Nationals: A second chance

30 10 2009

As I said in my last post, the Angels have a blog for their trip to Nationals. After you read this, I ask that you visit that blog over the next week or so. The posts are starting to come in, and I’ll put two or more up each day. I think you’ll get to read some very wonderful things about a great group of women working towards our goal.

While some of us might post more than once, the Coach gave each member of the team an “assignment” – a topic to write about. They vary from a Top Ten list, to Balance, whether you’d prefer a Big Hit or an Awesome Try… Ten in all. And each post will be categorized based on the topic.

This was my assignment, we’re tagging it Insight: “As a veteran player on the team, this is your second trip to nationals.  How is this championship going to be different than the one in 2006?  What are the biggest differences between the 2006 team and the 2009 team? What does this year’s opportunity mean to you?”

I may write more here about this soon, but here is my post. It’s here and on the Angels Chalk Talk today.


If someone had told me in 1993 when I entered college, that I would take a chance as a non-athlete and play rugby at Ohio U, eventually become a captain and a player-coach and fall in love with the game? I wouldn’t have believed them.

If they’d have then told me that I’d leave the sport & come back because there was something missing in my life and rugby was it, I’d have laughed out loud.

But that’s what happened, and in 2002 I joined the Pittsburgh Angels.

If they’d told me in 2002 that I’d eventually become not only a part of an organization that is a family in many ways, but also a leader for an organization such as this, or part a team that would eventually obtain THREE Midwest Championships in my time and go to Nationals twice while I was playing? I would have told them they were insane. But wow, am I glad I’m here now.

Since 2002, so many things have changed on this team:

– We are no longer an individual team standing alone. We are now a part of the Pittsburgh Rugby Club. Where we are supported by our men’s side and support them as well.
– We are no longer a few women playing with college girls at Pitt. We are now women who play with women, recent college grads or collegians that choose to play with us!
– We are older, some of us more than we’d like to admit or acknowledge. But we’ve recently gotten a huge influx of younger girls that makes my old heart happy.
– We have gone through 3-4 or more coaches, and now have a coach who is so dedicated to us I can’t even wrap my mind around it. I honestly remember a time where I had to find us a coach and I had no idea what to do. Not a clue.

The fight has been hard. And it’s been long. But the Angels have been fighting since before I joined in 2002. While we may not have been as freaking fantastic as we are now, we’ve always been a team of women fighting to better our game. Achieve more. I am so proud of this team.

In 2006 when we won Midwests and were going to Nationals, I almost didn’t go. I managed it, and I can tell you now that I really didn’t know what I was going into. Besides some of our teammates who played for Penn State, I’m not sure the rest of us knew what we’d gotten ourselves into.


We didn’t do poorly, but we didn’t do as well as we hoped. We ended up 3rd in the Nation. We weren’t overly happy with the result, but overall we were okay when we got home.

But now? It’s different. It’s so very different.

We were not the team then that we are now. We are a lot of the same people, but NOT the same team.

This team? This team knows what the hell is going on. And we know what we are getting ourselves into, are intent on overcoming whatever comes our way.

I’ve said I’m old, and I am. And as an administrator, and having much to do now & over the years, this season really got away from me for many reasons, and I didn’t apply myself as much as I should have…

I took over the running the Midwest Championships because of the love for my teammates. That and being able to run touch made me unable to play. And when we won? I was so happy. But I was also so incredibly sad.

Once I heard what it would take to get me to Houston, I was devastated. I’m unemployed. Not just one job, but two jobs unemployed. It’s not fun here, folks.

However, I’ve been given one of the best gifts & opportunities in my life. I’m going to Houston. I will be there with the rest of my Angels.

And I’ll be damned if I waste it. I promise those of you who know why & what I’m talking about… I WILL NOT waste this. Not for a hot second.

I’m in it to win it. You have no freaking idea.

We can do this.