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Taft Today

Taft Today

Boys and Girls Rugby Pre-season

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The boys and girls of the Taft High School Rugby team have been getting ready for another amazing season. A lot of recruitment and preparation has been taking place to get everybody warmed up for the start. 

Many different opportunities for preseason activities have begun. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, there is conditioning to get in shape for the season. On Tuesdays and Thursdays is when all new and old members go to learn more about the game.

Players show up to the preseason activities, but they also sometimes have their own preparations. “The players lift weight and condition, as well as practice and tackle. Some players will even diet if they really want to be ready,” said Taft senior Jackson Fisher.

According to coach Brian Hayes, having potential players set time aside to simply learn the game is just as important as any physical activity to prepare. Rugby is not as popular of a sport as football, baseball, or basketball so most kids don’t know how to play. 

“Not many kids grow up with rugby so it is important to learn the game,” said Hayes.

It is also important to note that there is a spot for all different types of people to play rugby. There are a variety of positions that need to be played and all have different needs. People of all body types have a spot to play and be successful.

“There is a spot for everybody no matter your body type,” said Hayes.

Having both the boys and the girls season be the same means the practice space also must be shared. The boys and girls share the field and sometimes work together to improve both teams.

The recruitment process has been equally as important to the team. Many members of the team ask their friends to join or simply go around and ask people up and down the halls. The coaches will even join and ask kids to play every once in a while. 

“To recruit players, the team and I have been asking any friends if they would be interested in playing. We also were set up at both campuses for the open house to showcase our varsity girls, fresh/soph, and varsity boys teams,” said Taft junior Tiffany Ho.

“Our coach emails the school, but mostly the guys just go around and ask random people,” said Fisher.

The teams do sometimes share a location, but they do have different coaches. The boys’ coach is Brian Hayes or “Coach Hayes”. The girls have Jamie Stephen or “Coach Jamie” as the Girls Varsity Head Coach. The girls also have forwards coach, Mckenzie Horsley.

There are many goals that the teams have set to accomplish this upcoming season and many of them cannot wait to get started and build back that connection with their team again.

“I would like to have more of a structure this year. We went up a division last year, but there was a lot of new guys so there wasn’t as much of a connection or structure. We would like to win, but we would also love to follow the structure that coach sets,” said Fisher.

“I fell in love with the game after my first match, but what makes me continue playing is my coach and my teammates. I honestly have the best coach I could have asked for and the best teammates in the world,” said Ho.

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About the Contributors
Mary Connolly, Reporter
Lillian Martin, Reporter