The Open divisions took over Silver Bowl today, the first day of the Las Vegas Invitational. For the men, one expects the most social of teams to show up, considering there are two more competitive divisions (Elite and Aces) in action. And while there were a handful of squads that looked like they were playing for the third half, there was also an infusion of serious talent.
Klim (pronounced “clime”) is one example. Named after its sponsor, a snowmobiling and apparel company, the team is composed of a bunch of University of Utah grads and 30-plusers. The team is the best version of “get together and play”.
“Most of us are dads, lawyers, doctors and all sorts of stuff,” Klim captain Bradley Anderson said. “Three or four of us play 15s for Park City Haggis, but most of us haven’t played in six-plus months. We play social because we’re not as fit as we once were, but a lot of us have played together for years, and it comes together pretty well.”
Noticeably, former 7s Eagle Jason Pye and 15s Eagle Black Burdette don the yellow-and-black jersey. The team also flaunts a handful of former DI football players, including Anderson, so that natural athleticism didn’t lie dormant for long. Klim beat the Titans 61-0 in the first round, but then faced a tough Aspen side for a 26-24 win.
“I think we played poorly, but Aspen played really well, so you have to tip your hat to them,” Anderson said. “They caught us off guard. We kinda walked through our first game and maybe expected to do that again. It came down to the last possession and we scored.”
Klim returned to form in its final game against Fort Hood, putting in another free-flowing, dominating performance. As the Pool D victors, Klim will face Pool C#2, a young Rexberg Yeti, in the Cup Quarterfinals tomorrow.
“We want to win, definitely,” Anderson dispelled the notion that the team might not take tomorrow seriously. “We have a lot of fun, and we might look like a bunch of random dudes out there, but when we get on the field, we want to play hard together and win.”
Klim is a good, talented team – and the players know it – but there’s a light spirit in their play, as their families line the fields. Clearly, they’re here in Las Vegas to enjoy the game that once monopolized their lives. After their 57-point win over Fort Hood, Klim took a team picture with their opponent, expressing their appreciation for the military players and their service off of the field.
Some tough teams await – MOB from Maryland, Whitefish from Boston, U.S. Air Force – but Klim is getting their rugby fill here in Vegas and enjoying some nice wins along the way.