damage to done to the nearby farms and homes that he had seen on T.V. that morning. With that, my daughter Melissa appointed me chauffeur to herself, "Burke" and "Kat." We met roadblock after roadblock but I just continued to take driving directions from the determined Ruggers. Ultimately we came across a farmer who, as it turns out, was pitching in for his 86 year old neighbor who was out of town. He was cutting up what seemed to be an endless amount of downed trees scattered by the tornado onto the road and muddy cornfield. The farmer enthusiastically welcomed the help and the kids waisted no time getting started. They huffed branch after branch, stump after stump to and up onto a waiting trailer. Each time the trailer became full, the farmer drove it off and the players continued at their task by trudging through the field, their shoes caked in mud, lugging more branches back to the road so they would be ready for the return of the trailer where they would fill it up again and again. This went on for 5 or 6 hours. Every so often you could see that their daunting pace was taking its' toll and one of the players would shout out, "WHATS THE SCORE?" The other two would respond with loud "ZERO TO ZERO!" - a battle cry they yell after each Try they score in their games. I assume it is a reminder to themselves that their work isn't over and it's NOT the time to relax. When the work WAS finally finished, the farmer thanked the kids and talked about payment. The response from one of the players was priceless. He simply told the farmer, "If you really want to thank us, come out and watch us play rugby when our field is back in shape." That statement, the incredible selfless work these kids put in, the character that they showed in the face of adversity ... They are all testaments to the fact that Coach Darrin Barner is not only producing championship teams with a Non-Varsity club team, he is more importantly building men and women of great character.
    Keep in mind, this is a Non-Varsity college CLUB team that receives no financial support or scholorships, no pay for the coach. They carpool to and from games paying for their own gas, motel rooms, meals etc. And as I understand it, insurance was not in their budget.
    Beyond the parents meeting, I got a real education from their website http://wildcat.wsc.edu/clubs/rugby/community/

  • Guest - Anonymous