Belle Rugby takes part in new league

Summer session opens new opportunities

By Austin Vandiver
On February 2, 2017

Contributed by Rambelle Rugby

Rambelle Rugby players were selected to play for the Lone Star Women’s Rugby Conference All-Stars, set to compete summer of 2017.

With much success achieved in the 2016 season, many Belle rugby players are being recognized as All-Stars of the LSWC and will be able to showcase their abilities in Southern California at a national tournament, the Champagne Classic.

This will be the introductory year of the LSWC All-Stars, which gives the Belle team an opportunity no other women in the LSWC has acquired.

"I couldn’t think of a better ending to my rugby career than being a part of the first ever Texas Women’s All-Star team," Shyann Rainey, senior, said.

The women are currently going through a series of tryouts to assess each individual’s skill set, in a game-like environment.

"The process has honestly been very stressful," Aspen Escamilla, junior, said. "The series of tryouts is similar to levels in a video game. If you didn’t make it past the first tryout, then you couldn’t come back."

A rugby roster consists of 23 to 25 players and, although no spots have been confirmed, 10 Belles have made it past the first couple rounds of tryouts.

A tough journey isn’t holding the Belle players back. Each is ambitious for the honor to represent themselves and their school at this level of play.

"I originally wanted to do it because it was going to be such a prestigious thing," Escamilla said. "It seemed like it was going to be a fun and difficult process to make it."

Rainey believes the process will enhance the team’s talents and also serve as an excellent recruitment tool for years to come.

The commissioner of the LSC and LSWC, Shayne Roberson along with two coaches from UNT, commenced the creation of the women’s All-Star team.

Although this is an inaugural season for the women, a men’s all-star team was started back in 2015 and has continued to grow as the men have traveled to the Grand Cayman Islands and Canada in the past two years.

"Due to the feedback and success of the men’s team we have decided to make this a continual staple of the Lone Star Rugby Conference season and planning," Roberson said. "The initial team was selected throughout the season by way of coaches’, player identification and there were invitations to selected players throughout the season."

The goal for the LSC and LSWC is to increase the level rugby is played here in Texas. Roberson also hopes to improve this pathway for the best players in college rugby.

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