Liberty rugby: a big happy family

Macee Vadney, Staff Writer

Do you know what a scrum is? How about a try? Maybe a knock? These athletic terms belong to rugby, a sport supported by a smaller, enthusiastic community at Liberty.
“It’s honestly one of the best sports out there. I know that a lot of people will argue that there are a lot of other sports that are good,” Freshman Taylor Heimbigner said. “But you know, I really love rugby and I really want others to enjoy it too.”
Junior Simon Dodd explained that Rugby is perceived as an “overly aggressive” and “dangerous” game, though he said that it’s kind of the opposite.
“It’s not as violent of a sport as everyone thinks,” Dodd said. “Everyone thinks it’s this big, violent sport and that everyone is angry and that everyone gets hurt, but statistically speaking, it is safer than football.”
The Liberty Rugby team’s dynamics are, as Heimbigner describes, ‘a big happy family’.
“We all care for each other. I’ve got three coaches on my team and I know I can always count on them. I can always count on my fellow teammates if I’m going through tough times and same if they are going through tough times,” Heimbigner said.
Some say that boys and girls rugby share very few similarities, though that’s not the case.
“Honestly there isn’t really a big difference except for the fact that some girls don’t necessarily like really tough sports like this. We don’t have a lot of girls, where the boys have a lot. But we both play the same number of games and same amount of time.” Heimbigner said.
Together and as a unit, the girls and boys respect and care for their teammates on and off the fields.
“We always have each other’s backs. If we’re on the field and there’s a fight, which doesn’t happen often, we are all still a family after the game.” Dodd said.
The teams are all really close in relationship. Their practices are all held at the same time so the teams have a lot of time to bond.
“For boys there is a JV and varsity team. So jv is usually freshmen and sophomores. Varsity is juniors and above. So they are split up into two different groups because they have a lot. Unlike girls, the high schoolers go against each other. And middle schoolers have their own team as well,” Heimbigner said.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Taylor practices from 5:00-7:30 pm. almost every weekend she returns to the fields for a game.
“Usually we start off with running around the track for a warm up lap and then we do conditioning, like burpees and core workouts. Then we end up doing passing drills and scrimmaging.” Heimbigner said.
For Dodd and Heimbigner, Liberty rugby is an important part of their daily life and future, as well as their team, or commonly referred to as their “family.”