“It’s a crazy game but it’s so much fun to play,” said Nick Taormina, one of 12 Gloucester natives playing on the Massachusetts Tri Team. “It’s a lot like rugby but you have to score on an opposing team’s net. There’s a lot of strategy to it as well with three teams playing against each other. We all decided to give it a try and we loved it.”
The Gloucester residents were introduced to the sport by a chance encounter.
The sport’s inventor, Jeremiah Schwarz, a New England native who went around the world looking to promote the game and just finished his trip by coming back to the United States, met Gloucester’s Jesse Pearce and Chris Lane by chance in Boston in April.
Pierce and Lane are both avid football players, who play for the semi-pro North Shore Generals, who play out of Manning Field in Lynn.
Pierce and Lane agreed to give the sport a chance, and recruited 10 friends from Gloucester in Adam Chin, Nick Taormina, Kyle Barry, Mark Haggett, Brandon Peavey, Shane Wilson, Zach Smith, Mark Horgan, Brandon Cusumano and Taylor Burbine to help form a team to represent Massachusetts in that first U.S. Tri Game.
The team did not have much time to prepare as two practices at Fuller School with coach David Spivey, the No. 1 ranked Tri player in England, and Schwarz, were all the team had to time get in before the game.
“He’s a former rugby player and really knows the game,” Taormina said of Spivey. “We learned a lot in two practices — how to shoot — and a little bit of strategy and we didn’t even have a net. It was really cool; people were driving by us at Fuller School and stopping to see what it was all about.”
Those two practices seemed to be more than enough as the team was well prepared for victory in the inaugural Tri Game.
Playing to win
Team Massachusetts found itself trailing for most of the game as the New York team scored twice on the Connecticut net to pick up two points compared to none for Massachusetts and -2 for Connecticut.