Women’s rugby stars bring home championship from Florida

Halleigh Hawkins, Reporter

The Wayne State women’s rugby team had great representation at the second annual National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO), which took place in St. Petersburg, FL on Jan. 19-20.

Six girls from WSC were selected to play for the Prairie States team. There are 12 regional teams from across the United States that select players from different schools to participate in this tournament.

Of the 13 women on the Prairie States team, there were six selections from WSC, including Anna Fleecs, Brook Hoesing, May Hoesing, Kennedy Jones, Lauren Nelson, and Selma Taylor. To get on the team, these athletes had to try out and exhibit their individual skills, including a fitness test, which consisted of testing different distances to exhibit speed, agility, and passing drills to test communication skills.

“I am expecting harder competition than 15’s season (in FL) because sevens is more common, so people obviously play it more or only play sevens,” Jones said. “I think teams will be pretty good down there.”

The Prairie States team performed impressively in their first match early Saturday morning, shutting out South Sunset 34-0. That same afternoon, they offered another shutout, defeating Lone Star 24-0. Prairie States concluded Saturday by defeating Ohio 27-10, advancing to the semifinal game on Sunday.

Sunday was a successful day for the Prairie States squad, as they took home the NSCRO Championship. They started out the day by defeating Mid Atlantic 17-5 in the semifinal game. For the championship, Prairie States faced the defending champions, South, and defeated them 25-7.

“It was really crazy (getting to play in the championship) because we only practiced together twice, but we all clicked so well,” Brook Hoesing said. “It wasn’t hard to work off each other on the field. It was odd to have a new coaching style from our normal one, but the chemistry we had with the girls made up for it. Defense was definitely a problem at the beginning, but it clicked during the semifinal game and we pushed through from there, only giving up three tries the whole tournament.”

Having experienced players on the team and working together through different issues on the field helped the Prairie States team “click” and bring home the championship.