November 08, 2017—Hanover, NH: In June 2018, Dartmouth will once again open its doors to the future of American rugby, as it will host the 2018 installment of the US Collegiate Development camp for aspiring high school rugby stars. Some of the camp alumni, who are currently on Dartmouth’s nationally ranked rugby team—Luke Bienstock, Patrick Sheehy, and Patrick O’Neil— graciously shared their stories from The Collegiate and informed us of how the camp helped them to get where they are now.
Bienstock was a High School All-American and last year was named to the All-Ivy First Team. Since the camp, he has also been named as one of Goff Rugby Report’s Top 100 Collegiate Players as a freshman and was invited to the tryout for the U20 Junior All-American team. Bienstock attributes much of his impressive rugby resume to the camp, as he recalled, “the different coaches and international players showed me a different way of seeing and playing the game. Their style was much more professional from what I was used to in high school.”
Moreover, Bienstock recounted one of his favorite memories from camp—participating in an activity led by Madison Hughes, a Dartmouth alumus, Olympian, and current captain of the US National Sevens team.
Sheehy, who in high school was captain of top-ranked Gonzaga College High School, similarly recalled the camp’s role in familiarizing him to college coaches and contributing to his college recruiting experience: “US Collegiate Development helped introduce me to the college rugby environment through Dartmouth’s facilities and coaches’ expectations on field. It also provided a great opportunity to meet over a dozen coaches, many of which were coaches of schools I was planning on applying to.” Sheehy, named to the All-Ivy First Team as a freshman, received an invite to the US High-School All-American program and multiple U-20 All-American assemblies following his involvement in the 2015 camp.
O’Neill recounted how the camp pushed him to become a better rugby player and improve his knowledge and skills. “There was never a dull moment and the activities pushed us to our limits. In addition to honing our skills, there is a big emphasis on playing smart and tactical rugby, we certainly improved our rugby IQ’s over the week.”
For all three players, however, the greatest value from US Collegiate Development came from the relationships and mentorship they built that allowed them to learn more about college recruiting and campus life, in order to prepare them for their next four years. For O’Neill, “the greatest resource the camp offers in this regard is the Dartmouth and Ivy League students that spend time with campers. They were always open to questions and more than happy to give us their best insights. There are also many college coaches in attendance that offer information sessions with regard to their specific school and program, which are all extremely helpful. My best memories from the camp were the times I spent living with the other campers and interacting with current Dartmouth students. The Dartmouth guys were great mentors for us and gave us great advice both on the field and with regards to the college application process and just college life in general.”
Beinstock spoke to the camps involvement in his ending up at Dartmouth as well, “Camp introduced me to coaches at the schools I was interested in, which helped me develop relationships with those programs. Rugby at the camp served as a tool to learn about the schools I was interested in.”
While Sheehy enjoyed soaking in the scenery of Dartmouth’s campus, “My favorite moments were mainly the times I spent just walking around a college campus, especially one as beautiful as Dartmouth in the summer.”
All three players have started for Dartmouth’s 1st XV this season and look to continue their successes with the Big Green, eyeing a second Ivy League championship each.
We look forward to sharing other camp alumni stories. If you have questions on camp or are a former player looking to reconnect and share your story please email firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT US COLLEGIATE DEVELOPMENT
Launched in 2014, US Collegiate Development aims to develop productive relationships between athletes and their potential future coaches. USCD's programs evolved in response to a need for a more effective environment to assess, develop, and connect student-athletes with collegiate coaches. The USCD coaching staff's priority is to educate these student-athletes on US rugby opportunities at both the university and national age-grade levels.