The 2010 high school rugby season kicked off with Canby hosting a jamboree on March 6th. Rugby in Oregon continues to grow with 26 boys teams competing in three division and the girls fielding 17 teams, also in three divisions. A majority of the teams are from the Portland area, but the state is well represented with teams from Pendleton, Bend, Eugene and Corvallis. There are also three teams from the Vancouver, Washington surrounding area participating. Matches are played on Saturdays with many being held at Delta Park in Portland. For game schedules, check out the Rugby Oregon website.
So I am shooting hoops at Beaverton High School...the Beavs versus Jesuit. The student section is decked out in a sea of orange as the night included a big fund raising effort for Make-a-Wish Foundation and, in part, Reser's Fine Foods donated food that was being sold and bucket loads of Reser's orange t-shirts. Since Reser's is a major supporter of the Oregon State Beavers, as in Reser Stadium, I could see how they might have a few extra orange t-shirts laying around. The atmosphere was more electric than your usual Friday night game. I just assumed it all had to do with the Beav's long standing rivalry with Jesuit, the excitement around the Make-a-Wish fund raising efforts or perhaps the magic that a few hundred donated orange t-shirts could do for student spirit.
Alas, it was when half-time came around when I understood why the energy was at such a peak level. The announcer started to introduce the half-time entertainment. As he started, the female students began screaming widely....it was like a 1960's Beatles concert. The noise was deafening. What was all the excitement about? Enter the "Rhythm Boys." For over 50 years the Beaverton High Rhythm Bees have performed precision dance routines at basketball games and numerous other events. The Rhythm Bees are a time honored tradition at the school...and have always been an all female squad. So, as I soon found out, the "Rhythm Boys" is an annual tribute that the BHS guys pay to the ladies and, at the same time, lift the school spirit up several notches.
Dressed in horrendously ridiculous self-designed costumes, the boys put on a great show. Their routine was surprisingly well rehearsed and fairly complex. I was amazed at how most of the lads stayed very much in character despite the over-the-top screaming coming from the crowd. The whole routine was hilariously funny and the boys put their all into it. Of course, the execution of the dance moves left lots to be desired, but no one was caring about that.