Men’s rugby club welcomes new leadership

There is a new set of faces leading the men’s rugby club.

Annually, John Brown University’s men’s rugby club has brought in new leadership to begin the spring semester. The three positions of leadership within the club—captain, president and game warden—were voted upon at the end of last semester.

“Our tradition is to have dinner together,” center Eric Seevers said. “We come together and we do voting for the new spots for leadership. All the spots are open. We take nominations and then vote as a team.”

Last semester, the spots were filled with fly half Chris Dye as captain, forward,Brad Johnson as president and Seevers as game warden. After voting over their annual dinner, the spots were filled by first center Marcus Ciccarello as captain, wing Lucas Johnson as president and forward Josef Azbec as game warden.

“I voted for all the people who are currently in leadership. They’re all wonderful,” tight head prop Zach Bower said.

As captain, Ciccarello is in charge of leading practices and gameplay. He is known among his teammates to be knowledgeable about the game of rugby while also having a passion that carries over to the members of his team. Ciccarello’s teammates also pointed out that he has a knack for helping the team focus on playing first for Christ and second for their brothers.

“He’s a very determined person,” Bower said. “He’ll push us, but he also understands when we can’t be pushed any further. He pushes us right to the sweet spot.”

The soft-spoken Johnson is the club president, who manages the club’s relationship with the public. Johnson could be described as Ciccarello’s flip side, but that does not mean that he is not a leader. Scrum half Caleb LaBelle described Johnson as more of a quiet leader who lets his  game and the way he carries himself speak for themselves.

“He’s not always the most vocal person, but he leads by the way he acts on the pitch and how hard working he is,” LaBelle said. “You see that on the rugby field, but also in his academics and in everything he does in life. He’s a good role model for the rest of the guys on the team.”

The title of game warden is now touted upon Azbec, who will be in charge of preparing the field for games. Azbec was already exercising his leadership skills as an R.A. in Walker Hall when he received the title. Seevers expressed that passing off responsibilities to him has been done with little difficulty.

“He’s picked it up really well,” he said. “He’s been a strong leader on the team when he’s been with us.”

This semester, the club’s new leadership has been working together to create a Christ-centered atmosphere for the club. The team is confident that they will have success under the new leadership. Seevers, who is graduating, said he is fully confident leaving the club in the hands of Ciccarello, Johnson and Azbec.

“These guys will do a great job of leading the team, taking them where they need to go and keeping the tradition strong,” he said. “I’m excited for them.”