When most people think of rugby, an image of some sort of hybrid, highly intense, sporting experience typically comes to mind; and the truth of the matter is that this generalization is actually pretty accurate. Rugby, as it originated in England, is gaining popularity, as it has spread to become mainly popular in other European nations, Australia, and New Zealand.
Recently, this sport has been introduced to this little corner of the world, as the Clark County Warriors, a new team of high schoolers, has formed a rugby team and are bringing more attention and awareness to this sport
The team is made up of students from many different backgrounds most are off-season football players; students from schools all over Clark County but mainly Camas, Evergreen, Heritage, and Fort Vancouver compose this group.
Jack Kelly, a senior player on the team depicted the morale of the group, explaining that; “We are a very close knit group of guys even though we all come from very different backgrounds. There is definitely an element of family that exists on our team.”
Camas High School used to have a rugby team, but not enough people signed up so it was disbanded, hence the the creation of the Clark County Warriors. The team, coached by Aisea Vailea, allows the game of rugby to be accessible to the students of Clark county. The Warriors play in the Club Division of the Rugby Oregon league.
Kelly was generous enough to give a more indepth explanation of this new sport, explaining the nature of the athletic activity:
“Putting it in simple terms, it’s like football without pads. It is a full contact sport where backwards passes and then runs are made until the it is brought into the “endzone” for a try worth 5 points and then if a kicked conversion is made, 2 points are added on for a total of 7 points. In Rugby you are given a position, but you need to be good at everything such as offense, defense, running the ball, kicking, and most importantly tackling! It is much faster paced than football because there are less dead balls and you basically play the whole game unless you are subbed out like soccer.”
For anyone looking to get involved with this new sport, while the Clark County Warriors are not a co-ed team, there are groups of girl’s rugby, and it is open to anyone wanted to join or learn this engaging sport!
As a community, it is so neat to see all of these new sports, such as rugby and lacrosse, gaining popularity in the Pacific Northwest, and hopefully one day Camas High School will be able to boast a rugby team of their own once again.
If you would like to cheer on the Clark County Warriors, watch for local postings about the locations and times, or ask one of the players listed below.
Clark County Warriors Rugby Team: