Cabrini’s rugby team gone silent

By Santino Terranova
November 1, 2021

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Photo of Cabrini’s rugby team in a game. Photo by Holly Pfanders.

 

 

 

 

Cabrini’s rugby team that was active on campus two years ago, doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The rugby team that was on campus went silent for reasons that haven’t been discussed publicly. Students on campus, unaware of what happened to the team, will remain outside of the loop of what’s going on with it. 

Erick Mendieta, former player, said, “The big factor was Covid-19 but also, another huge factor is that Ryan Pfander, since he was a senior two years ago, he was the one in charge of GroupMe, getting everybody together and the jerseys. He had all the equipment and got in contact with the school’s sports department so he would get the shuttles.”

“He’s the one that knew the ins and outs of the sport and how to register everyone. He knew what other tournaments there were so he was running the team. He would tell us he set up practices and when they were going to take place. We also had another captain, his name was Rodrigo. He’s in my grade and is an international student so because of Covid-19 he was back home,” Mendieta said.

The issues Covid-19 brought to the rugby team caused doubt in the mind of an important player whether it was safe to play. 

Mendieta explained how he got less involved with the team by getting a new phone number and no longer being part of the GroupMe.

“The big factor why the team doesn’t exist anymore is because we have no captain or no one supporting us,” he said. The team became more nonexistent by not having the proper support and leadership once Covid-19 came around. 

Mendieta said, “This would benefit Cabrini students by going out and competing in tournaments. Being able to build team leadership skills, we can work as a team in this club and overall we have a community to go to.” 

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Photo of Cabrini’s rugby team posing for a photo. Photo by Cabrini University Rugby Football Club.

Being on a team, it’s a way for students to build on their skills key to winning their teammates over and gaining trust. Students will take away many things from their experience playing on a team.

“With the team, I got a bond with my teammates that I had. At that time I was also a commuter so I didn’t know that many people on campus. Being on the team, I was able to find new friendships. That team allowed everyone to have a community to hang out and have some fun with the sport,” Mendieta said. 

The rugby team allowed students to gain friendships that were valuable and uplifting. For the students, many described it as a fun experience they became familiar with. 

Branley Batista, former player, said, “It was fun, it united us in a way. We were always supporting each other whether it was workouts or inspiring one another.”

The team was energetic about being able to help one another get better.

Batista said, “We lost our key person that stuck us all together. That was our captain who graduated and we all just fell apart. Nobody really wanted to take the captain role and when it was forced on somebody, they didn’t take the responsibility.” 

Losing a key contributor on your team, such as a captain, can be detrimental considering others won’t feel comfortable stepping up to fill the void left. The bond that was created between the team and captain, hurt the players not knowing who would take charge as the next captain.

He said, “The captain was the one that put this drive on everybody. He put everybody together to make this team and once he left, we all lost that drive to keep going. We went our separate ways.”

The team felt lost trying to figure out who would step up in the absence of their former captain. It took a toll on the team to not be active. 

“If the veteran players would get together and decide to make the effort to bring it back,” Batista said. The rugby team could make a comeback on campus easier if players that used to be part of the team held discussions about making one. Holding discussions to decide whether it’s the right thing to do for students, will give more time to think about it. 

Students on campus can rely on others that played to tell them about their experience. 

Batista said, “To be part of something great. We had a lot of people that either wanted to test it out or see it. It didn’t matter, we always stood together and played the game the best that we could.”    

The rugby team making a comeback on campus would bring its fair share of those who are interested in playing. Bringing the team back to campus, could open the door to opportunities for those that weren’t aware Cabrini once had a rugby team.

Santino Terranova

Hi, my name is Santino Terranova but you can call me Sonny! I’m from Norristown, Pa and currently a junior digital communications/social media major with a sports communications minor. I hold the Sports Editor position for The Loquitur where I oversee the sports section. I like reporting on sports content considering I’m a diehard Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers fan. A career goal of mine is to become a full-time play-by-play sports broadcaster! I love seeing the game in person and getting to call it live is a big dream of mine. A couple fun facts about me is I’m a big sneakerhead, and I went to every Philadelphia Eagles’ home game during the 2021-22 season. I also hold the Music Director position for Cabrini’s student-ran radio station which streams online only and host my own two hour weekly show with the station.

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