By Tori McKelvey
As humans, we all need an outlet. For the men on this team, rugby is their outlet... their escape from all the other bullshit.
“Shock the World!” What does ‘Shock the World’ mean to the College of Charleston Men’s Rugby team? In their own words:
“This team is not only a brotherhood, but a great unit. We have each other’s back and support on and off the field. Friendships are earned here.” — Matt Rockefeller, Forwards Captain
“To me, it’s reassurance that my team has my back, and I have theirs. We go out there to shock those who don’t care for us, but that’s where knowing my guys all play for me and I play for them.” — Logan Johnston
“Shock the world is a reminder that every time we go out to play that we’re striving to be better than we were before, to do what we’ve never done, and to show everyone else, through our actions that we’re at a good team that’s here to stay, or in short… SHOCK the world.” — Justin Wrighten
As humans, we all need an outlet. For the men on this team, rugby is their outlet... their escape from all the other bullshit. On this team, there are characters of many shapes: former and future Marines, future medical school students and other scholars. Together, they march into these games and life with nothing but support from one another. I asked many questions, and the main vibe I received was that supporting each other is everything. They have each other’s backs and never let another run alone.
“When I first joined the team, they had not won more than one game in multiple years. There was no coach, and no structure. In the past two years, we’ve dominated our competition and have now reached the Nationals small college Final 4. It’s all a representation of all the hard work, blood and torn muscles these guys have put in for this.” — Nick Shaw, Team Captain
Without support and no sponsors, money is difficult to raise. The team is completely self-funded.
I come out to watch and see if what they say matches what they do; the air is cold with faded wind, masked by the sun warming the field. There is constant communication echoing from every corner of the field. Fifteen pieces of the same brain stomp the grounds in unison. I can see it in their movements, at least, the potential next two plays flaming in their mind behind their eyes. They can only pass the ball backwards, never forward, so knowing where the teammates are around them is necessary. As one player falls with the ball in hand, the surrounding players imitate a swarm of bees flocking to protect and keep the play to their advantage. Apparently, a few of the dogs on the sidelines think the game is theirs to play, too, and they storm the field looking for some action. These guys have earned all the success they hold… and cool dogs.
On April 25-26, the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) national tournament Men's Challenge Cup takes place in the San Francisco Bay-area Town of Moraga, California. The CofC Men’s Rugby team has earned a spot on the field with their 7-2 record in regular season.
“We receive no scholarship money... no benefits of any sort. Our reward is the games we win and the guys we play with. This is our super bowl.” — Shaw
Without support and no sponsors, money is difficult to raise. The team is completely self-funded. They have created a GoFundMe page in hopes to raise money for travel and hotels. This is your chance to support your local CofC Men’s Rugby team!! We all want them there, so let’s make it happen! The common phrase may make your eyes roll, but every bit counts. Click here to keep that money ladder rising and put this team on the Nationals map.
“This championship is the culmination of all the work and sacrifice of these men. We just need a little community support to get there and represent the college and the city of Charleston on a national level.” — Shaw