The rugby team travelled over 300 miles to St. Louis to attend the NSCRO Mid-Central Qualifier. In Round 32, the team lost to University of Southern Indiana 35 to 5. With just a few minor injuries, the rugby team played their hardest against the university.
“It was good and we all fought,” Braden Hildebrand, a freshman who tore his ACL at the game, said. “We had a few injuries. We ended up losing but we played pretty well.”
The rugby team advanced to that 32nd round of the national tournament by beating Wayne St. 38-21 and Pitt St. 12-10. With these two wins, the JBU Rugby team became Mid-American champions.
The NSCRO is the National Small College Rugby Organization that gives small college rugby clubs the opportunity to compete for the Small College National Championships, stated the website.
“There are nine hundred colleges that play rugby for women and men,” Darrin Barner, coordinator of the Mid-American Ruby Football Union, said. “It is the fastest growing sport in the United States. Most teams practice twice a week. It’s a combination of football, soccer and basketball. It is a high intensity contact sport that is appealing to raw athletes. It will be in the Olympics in 2016 and the NFL is starting to draft professional rugby players from overseas due to physicality and competitiveness.”
John Brown competed against schools from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. They will play regular season games until late October.
“Rugby is more of a brotherhood than a team,” Hildebrand said. “It was really good to hang out with my brothers on the team.”