Club of the Week: Rugby team grows in community and size
Senior Anthony Cantu (left) and junior Kyle Hamilton (right) move in for the attack during their game against Azusa Pacific University on Feb. 15. | Ashley Jones/THE CHIMES [file photo]
In the eyes of senior kinesiology major Nolan Yoshimura, rugby is like hardcore music.
“On the outside it seems like a loud mess,” Yoshimura said. “But when you get into it, it’s beautiful.”
The sport, and its origin, seem to fit well with the comparison.
Growing from small group to actual team
According to popular legend, rugby began in 1823 at Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England when a student audaciously broke the school’s soccer rules, picked up the ball and ran toward the opposing goal. On the other hand, the origins of the Biola Rugby Club were not as spectacular. After playing rugby for seven years in high school and community college, senior communications major Anthony Cantu collaborated with theology professor Andy Draycott to create the club. They then spread awareness of the club through word of mouth.
Despite its humble beginnings, Biola Rugby has increased in size. In the last year, the club has grown from a small group practicing just for fun to an actual team.
“Everybody knew about it,” Cantu said. “Guys were coming back and knew we were starting practice the second week of school, AS [Associated Students] and students were very familiar with us, and people were a lot more aware and excited.”
Different reasons for joining
Despite the hype, members have different reasons for joining. Freshman business major Eric Mitchell joined after hearing about it from a friend.
“It sounded like fun and a good way to stay in shape,” Mitchell said, “so I gave it a shot.”
On the other hand, junior cinema and media arts major Forrest McBride joined because of a deep desire he had since junior high.
“I wanted to play, but there were no local teams,” McBride said. “This is my first chance to be a part of a rugby team.”
Whatever their individual reasons for joining, the Biola Rugby Club is a close community, which is what sophomore Bible and psychology major Brian Like enjoys most.
Fighting for each other and the Lord despite personal struggles
“We’re not about pride and superficial things,” Like said. “It’s a brotherhood and we’re all out there playing and fighting for each other and for the Lord. Those are our main goals.”
However, with a game like rugby, there are difficult aspects. Freshman political science major Robert Sullivan has found that the game in itself is the hardest part.
“It’s the conditioning,” Sullivan said. “It’s a long, tough game and you have to be really physically fit and give your 100 percent to it.”
Yet some, like Mitchell, have found that the hardest aspect is simply getting out of bed at 7 a.m. for practice.
“But it’s a small price to pay for what you get out of it,” he said.