Students play a diverse sport: rugby


Rubie Riddle

Sophomore Grant Brownell, varsity rugby player, holds position to initiate the scrimmage. Grant makes an inceptive connecting pass to one of his team members.

Although rugby may be a different sport compared to most, several students have found a passion for it. Rugby is a diverse sport for several reasons, including the fact that all players get the chance to play offense and defense at the same time.

Coach Jacob Campbell has only been coaching for two years, but he has already discovered the uniqueness that attracts many to the sport. Rugby combines different sports into one, incorporating the aspects from football, soccer and hockey.

“It stands out from other sports in that it is a continuous game, like soccer, but it’s different from because it also includes the physical aspects of tackling and going to the ground that soccer does not have,” Coach Campbell said. “It’s not like any other sport, but it combines some of the attributes of soccer, the tackling of football and the physicality of hockey all into one game.”

It’s not like any other sport, but it combines some of the attributes of soccer, the tackling of football and the physicality of hockey all into one game.

— Coach Jacob Campbell

Sophomore Ethan Long loves both mental and physical aspects of the game. He believes that every player on a rugby team must be capable of working together and having a knowledge of the game.

“Everyone gets to touch and pass the ball,” Long said. “It’s a sport that really makes you think and be physically capable at the same time. It’s a really great sport, especially when it comes to teamwork because it’s something where you can’t just have a star wide receiver and win the game. You’re whole team needs to be up to speed with everything.”

Long thinks that in order to succeed on the field, a team must be compatible off the field as well. Personally, the team is going to get together to help prepare for the season.

“This year we’re trying to incorporate some team building stuff,” Long said. “Especially with most of the kids going to school together, a lot of us are friends in and outside of school, so that’s something that helps us too.”

There are many things that must be done to prepare the athletes for the upcoming season including practices, fitness training and team bonding. Putting aside the tough work, the athletes find other things to enjoy.

“I enjoy being with my friends,” sophomore Tobias Williams said.  “Scoring is my favorite thing to do. I like tackling people and I like scoring at the same time, so I get to play defense and offense.”

From a coaching perspective, there are different types of things to enjoy. Coach Campbell has found his place as a rugby coach, and loves seeing his players develop into strong athletes.

“I enjoy when the children start to get it,” Coach Campbell said. “They start to get a sense of confidence, and an understanding of how to play the game.”

Coach Campbell wants to help develop his players’ personal talents as well as their teamwork. He plans to break down the basics of passing, tackling and rucking.

“Of course we want to win every game, but we’re not going to solely focus on that,” Coach Campbell said. “We’re going to focus on the fundamentals, and if that gives us the opportunity to win the games, then it will be a success.”