Vance pilot makes AF rugby team

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Frank Casciotta
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
An instructor pilot with the 8th Flying Training Squadron was selected for the Air Force Rugby team and will compete in the 2013 Collegiate Rugby Championship May 29 through June 3 in Philadelphia.

Capt. John Lockard has been playing rugby since 2002 when he picked up the game during his time at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"I played football at the Academy for a year but it just wasn't working out," said Lockard.

He began his pursuit of rugby in 2002 when his friends at the Academy suggested he try it instead of football.

Lockard graduated from the Academy in 2005 and the next year, while attending pilot training with Class 07-12 at Vance AFB, was selected to play on the Air Force Rugby team.

"I like to represent my squadron and the Air Force, and I think it reflects well on commanders to have their people participate in events like this," said Lockard, a native of Phoenix, Ariz.

The last time Lockard played with the Air Force team was in August, but he feels confident in their ability to perform.

"We all know the drill, the game plan is the same," said Lockard.

Last year Lockard claimed he would be passing the torch to the next generation of players. But by playing more this year, and with the attention rugby is getting, his interest was renewed.

"Plus, I really enjoy playing, even though I might have to train a little harder to keep up with the young bucks," he said.

Lockard works out twice a day, six days a week to stay in shape.

The rugby tournament in Philadelphia this year will use seven-man teams as the official format.