Through the eyes of a freshman rugby player


Jamie Bass, Staff Reporter

Committing to play a sport in college is a choice that all student athletes have made. In the beginning of that commitment, there can be an adjustment period where players adapt to schedules and team dynamics. 

Grayce O’Farrell is a freshman at CWU majoring in business administration. From Anchorage, Alaska, she’s been playing rugby since her freshman year of high school. She has enjoyed her time so far playing for CWU.

“The culture of the team. They’re really a family and they allow mistakes and for people to be their own person instead of trying to make everybody the same person and have the same type of athlete,” O’Farrell said. “There’s a lot of diversification on the team and it’s amazing.” 

However, this team dynamic took time to develop. O’Farrell described adjustments in coaching with new head coach Matthew Ramirez as well as adjustments within the team. 

“I think he’s had a lot thrown at him and he’s very stressed. So I think as much as it’s a learning curve for me it’s also a learning curve for him, so I don’t know how the coaching style is gonna go,” O’Farrell said. “He’s doing pretty dang good for his first year, like I don’t know if I would be able to handle 29 girls.”

As far as learning how to work together as a team, there was adjustment with how to work together on the field at a D1 level.

“We hadn’t really bonded and newcomers weren’t really bonding with the upperclassmen so we didn’t have that family aspect. So it was really hard getting over that little bump,” O’Farrell said. “But now that we have that aspect I get excited to go to practice even though I know that I’m gonna be beating my body up for two and a half hours.” 

O’Farrell described full days with multiple practices and training times from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with breaks for class and homework. 

”It is a full time job and a lot of people don’t realize that,” O’Farrell said. “But it’s definitely worth it. I would not give up my opportunity to be playing at Central for anything and I’m very grateful to be here.” 

In spite of the demanding schedule, O’Farrell said she has enjoyed her first year at CWU.

“It is where I am happiest. I don’t know my life without rugby,” O’Farrell said. “I am the happiest and in the best mood even if it’s the worst conditioning day and I don’t want to do it at all. I’m happiest when I’m on the field. I wouldn’t give it up.”