By Matthew Csakai | Contributor
It is difficult to see the soccer program getting a junior varsity team when the rugby team is still waiting to get its varsity designation. Taylor's rugby athletes are highly committed to their game, putting in hours of work even in the offseason to improve themselves and become better than the season before.
Rugby is a tough sport. It requires a lot of physical exertion and stamina. You have to be willing to take hits and dish them out. Play after play, game after game, for 80 minutes you fight to score points and force turnovers. Hours of practice go into making yourself physically and mentally ready to play every Saturday, with long practice sessions on the field and equally exhausting sessions in the weight room. You get stronger; you perform drills and play touch rugby to get a feel for what needs to happen during game day. With all the preparation you put in, including hours of practice every week and Saturdays full of games, there is little reward but a deeper love of the game. The motivation comes intrinsically, and it always has for these players.
Now, I do realize it is not unprecedented for a school to have J.V. teams underneath the common varsity sports. I'm not entirely against Taylor having a J.V. soccer team. I played organized soccer for 11 years of my life and still love to play it to this day. I am glad for my friends who are able to try out for this team and play the sport they love.
I don't want to bash the administration for not coming up with funding to make rugby a varsity sport; I want to spotlight the work of the men and women who dedicate themselves to rugby. They deserve recognition for the work they put in. Rugby should be seen in the eyes of this university as the legitimate, competitive sport it is.
The rugby team had a huge amount of success this past spring season. It won multiple tournaments, such as the Indiana Rugby Football Union 10s tournament, and the Kings of the Pitch. The team beat teams from big schools across Indiana such as Bethel, IUPUI, Indiana State, Purdue and several men's clubs with players older than college age. What must the rugby team do to prove it can compete each and every season and each and every day? It's proven this before, and I know it will prove it again in upcoming seasons.