A Message from Mayor Mike Dunafon

Embrace the challenge before us.

This week the Glendale Raptors lost their first game of the 2016 season. Many people are feeling anger and frustration over the loss. The Raptors squad was missing more than a few first level players. Due to the hurried advent of professional rugby in the USA, we have “lost” a dozen or more of our best players. These players have opted to pursue their dream of a pro rugby career. Before I go any further, let me congratulate Belmont Shore on their victory. My statements are not meant to diminish their win!

Competition is certainly about winning; however, we must remember why we are RugbyTown USA. So for a moment, let’s talk about losing. We did not lose the players that chose to pursue their dream of a pro sports career. Those young men are a product of the RugbyTown ideal and will always be Raptors. These are the players who risked injury and the loss of work time for no pay. These are the players who spent their own time at local grade schools and Children’s Hospital to deliver the message of community through sport. We in RugbyTown held up our end of the bargain by providing one of the finest rugby settings in the world! Every aspect of the rugby experience in Glendale is first class. The team behind the team is the best in the world! This is the reason that the Raptors lost more players to the pro league than arguably the rest of the PRP combined.

This brings me back to the RugbyTown Mission: Foster the growth of community through the possibilities that are unique to our great game – rugby.

We must now embrace the challenge before us. We have more depth than any rugby club in America. We will now ask the fledglings to replace the Raptors that have left the nest. Success without adversity is a child’s dream – we have the finest coaches, administrators, security staff, marketers, groundskeepers, police officers, broadcasters, announcers, stadium operations, vendors, and fans. Our challenge is to help these young Raptors FLY! In the next few weeks, we will fill the sky with more Raptors!