Could Rugby Come To Liberty?


The idea of a rugby team has been bounced around by Coach Skelly for the past few years now, but with newly reinvigorated support, this time it might go through.

Now you may be asking, what is rugby? Rugby is a sport that started around 1845 and served as the basis for both American football and soccer. The sport  took on its modern form in 1892. A game takes 80 minites of play time, but is split into halves of 40 minutes with a 10 minute break in between.

The teams consist of 15 players on the field and 7 substitute players. After switching out, a player may only return if they were treated for an injury. To tackle a player you must grab below shoulder height and pull the other player to the ground. The team will not officially be coed however females could sign up.

“I’m hoping to start the club, and to gain interest for the following year,” said Coach Glenn Skelly when asked about the club.

The current plan Coach Skelly is following will allow the team to use the freshman field this upcoming fall season. “At the moment the only thing holding the club back is administration’s final approval,” said coach Skelly on the subject. 

Activities Director Coach Dean Spahr added “We are still reviewing Mr. Skelly’s proposal, its really still new.”

One of the issues that Coach Spahr mentioned as a possible hurdle is the problem of scheduling the use of the fields.  “ We have got to see if there is room (field space),” he explained.

In the process of creating the possible rugby club, the first step was gathering a list of individuals that would show interest in the prospect of a team. 

One athlete on this list who helped gather names was sophomore Connor Mahek who said “I think it would be fun and different,” when asked why he wanted to create this team at Liberty.

Coach Skelly has  plans to go to a rugby coaching conference over the summer to help refine his skill for the possible new team.

Christopher Richards, who also helped get signatures to show interest, said “I’m excited to try something new, I heard it’s physical and fun, so why not try it out?”  

Multiple students have shown interest in the club, to the delight of Coach Skelly. “The hope for the team will be to create a long-lasting program that will help students develop socially, physically, and mentally. This will be through tough practices, competitive matches, and building team unity,” said coach Skelly.

If you have an interest in joining the rugby club (if approved), contact  Coach Skelly. He is always looking for more people.