By Romi Bean

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Meet the Dahl’s – Peter, Katie, Piper, Gemma, and Ellie – Your friendly Highlands Ranch neighbors!

(credit: CBS)

Peter is a construction manager for Lennar Homes, while Katie, a Colorado native, sells medical devices for Johnson & Johnson.
Between working full time and raising three girls, Peter and Katie are always busy. Somehow, they manage to do it all, with time to spare — time they spend on something a little more full contact.

“Growing up in New Zealand, I started playing rugby relatively late. I started around 14. I played soccer growing up until then” Peter says of his early rugby playing days.

Peter Dahl of the United States passes the ball during the United States Gold Coast sevens captain’s run session in 2012 in Australia. (credit: Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Peter is currently playing professional rugby for the Glendale Raptors.

“I played soccer through college at Colorado State, and then, just living abroad, picked up a new sport that the locals played. It was super addictive and fun and wanted to keep playing.” Katie said of her introduction to rugby. She was hooked from day one. “I just loved it. It was addictive.. First time I played, I wanted to keep playing. I played for 10 years. The ability to tackle and hit and all the contact – I loved it”

(credit: CBS)

Peter and Katie met back in 2008. And it was exactly where you think it would be – on the pitch.

“Playing in the National Final here in Denver at Infinity Park. I happened to run in to Katie. She was there watching the game. We ran into each other later that night and got talking, stayed in contact, and here we are three kids later.” Peter said.

Like many sports, rugby can be unkind to the body. Peter is one of the oldest players on the Glendale raptors at 33 years old.
But he doesn’t appear to be slowing down, and Katie isn’t letting him give up the dream.

“A lot of rugby wives are like, okay when are you going to quit? They’re ready for their husbands to retire. I just want him to play while he’s doing a good job” Katie said.

(credit: CBS)

Peter couldn’t do it without Katie’s support.

“It’s amazing to keep doing something I love. I’ve tried to hang the boots up a couple times and she said no, we’ll make it work.”

It’s not just Katie who inspires Peter to keep playing. It’s also Gemma, Piper, and Ellie.

“There’s a huge sense of pride and one of the reasons I’m still playing is so the girls can still experience it. It’s an amazing thing for them to come, sit in the stands, cheer the team on, and be part of it after.” Peter said.

(credit: CBS)

The Dahl girls seem right at home on the pitch. And if that’s where they choose to stay, mom and dad will be just fine with it.

“I want them to play what they want to play. We’ll put them in as many sports as we can. If they want to play rugby, I won’t say no. It’s been a huge part of my life, I’d love for it to carry on through them.” Peter said.

We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for the Dahl girls and rugby, but my guess is the love for this sport runs in the family.

You can be part of the next Glendale Raptors home game experience this Friday at Infinity Park in Glendale. Check out glendaleraptors.com for info.

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Romi Bean is a sports anchor and reporter at CBS4. Connect with Romi on Twitter @Romi_Bean.

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