HERRIMAN, Utah — The Herriman Rugby Club is ranked second in the nation and first in the state. They need the public's help locating the team's gear trailer that was stolen from behind Copper Mountain Middle School in the middle of the night on Friday.
"We do things on a shoestring budget really to make things work," said Herriman rugby coach CJ Dunn. "And just to have everything ripped out from underneath them is just a shame."
The trailer was donated to the team just a few weeks ago. Inside was thousands of dollars' worth of practice and game gear that was all bought with money the players raised themselves.
"A lot of fundraising. Sold a lot of oranges and grapefruits and bath bombs and those kinds of things and had a lot of people be very kind to help us out," said Herriman Rugby Club founder and director Jeff Wilson.
Friday at 1:30 a.m., Copper Mountain's security cameras captured a white SUV pulling away with the trailer. It was the first time the club had a centralized place to store their gear.
"Honestly, I thought it was a joke at first," said varsity captain Daxton McPeak. "We joked about it -- we thought the school probably moved it or something, but then Jeff came over and told us that someone actually took it, and I think it just surprised a lot of us that someone would do that."
A few of the team's coaches said it's more than just practice equipment -- it's 10 years' worth of team memories.
"Some of it is irreplaceable, to be honest," Wilson said. "Two of the jersey sets that were in there were sets from our very first year."
"It's a lot more than just a bunch of equipment that's gone," added varsity head coach Elvis Hansen. "A lot of memories, you know? It's kind of sad to see that gone."
Wilson said it will be tough to continue the season without all of the essentials that were in the trailer.
"Because of our challenges with funding, those are not all things we can replace quickly," he said. "We can't replace 10 years' worth of stuff overnight."
Rugby clubs from around the country, as well as the Utah Warriors professional rugby team, have offered their support after learning about the theft.
"We've heard from rugby people in Seattle and Boston," Wilson said. "The rugby community is a tight knit community, and a lot of us know each other and we help each other out."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the team gather funds to purchase new gear. So far, they've raised more than $3,000.
"We teach the boys about overcoming adversity," Hansen said. "It's just another blip in the road, and you just got to get through it. Let's just deal with what we have and make it work."
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Herriman Police Department at 801-840-4000.