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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Women’s rugby collapses without coach, players

The women´s rugby team used to dress up in their prom attire once a year.  They will dress up no more. ()
The women´s rugby team used to dress up in their prom attire once a year. They will dress up no more. ()

R.I.P., women’s rugby.”We’ve already forfeited the first three games this semester, and those scheduled from Feb. 16 to the end of the season will be played by the women’s rugby team at UNCG,” said Alison Duncan, sophomore team leader.

Without the required 15 players per game, Duncan decided Monday to withdraw from the North Carolina Rugby Union, the league in which the team has played for the last 15 years.

However, UNCG started a women’s team this year, and failed to secure any games against other college teams. Because Guilford withdrew, Duncan ‘donated’ their scheduled games to the UNCG team.

“They were asking all these teams to play them. They came to us and said ‘can we play you in a friendly match,’ and I told them ‘no, because we don’t have a team, but you can have our games,'” Duncan said. A friendly match is a game scheduled between two teams, like a scrimmage.

For the last three years, the club has played without a coach, and has not won a game in a year-and-a-half. They managed to score once a semester for the last two years, but last semester failed to avoid a single shutout.

In the past, other teams regarded Guilford as competitive, but this reputation has since faded away.

“We need a coach,” said Sesa Keiswetter, a senior and four-year team member. “Why can’t we have what varsity teams have? Just because we’re not varsity doesn’t mean we don’t need a coach or even a trainer to tape up our ankles when we get hurt and show us how to play the game safely.”

Keiswetter stated her frustration with recruiting efforts. The team posted flyers for an interest meeting that no one attended, she said. And attempts to get girls from other schools to play with Guilford yielded nothing.

“Nobody cares anymore. Just because I love it doesn’t make other people care, and they don’t,”

Keiswetter said about the low morale. “We used to have a lot of heart, even though we never won. We were fun to play and party with and now we’re not.”

After every game, Duncan explained, the two teams get together and party, “so when you’re drunk at three in the afternoon, you forget all the bad parts.”

She hoped to talk former players into returning this semester, but practices require lots of running, and several former players are out-of-shape smokers.

Others didn’t want to commit to rugby’s demands of pain and injury. “I fell on my head too often and got too hurt to keep playing,” said Ashley Coleman, a senior who played last Spring and part of this Fall.

The team had combined practices with John Boyd and the men’s rugby team, whose numbers have also fallen, but it didn’t do the trick. “Maybe if we had equipment and away-game expenses covered like a varsity sport, we could have kept players,” Duncan said. Players in the past footed the bills for all supplies and travel expenses.

Duncan doubts Guilford will have a women’s rugby team next fall. “Sesa [Keiswetter], Anna [Siller] and I will play with UNCG’s team this semester and next year, but it’s unlikely that Guilford will have a team again any time soon.”

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