Lincoln Park has stormed to 2-0 in the Midwest West with a 76-7 win over the Southside Irish last week and a 59-0 shutout victory over the Fox Valley Maoris Saturday. Lincoln Park finished 4-4 and in the middle of the pack last year.
“It’s definitely an improvement on our part. We picked up a few new players over the offseason, but also we have a lot more depth on the team right now, especially in the forwards, so we’ve been able to make a lot of forward substitutions without losing anything in terms of ability,” said Lincoln Park coach Paul Wilson.
“Right now, we have everybody CIPPed and everybody available. We had a couple of new backs come in over the summer just moving into our area of Chicago, but most of the guys have been with us for a while, but for various reasons we haven’t had everybody available throughout the course of the season and now we have.”
The 2011/2012 season was Lincoln Park’s first back in DII after finishing 0-8 and dead last in DI the year prior. In 2009/2010, Lincoln Park won the Midwest DII Championship, earning promotion to DI, which proved to have negative effects on the club.
“We didn’t think we were ready to move up when we got moved up. Yes, we won the Midwest the year before that and we went onto the National eight, but everything went right for us that year,” said Wilson.
“We played well to get that far, but if you look at all our results, all our wins were three points, five points, seven points. Moving up to DI was a strain on our resources. When we came back down, there definitely was a bit of a hangover effect there.”
With a little bit of luck in terms of player availability and the DI hangover now gone, Lincoln Park is playing dominant rugby. And one of the few additions to the team, fullback Tyler Carroll (formerly of the Westside Condors), has played a big role in the hot start. In just two games, he’s amassed over half a dozen tries.
“A lot of the tries this season have come in the back three. I think a lot of that is because we’ve been able to get better ball from our forwards this year,” said Wilson. “The last couple of years we’ve sort of struggled a bit in the scrums. We’re not there yet, but we’ve certainly had a big improvement this year in quality of scrum ball.”
Up next for Lincoln Park is also unbeaten Pittsburgh.