Although rugby may seem like just another sport people play, it’s more than that. Especially the Grandville Girls Rugby Club at the Grandville Highschool. Joining the team means being adopted into a new family, acquiring a new mindset, and being pushed to a greater level than ever imagined. Cici Loew says, “Rugby has changed me as a person in the way that I am now drastically more mentally strong, you learn that the game is more mental than physical and that carries out through life into different aspects.”
Last fall the rugby team took home their fifth state title, meaning they gained the opportunity to compete in nationals the following spring, which would have been their fourth national appearance. However, due to COVID-19 it was sadly cancelled. This meant that the team played their last game together without even knowing it. “When I heard rugby was cancelled for the spring season I was heartbroken, I felt that we were stripped of an amazing opportunity. Hearing that the last couple of months you are supposed to have with your team has been taken away from you and you have no time left is devastating,” explains former captain, Hanna Sarber. While there were a lot of downsides to the season being cancelled head coach Magdalene Law spoke out about a positive outcome, “Our athletes bodies had time to rest.” With rugby being year round there isn’t a lot of downtime to recover, so having that time off gave everybody the chance to fully rest and recover their muscles.
The friendships made in rugby will last a lifetime and the memories shared with teammates are unforgettable. “Joining rugby gave me the opportunity to become best friends with people I never would have met without rugby. These are friendships I know I’ll have forever,” states Rachel Millet. Once friendships are made with teammates, the chemistry on the pitch is unmatched. That’s one of the main reasons rugby is so much more than just any other sport. Speaking from experience, I have been able to play well with people I don’t necessarily like or trust in other sports, but in rugby a friendship and trust needs to be formed with everyone in order to perform smoothly. The reason the season ending so abruptly became such a hard thing to cope with was because the seniors who everyone has all played with since freshman year were leaving. Carson Sanderson expresses, “They’re like sisters to me. The bonds I have with each and every one of them are unbreakable. It’s devastating just thinking about how we had no idea it would be their last time with all of us.”
The spring season is currently on, but if anything changes or gets cancelled again GHS will be streaming the games. People can support the Grandville Girls Rugby Club by watching the games or donating to help fundraise for the team.