Who Plays Rugby?
Brianna MacKay | On 07, May 2018
Here at Hudson Catholic, we have many sports that the students have the option of joining. The school offers nearly everything, from popular choices like basketball and football to other sports that are up and coming, like rugby.
Not many students at Hudson know anything about rugby, so The Commentator sat down with the captain of the girls rugby team, junior Danielle Acanto, and one of the star players on the boys team, junior Curtis Raeford, to learn more about the sport and their experiences playing.
“I have been playing rugby for two years now,” Acanto told use. “And I just started playing rugby because it was a new sport that I hadn’t tried before.”
Raeford had a very similar answer to the same question. “I have been playing rugby for two and a half years,” he also added. “What inspired me to start playing was a chance at a scholarship and to better myself at football.”
Raeford went on to tell us how playing rugby translated into playing football (and vice versa).
“When I was playing football, I didn’t know how to tackle, so when I started playing rugby, it helped my form get better and it helped me get up my endurance.”
“Rugby is a sport that in order to go forward, you must go backwards. Everybody is the same [position]… everybody can run the ball, everybody can tackle, and in order for the whole team to be great, you have to work together,” Raeford continued.
Acanto went on to explain how the sport benefits other athletes.
“[Rugby] benefits you because it helps you gain stamina and endurance while playing and running, and it helps you get fit in terms of weight training and muscle. For athletes who play different sports, it helps them improve footwork and their skill level.”
Due to the fact the sport does have two very different elements, the offensive element of running and passing the ball and the defensive element of tackling opponents, we asked both which part they like doing better during a game.
“I like tackling on defensive more because everyone can’t tackle, but everyone can run and it takes a certain type of person to take down the biggest player on the field,” Raeford said.
“My favorite part of the game is tackling on defensive, just because I know I am better at this part and it just gives me a rush of adrenaline when I know that I have taken someone down to protect my teammate,” Acanto exclaimed.
We continued talking to Acanto and asked her about the differences that she sees between the boys games that she has watched and the girls games she has played in.
“I feel like the girls have to try harder to prove they are just as good as the guys,” she explained. “So the games are a little bit faster paced and a little bit more rough.”
Since the game is a rough one, there is always a chance of injury, and both Acanto and Raeford have experienced it and are in the process of making a full comeback from them.
“The process was long and hard but it made me more determined… It made me take my workout serious and taught me to never take anything for granted because you never know when you can stop playing,” Raeford stated when asked about the process of recovery from his injury last year.
“The process of recovery is really long,” Acanto added. “Overall it was about a year of recovery, and it has been really hard due to all the pain and the lack of mobility in my knee even after six months and surgery.”
Even though they have both experienced an injury that not only affected their lives on the field but off the field as well, they both couldn’t wait to get back to playing.
“The importance of rugby to me is the camaraderie and being able to work with a group of girls that I usually wouldn’t talk to,” Acanto explained. “It has impacted my life because I have been exposed to numerous colleges that are willing to give me scholarships.”
Raeford stated, “[Rugby] allows me to travel more, has gotten me chances to play for All-American teams, and provides more colleges looking at me.”
Be sure you go catch one of Hudson Catholic’s rugby games this season, and if you feel like rugby could be the sport for you, go and give it a try!