By Jake Knoeller
Cal Poly Humboldt has a women’s rugby team for the first time since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and some conflicts with the school kept them off the field for multiple years, but they are finally practicing again.
The team has practiced a total of six times in 2023, and despite their low amount of time playing together, the connections are good within the team.
“There’s a lot of relationship growth going on since our first practice,” said head coach Catalina León. “They’re finding their love for the sport.”
The team currently has just over 10 players, but León is hoping to extend their roster to at least 20 players.
“We have a small group now, but they’ve been coming consistently,” said León. “They’re really grasping the concept of the game and the skills needed.”
The enthusiasm was clearly present as Humboldt practiced on Monday night under the lights at Redwood Bowl, joking around and getting started on warmup drills upon arrival.
“We’re happy to be back,” said centre Courtney Campuzano. “I’m excited to see how the new season is gonna be.”
Their first game is not scheduled yet, however there is speculation of some friendly games coming soon.
“We have a lot of new players so we’re gonna have some friendly games going on,” said Campuzano. “We might do a tournament in Oregon.”
The Cal Poly Humboldt women’s rugby team practices at Redwood Bowl, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, and from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.
“I encourage anyone who is interested to stop by even if you just want to learn more about the sport or team, you do not have to commit to us,” said fly-half Zelaya Ceja. “So far we have had lots of new faces that are sticking with the sport and are hungry to learn more.”
This team has a welcoming nature that is evident just from being around any of their practices.
“Community is a big part of rugby,” said Ceja. “It brings me joy knowing Humboldt women’s rugby is finally welcome back on campus.”
The first season back is viewed as a rebuild for Humboldt and the beginning of a potential-filled future.
“We’re looking forward to rebuilding the team and just hoping to have more players who enjoy working out and being part of a team sport,” said León.
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