The Mean Green family

Women's Rugby looks to win national championship

| October 3, 2017

The team huddles during practice. Photo by Sam Palian

There are over 400 different student organizations on campus and at least 35 of these are sports clubs. One of these clubs is Women’s Rugby.

The Women’s Rugby club at Charlotte was started in 1996 by Kandas Burnett. Four years later, in 2000, the club took a break and then reassembled again in 2008 by way of Maddy Clark and other UNC Charlotte graduates. These young ladies may not have known what kind of a staple this club would be in the lives of many other students in the future, but it certainly has proven to be one.

“Rugby has meant everything to me. These women aren’t just my teammates they’re my family. Even the alumni show love every time they show up,” junior Rachel Jordan said.

Like Jordan said, this is a club with a strong alumni presence, and is currently being coached by former player Allie Pickett. Many other former coaches and players will come around from time to time to help out as well.

The women who are members of the Charlotte Women’s Rugby Club clearly have the drive to be great on and off the field and push each other to do so, this being one of the club’s goals which they surely seem to achieve.

The Mean Green does their best to encourage each other in more ways than one. They push each other to get better in practice and their games speak to this. Not only do they provide encouragement as athletes and as teammates, but they also have important relationships with each other that they may not have otherwise had if it were not for joining the club.

“When you join our rugby team, you gain a family for life,” junior Mikayla Coxe said.

To these students this sports club involves much more than just a game. The team’s practices immediately exhibit their work ethic as well as their ability to just enjoy each other and have a good time. A family, as the girls describe, is fairly evident and a big family at that.

A large number of the members of the team had never played rugby or knew too much about the sport until joining this club. The club prides itself on being open to anyone and being able to help them catch on to the sport and in turn, become skilled in the game fairly quickly as well.

“I actually had never played rugby before I got to UNC Charlotte and it has easily become one of the best parts of my life. Rugby has taught me to be a leader a well as help me grow as an athlete and an overall better person. I’m forever grateful for this club and the opportunities it has given me,” junior Tia Wilson said.

They recently played their first friendly-season game of the year against Elon University, winning their match 67-0. In the previous season of 2016-2017, the women finished their fall season with a record of 4-0 and then placed 13th in the country in their division. The club plays their more competitive season in the spring and do just as tremendously.

The team is working hard this year to get better than ever before and all of the players seem to be very committed to this goal. Moving smoothly in the latter parts of the playoffs each season, the team is hoping to make it even further this year.

“I think we will do well this year. We have a very strong team, and our new players have picked up the game incredibly quickly. After making it to regional playoffs for the past two years, we are hoping to make nationals in the spring,” senior Maggie Reichard said.

Working toward a national championship, the team has high hopes, but are undoubtedly doing their best to make it happen.

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