Girls rugby’s grand entrance


Stephanie Rakos

Girls rugby officially began practices and has its first game set for April 9.

The new girl’s rugby team, created by juniors, Ellie Margason and Sophia Karris, and senior, Allison Heil, has had a strong start with the players learning the game quickly, with help from coaches and returning players from the boy’s rugby team.

Both teams are not registered sports here at the school nor are they school funded. The teams are considered “club” teams, and run through Rugby Illinois.

“We had to pay $250 to be a part of the team,” said Grace Manske, junior and member of the team. “But it was worth every penny.”

Both the teams practice two to three times a week, starting at 5:45 a.m. No matter the weather, practices will continue to be held. Practices are on Dickenson Field where both teams practice drills, develop skills, and learn the rules of the game.

Stephanie Rakos
The boys rugby team practices with the girls’ rugby team on Dickinson Field.

“Rugby is a game that has a position for everyone,” said Mr. Gebhart, head coach for boy’s rugby. “It doesn’t matter if you’re eight feet tall or four feet tall, there is a position for you.”

Since many of the players have a lack of experience, all of the coaches work together to help teach the newer players to develop skills, while past members focus on their technique.

The boys and girls will sometimes practice different teamwork skills and scrimmages; however, the teams work closely together.  For the first half of practice, most of the time, the team will warm up together and then they will separate for the rest of practice.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Jad Alamuddin, junior, and a returning player on the boy’s team. “It encourages girls to get involved in the community who don’t normally have a spring sport.”

There aren’t many differences between girl’s and boy’s rugby. Both teams practice similarly, work together, and use the same equipment.

“It’s basic equipment. You just need a jersey, cleats, and a mouth guard,” said Sophia Karris, co-captain.

Many people on the team joined rugby in order to be a part of a spring sport.

Stephanie Rakos
Grace Manske, junior, practices drills on Dickinson Field.

“I think many kids wanted to have a new experience with a sport,” said Ms. Mahan, head coach for the girl’s rugby. “It’s a sport that anyone can enjoy and make friends.”

After practice finishes, both teams come together for a huddle.

“We’re learning very quickly, and we still have to work out a few kinks but other than that I think we’re getting there,” said Ellie Margason, co-founder. 

According to the coaches, it’s a tradition that helps keep the bond between the players and keeps positive thoughts.

“I wanted to do something with friends and rugby was the best option for me,” Manske said. “I love the family bond of rugby through both teams.”

The teams look forward to future games, which are start on April 9. Both teams are focused on trying to win playoffs and state this year. The first game is in March where the girl’s team will play Forest City and boy’s team will play Montini.