The Spring Hill College rugby team has experienced substantial growth with the aid and support from the college and the community.
On Saturday, students and family were at Dorn Field to support the Badgers during their match against the Auburn Tigers. Prior to the start of the game, students filled their social media feeds with upcoming tailgating festivities in support of the team.
Spring Hill College’s match with Auburn resulted in a loss of 31-14, but the lingering support of fans helped preserve the team’s morale.“The support of the students and staff here is so overwhelming,” senior Danny Conners said. “You would never even know this is a club team.”
As a club team, the Spring Hill College rugby team is sponsored by the college. However, they do not receive funding from the NCAA like collegiate sport teams.
“Even though we might be a club sport, we still wear the Spring Hill College name and colors,” Head coach Phil Dembowski said. “So we’ve got to play as if we are representing the school as a whole.”
Dembowski finds that within the team, the same passion and support can be passed from player to player. He describes this phenomenon as “the bug.”
“Once one player gets the bug for the sport, it spreads among all the other players, and it really brings the club together,” Dembowski said.
According to the official rugby club page, SHC’s facilities provide professional training environments for the players to develop their skills. Dembowski shared that the athletic director of the college is also very helpful. Support from alumni funding has also financed many overnight rugby trips.
Founded in 1969, Spring Hill’s rugby team has continued to compete with many colleges and universities throughout the years with continued support from the faculty, students and staff.
For more information about the rugby team and upcoming games, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SpringHillCollegeRugbyClub/.