The Glendale Women Raptors have a new head coach for the Division 2 team. Angie Cranmore has been coaching the West U23 team for nearly seven years. Cranmore’s first position coaching club side rugby has begun with training the D2 Raptor Women for the 2011 Fall Season.
While new to the Glendale coaching staff, Angie Cranmore is no stranger to rugby atInfinity Park. She played with Raptors rivals, the Kansas City Jazz for 12 years. During that time, she started spending summers coaching with the West U23’s as assistant coach to Dustin George. She moved up to head coach of U23’s and leads the West Collegiate All Stars as well.
Angie moved to Colorado two years ago. “One of the reasons I moved out here was because there is so much rugby opportunity.” She explains. “If you want to get into coaching there is every level - from the youth leagues they have now to touch leagues, high school and college; and you can coach at any level you choose here if you have the experience needed for the job.”
In addition to her past rivalry with the Raptors as a player for Kansas City Jazz, Cranmore has also coached the opposition against Women Raptors Head Coach Lisa Rosen. "Lisa was the Atlantic U23 Coach and I was the U23 Coach for the West - so we’ve played against each other and we’ve known each other for a long time.”
Over that time Coach Rosen has garnered Angie’s respect. “Lisa has a very extensive resume in coaching and this is a great opportunity to learn from her.” She continues. “I know the basics and the fundamentals, but she’s very technical and teaches a lot of good technical skills; advancing from that is, personally, what I’m looking forward to accomplishing.”
This year the Glendale Raptors won the National Championship for Men’s Division 1 and Cranmore feels that the growth of the rugby program here is making Glendale a destination for rugby talent. “Glendale has everything that a rugby player could ask for and the Raptors are becoming that elite team where, yes, they are going to be at the top - and that’s attractive to a lot of people.”
According to Angie Cranmore the interest in joining rugby teams in Glendale, and in Colorado as a whole, is high compared with other parts of the country. “The West Senior Women have struggled in the past with getting numbers of girls who want to come out and play and want to play competitively, but in Glendale they have great numbers - lots of girls want to play with the Raptors.”
The high level of women’s collegiate rugby in Colorado means that many of the players who want to join the Raptors are very competitive and skilled.
Cranmore says that, in order for all players in the ranks to get game time with the Raptor Women, some highly qualified candidates start with Division 2. “You can’t talk a 53 man roster in Division 1 and expect every one to get playing time.” She continues. “In order for us to make sure that everybody is able to play we have to have a Division 1 and Division 2.”
Coach Cranmore’s goal is to make it understood that, with the Raptor Women, Division 2 is a very important component of Glendale’s rugby platform. “D2 plays a big part in the competitive standing for the Raptors - we can win our own championships and we can win our national titles”.
The Raptor Women’s D1 and D2 teams share practice time and the new coach looks forward to working with Head Coach Lisa Rosen as well as exposing her own team to high level training. “You’re getting the same philosophy taught to you and coached to you and the same resources - and everybody has the same opportunity to actually play.”
Angie Cranmore is ready to start the fall season as the new Head Coach for the Raptor Women’s D2 team and she is also excited about joining the Glendale community. “I think that the City of Glendale embraces rugby so much that people in the community actually know what rugby is, they know the stadium, and you don’t have to sell the whole sport to have a conversation about the game you love."
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