Active student bodies look to rugby

James Fisher, Staff Writer

A new club on campus is looking to get students active this semester.

Patrick McKamy, Coordinator of Student Activities, started a rugby team in the hope of helping students get more active on campus and have something to do. McKamy has a background with rugby, having played three years in college.

“We’re looking at different types of programming to get students active on campus,” McKamy said. “We’re trying to get them more physically active as well, not just sit in and do something. Rugby is a really great game to build community and to get participants active but not in an organized sport. It’s a really good way to promote that collegiate community here on campus.”

Rugby is an aggressive contact sport, something that sophomore Holly Reese said is exactly what she signed up for when she joined the team.

“I needed a good contact sport at the school,” said Reese. “Rugby is kind of rough.”

Unfortunately for Reese, the contact part of rugby part of the game quite yet. Reese said it’s too early to think about getting roughed up and that right now the team is focusing on the basics, such as passing, catching and kicking.

“Right now we’re just doing touch,” Reese said. “Right now we’re not into [the sport] yet but once we learn the basics we will be doing tackles.”

Rugby requires 16 people on a team, with eight people playing in the front and eight in the back. The way to score is moving the ball forward by passing it backwards, meaning there are no forward passes. It is very fast-paced with no time outs and no huddles. The point is to score a “try,” which is the technical term for a score in rugby.

The team does not have any future competition lined up to test their continuity as a group, but McKamy said that although they are not at that point yet, he will hopefully coordinate games with other regional schools.

“This is just our tentative now. We’re not to that point yet,” said McKamy. “Right now we’re just really looking on basics and skills and trying to get together a team.”

Even though rugby is a rare sport on campus, one team member is very familiar with the sport.

Sophomore Bridgette Guarnieri knows the game of rugby through her dad who played for his chiropractic school, and she considers it kind of a family thing.

Guarnieri is no stranger to athletics, having played soccer all four years in high school in the goalie position, and she said rugby is a good way to keep active and get back in the game that her dad helped her to know and love.

“I like to be athletic,” said Guarnieri. “I like to get involved in sports and learn new things.”

But rugby’s soccer-like fast pace, does give Guarnieri an advantage over other players. She believes that involvement any sport would give a player a bit of a boost

“Just being involved in a sport I think gives you an advantage in anything,” said Guarnieri. “Rugby’s pretty different, actually.”

McKamy said recruiting efforts include posting flyers, playing visibly on campus in front of McHale Hall and holding organizational meetings. McKamy said the team’s goal is fun and interested students don’t need any experience to join.

The rugby team meets three times a week from 3 to 4 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday, and  3 to 5 p.m. every Friday. Fridays are considered “bring a friend to rugby day” to attract newbies to the sport.

Although the semester is half way over, McKamy said it is never too late to join. He said hopes this team will become a part of the rich history of Misericordia.

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