ACU Rugby took on international competition for the first time when they competed and defeated the Gananes Chihuahuan team from Mexico, 55-5.
The team was hoping to host the team on campus, but had complications securing a field. As a result, the rugby team traveled to El Paso to take on the international team.
Adrian Escobedo, team chaplain of the rugby club, said the team took on a level of professionalism in all aspects of their life from athletics to school.
“The way we prepared as a team and club stuck out to me,” Escobedo said. “It all started during the weeks before the game, the squad knew the level of focus and intensity that was expected of us to perform well. During school we had to make sure we managed our work and tests in order to make practice. We made sacrifices to our social life by practicing everyday leading up to the game.”
Upon their arrival, the team led a rugby camp of 100 middle schoolers and then attended a chiropractic session as well as locker room meeting prior to the game.
“During the game, what stuck out to me the most was the energy and fearlessness of each player ready to give it all for each other,” Escobedo said.
Moving forward, Escobedo said they are always looking for ways to improve, but for now they are focusing on knowledge of the game, basic plays, fitness and recruiting.
Two years ago when the team started, only two of the players had experience. Now, Escobedo said a majority of the players have at least one season under their belt.
“ACU rugby mens and womens has made remarkable improvements like number of players, skill and on and off campus impacts,” Escobedo said. “Building off of a good foundation has been a blessing. Each semester we continue to strive for more.”
The men’s team is 3-4 this season, but has played just four games since the start of 2018. The Wildcats are scheduled to play the University of Texas-Paso April 14.