Club sports focus: Rugby

Charles Grove, Sports Writer

It’s been three years since the Wright State men’s club rugby team won a state title, but pieces of the team remain, and players like Jake Schumm are determined to get the program back to where it was.

“Last season we only won one game,” Schumm said. “But this year we expect as a team to win our conference and make the Division III playoffs.”

Men’s rugby plays a four game fall schedule. There will be games against Wittenberg (Oct. 6), Cedarville (Oct. 13), and finally Ohio State before the playoffs begin. The team defeated Eastern Kentucky two weeks ago 29-17.

Schumm is looking forward to an Oct. 6 matchup in Springfield (OH) against Wittenberg, who he considers a rival.

“I’ve never lost to Wittenberg and I don’t ever plan on it,” Schumm said.
On the women’s side, Tinu Daboiku (Jr.) is hoping the fall season prepares the team for the spring tournaments.

“We’re looking to build a base for our spring season,” Daboiku said. “We’re a few weeks into our season, as well, and the goal is to get better every game.”

Daboiku is also looking forward to playing Marshall.

“My cousin plays on that team, so I want to take her down,” Daboiku joked.

The women’s team needs more players. They had to forfeit their first two games this fall after not being able to field an entire team. But a lack of players hasn’t stopped WSU from continuing to scrimmage other squads from around the area.

Daboiku considers rugby to be one of the most exciting things she’s ever participated in.

“The games are exciting,” Daboiku said. “The first game I ever played in was in the pouring rain at Ball State, and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. It’s a really awesome way to take out my stress.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the rules of rugby, the game takes the non-stop action of soccer and the physicality of American football to make, as Daboiku calls it, “a beautiful confusion of football and soccer.”

Forward passes are illegal in rugby and teams are only allowed to use lateral passes or kicks to advance the ball. Players also cannot block for teammates. Teams score by touching the ball down on the ground of the opposing team’s end zone for a “try.” Afterwards, the team is awarded a free kick from that same line on the field for an additional two points. Teams can also score by booting the ball through the uprights at any time during the game for three points by using a dropkick.

But what drives both the men’s and women’s teams isn’t a shared knowledge of rugby: it’s the kinship they have with teammates.

“I had a couple of buddies that played for DART (Dayton Area Rugby Team),” Bobby Hammons (So.) said. I had played soccer all my life, but they wanted me to try out so I did.”

Both teams are still looking for new members. If you’re interested in either team, you’re invited to email Jake Schumm at schumm.15@wright.edu or Tinu Daboiku at daboiku.2@wright.edu.

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