Brentwood graduate representing Team USA overseas
By Austin Stanley, For the Williamson Herald
Alex Goff has spent the last week in France as a member of Team USA for the Junior Rugby World Cup.
The 2011 Brentwood High School graduate and current rugby player at Arkansas State made Team USA for the second consecutive year. The excitement of playing for his national team for the second time hasn’t worn off for Goff.
“I was obviously extremely happy and honored at the same time to be able to play for my country,” Goff said after being named to the roster. “I had played last year so I already had a feeling of the system but to be able to put on the USA jersey again and play for my country is an amazing thought.”
The feeling of honor couldn’t last very long as Goff had to move quickly to report to the team to begin the Junior World Rugby Cup. Goff was at home for a short time before having to leave the country.
“We had a camp for a week where we played Canada twice then we came back home,” Goff said. “Around five days into our break I got the email saying that I was on the team for France. So I only had a couple days to get ready for a month and a week trip.”
The Junior World Rugby Cup consists of 12 teams in three pools. Team USA is in Pool A with defending champion South Africa, host France, and England. Following the round-robin pool play, two other games will determine the rank of the 12 teams for the tournament.
For Goff, rugby has become life. Growing up playing football, Goff was introduced to rugby by his two older brothers, Benji and Billy.
“My brothers are the main reason I ended up playing rugby,” Goff said. “I used to watch them both play together for the (Brentwood High) Brumbies and they would come home telling me how much fun and how different from football it was. So I had to give it a try and ever since they both have given me a lot of encouragement to stick with it.”
Watching his brothers play early on gave Goff an advantage in learning the game before he got to high school. He was able to play high school rugby as a middle schooler, then all four years in high school. When college rugby became an option, Goff picked Arkansas State, currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves beat Brigham Young University for the national championship in Goff’s freshman year. After getting exposure as a substitute on the championship squad, Goff made the Junior National team for the summer.
“On our tour we played Canada twice up in Canada and won both times,” Goff said. “Then we went to Utah for the trophy where we played Tonga, Chile, Russia and Japan in the final. We went undefeated in the tour which brought us up a division to the Junior World Rugby Cup for the next year. I went back to Arkansas State and did the same as last year and subbed in for most of the games. We were No. 1 in the nation until the semifinal where we lost to Life (University).”
Team USA is currently 0-2 in the higher division of the Word Rugby Cup losing to South Africa and France. A match against England closes pool play. The knockout rounds begin June 18.
Posted on: 6/12/2013