Bentley 18, Cortland 17

The bad news: Cortland failed to advance in the regional club rugby playoffs after beating RPI last week to take the Division II New York State Championship. The good news: No need to travel to Bowdoin, Somewhere, Maine, USA, for the next round.

Cortland came back from a 15 - 5 deficit in the waning minutes of the game but failed on a very tough conversion that would have given them a one-point victory instead of a one-point defeat. It was an incredible year -- a 9 - 1 record for a team that was coached entirely by students this season.

I've been watching Duncan play competitive sports since he joined his first soccer team as a 4 year old and I've enjoyed every second of it — whether it was coaching (AYSO and travel-team soccer and Little League baseball) or, in later years, just admiring his indomitable spirit, camaraderie and team play. Whatever sport he played, Duncan played it right. And if he was not usually the star, he was always a vital force on teams that generally did pretty good for themselves. Watching his efforts and ethics on the field, I have no doubt he will succeed at whatever he chooses to do. In fact, most of the pictures I have from this game are of his teammates and him embracing after the tough loss. They will be, one gets the feeling, comrades for life.


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