A New Chapter For Girl’s Rugby

A New Chapter For Girl's Rugby

Jordan Brenot

It’s been a long and bumpy road for the Lakewood Girl’s Rugby Team this past season and a half. Last year they went through some obstacles and eventually lost their beloved coaches.

But let me start from the beginning.

Lakewood High has had girl’s rugby for many, many years. Even though they have been around for the longest time, they still don’t get equal treatment. They don’t get the gym credit. They don’t get funded by the school. They’re limited to the same amount of fundraisers as all of the other teams that are sponsored by the school. They have to pay for their referees and their own trainers, yet others teams don’t. They don’t get the athlete stickers that go on the backs of their ID’s to get into other sports games. They don’t get to use the trainer. They don’t get to use the school bus for away games. They get nothing except a varsity letter.

Oh, and lets not forget they also follow the school’s athletic eligibility protocols, but still get none of the benefits of varsity sports except a place to train.

That just takes away the feeling of being proud to be a Lakewood varsity sport.

Rugby is a sport played around the entire world. It’s even a World Cup and Olympic sport.

The girls at Lakewood High train from October to June three times a week for two hours each day. Their games are on Sundays and their biggest rival is Saint Joseph Academy.

The athletic director, for the first time in thirteen years of rugby being at the school, finally gave the coach a paycheck. It was written for three hundred dollars. All other sports from football to tennis receive compensation in the thousands range (public record – Ohio treasury.com).

Last season, rugby had the permits for the Garfield football field. Other sports including soccer, softball and even lacrosse, to name a few, had to share the field together with rugby. Rugby girls were hit with softballs, they tripped over soccer balls and more. Lakewood does not even have a lacrosse team, but yet they had a permit! But if they did, they’d have to share the field too. A football field is about 360 feet if you include the end zones. If you divide 360 by the three sports that had to share the field, each team only got 120 feet of field to work with.

Latest in news, Lakewood’s head coach was falsely accused and after an investigation, cleared of wrong doing, of bullying and hazing. He was pulled from the team just as they qualified to compete in the State Championship, even the four assistant coaches were told they were not to return. A coaching staff with 13 years of experience and various State Titles and even three National appearances in the championship final, was removed with no proof of wrongdoing. The girls coached themselves in the lead-up to the State championship relying on the foundations that their head coach had laid. It paid off and alone, they finished second in the State to the now current National Champions, St. Joes. All without their beloved coaches being there to see their victory. They were devastated!

Even though their coaches were cleared of wrongdoing, they have not been allowed to return to guide this amazing squad. This year, Lakewood Girl’s Rugby sees a whole new coaching staff thus starting a whole new chapter in the life of our girl’s rugby program. In the words of their beloved ex-head coach, “Its about the journey, not the wins and losses, stick together, fight together, support each other and the rest will fall into place

There has been no word of a boy’s team starting back up again soon. Sorry boys.