The creation of Girl’s Rugby at St. John’s began with Delaney Jones ‘23 and Joana Marroquin-Aguliar ‘23. They had approached Ms. Eways, a Math teacher at St. John’s, who played rugby when she was younger. After proposing the idea to the Athletic Director Mr. Hart and Ms. Gingrich, they took the proposal to the administration.
That summer Mrs. Eways received a call saying the team was approved. Even though there was excitement, concerns were lingering beforehand. “We were worried they weren’t going to be able to support us financially and weren’t sure they would have practice times since our fields are always busy,” Ms. Eways said. The rugby team practices during the week when they have the field and on Sunday for two hours.
According to Ms. Eways a typical rugby game is 80 minutes long with two 40-minute halves. The goal of rugby is to score in the end-zone which will reward the team with 5 points. Unlike the typical game of rugby, this season each game will be a round robin with a 40-minute game against two different teams. Since there isn’t a WCAC league for girls’ rugby, they are a part of the Chesapeake Conference which will include teams from Pennsylvania to West Virginia. In general, however, the girl’s rugby team may see some familiar faces from the DMV including Alexandria City High School, West Carrol, and West End.
Right now, Girls Rugby is only considered a club, but in three years Ms. Eways hopes to create a varsity team. “Long term I would like to form a varsity and JV team,” Ms. Eways said. However, the team is just trying to focus on this season and the upcoming games. While winning is a priority, “the team is more focused on competing well in games and developing their skills,” Ms. Eways said.
For many, sports serve as a way to build confidence and make new friends and the same can be said about rugby. “ I have a lot of friends on different teams that I play against, and we are still friends off the field,” Ms. Eways said. Rugby not only builds confidence in relationships, but it’s also a very body-positive sport. “Players of all different sizes, shapes, and ability levels are not only welcome but necessary to the team,” Ms. Eways said. She additionally noted that a team of mixed body types, rather than a singular body type, allows for a very competitive and successful team. Given the welcoming environment Girls Rugby offers, the team is excited for a very successful and competitive season.