Rugby gears up for new season and players


WILDCAT TOUGHNESS—The NMU Women’s Rugby team poses for a team picture. The Rugby squad is coming on its first match of the season with the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Saturday, Sept. 18. Photo courtesy of Mandie Kytola.

Dallas Wiertella, Staff Writer

Club sports offer many opportunities for students that allow them to continue participating in athletics right here on campus. These are also opportunities at NMU that students may not be able to take part in back in their hometowns.

Rugby has a home at NMU and is a sport that many are not familiar with. It is open to all who want to experience something new and gain new friends along the way. The Women’s Rugby team takes pride in its rough sport and is looking to give students the chance to join.

“It is very rewarding,” senior forward Miranda Straka said. “Although it is a tough and a hard sport and definitely rough around the edges, you gain something that not many other sports can offer you.”

Rugby is not widely offered across the country, and can possibly cause new players to be overwhelmed competing in a new sport. However, the team members reassure their support to all interested students. 

“Come to practice, anyone that is interested doesn’t even have to participate and is more than welcome to come to watch. We are open to questions and we know there isn’t much knowledge on the game,” Junior back Chance McDougal said. “We know that it can be intimidating but we are more than willing to teach anyone who shows interest.”

The team holds practice every week at the practice field off of Lincoln Avenue and is open to spectators or interested students at all times. Along with setting up practice times, a schedule is in place for the team’s first match on Saturday, Sept. 18 against the University of Wisconsin-Stout. The team will have four matches this season including playoffs, with two on the road and two at home, senior club president and back Rachel Placeway said.

Rugby offers more than just a new way to work up a sweat, and the new friends that a player can make and the bond that is created is strong. The sport offers a rich culture with a standard of respect that may be hard to come by in any other setting.

“You gain a family here, we all have each others’ back on and off the pitch,” Placeway said. “Rugby culture is unique, it is very much about respect. You will get to know even the other team and will have the chance to hang out with the other them after each game.”