Rugby Grows in Popularity at CHS, in the United States




The women’s rugby team starts its season tomorrow with its first game at noon at the American Legion, located in Carmel on West Main Street.

Sophomore Maria Bashmakov said the team has played several short matches by attending a Jamboree in preparation for tomorrow’s game.

“(Jamborees) are helpful with game experience even though they’re short matches. They’re also a lot of fun and it’s great to see the other teams,” Bashmakov said.

This year, the women’s rugby team has been training since Jan. 20.  In addition, Bashmakov said the team has talked about training between their main seasons, the fall and spring, to keep the team’s abilities strong.

Head Women’s Rugby Coach, Rusty Skoog, has been unavailable for comment.

According to senior Peyton Barr, preseason training has been going well and the new coaches have enhanced the team’s game.

“It’s all about learning and making sure the new players are familiar with the game, “ Barr said.

When practices began in January, they were held inside and often consisted of conditioning as well as physical playing time. Bashmakov said that practices usually start with an intense warm up followed by activities that reinforce the basics and are designed to help out new team members.

However, as January ended, the team moved practices outside and began incorporating more running into its practices.

Bashmakov said she works out and participates in all-star and nearby clubs during the offseason, which keeps her in shape and makes the transition from spring to fall simple. However, the transition from fall to spring is more difficult, she said, due to the weather.

“Our coach recommends that we condition outside of practice,” Barr said. “But rugby to most of us is about having fun and playing on a team full of people that we love.”

“This year we have more coaches that are working us a lot harder than last year. We have two new female coaches. One is an alumni of the Carmel Rugby Program, and she supports and helps us during practices,” Bashmakov said. “The second coach is brand new to rugby. She has been in charge of our warm-ups at the beginning of practice, ranging from over a hundred jump squats to over a hundred crunches. She’s also disciplining us more than we’re used to. Overall, it’s a positive change that we’re excited to have this season and we look forward to the outcome.”

Last year, according the Bashmakov, was one of the better seasons, and the team had a good record.

Bashmakov also said the team lost some valuable players this year, but she thinks that they will make up for it with the effort they have been putting into getting ready for the season.

“We were very close to making semi-finals,” Bashmakov said. “This year with our new coaches, I’m expecting an increase in our endurance and ability, resulting in a better end of season result.”