Nov 022011
 
Authors: Chris Boan

On a Thursday night a group of rugby players slammed and contorted their bodies in a heap as they tried to advance the ball downfield. The groups of players mentioned are all members of the CSU Women’s Rugby team.

“Rugby allows you to be a different person,” senior captain Wendy Sherman said. “It makes you want to go out there and hit hard, while not feeling the pain of contact.”

The members of the club identify the aggression and measured violence as a key part of their involvement. The team itself, which had groups of players nursing broken bones, sprained ligaments and torn tendons, seemed to perfectly represent the perils of such an attitude.

Freshman Taylor Greene was one of these injured members. Greene, whose right leg was wrapped up in a cast, also cited the thrills involved with the ability to hit as a key inspiration for her involvement.

“Coming out of high school I wanted something different,” Lynn said as she sat, wrapped in a pink blanket on the sidelines. “My injury’s devastating, as I just want to be able to compete with my team.”

Fellow captain Audrey Adgate was reluctant to play any sports out of high school. Adgate, a multi-sport athlete growing up, was convinced to join the team as a freshman by a friend.

“When I left high school I seriously felt as if I was done with sports for good,” Adgate said. “I accidentally found rugby and fell in love instantly.”

Others, like fellow freshman Dalie Geist, played rugby in high school and wanted to continue playing the game they knew and loved.

“Growing up I was always a tomboy,” Geist said. “Being able to hit people when you’re having a bad day will always lift you up.”

The team’s coach Jenna Middleton pointed out that USA Rugby, the governing board concerning teams in America, has instituted that players miss at least three weeks after a concussion.

Middleton believes that this measure, combined with others will help make rugby a safer sport, and help shed the perceptions that the sport is violent and dangerous.

“Rugby’s one of the most safety conscious sports,” Middleton said. “[USA Rugby’s] done an excellent job improving the safety standards, and have helped the overall image of the sport in this country.”

The Rams compete in the 16-team Pacific Mountain Conference, which consists of three divisions.

Each of the teams consist of non-scholarship athletes, most of whom have little, if any experience out of high school. This, Middleton says, makes her job as coach more challenging.

“I get girls who haven’t played rugby before,” Middleton said. “I have to teach them the sport on the most basic level, which is a rewarding aspect of coaching.”

Club sports Beat Writer Christopher Boan can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Rugby

  • Conference: The Pacific Mountain Conference
  • Next Game: BYU, Saturday, Nov. 5 Provo, Utah
  • Team Information: Non-Scholarship, Division-I team
  • Captains: Audrey Adgate, Wendy Sherman
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