WATCH: Kent State’s rugby team




Video by Malena Caruso | TV2 News

It wasn’t an easy journey but one that was long and hard fought.

The Kent State rugby team worked its way to a top-25 ranking in the nation and a trip to Elkhart, Indiana to battle for a shot at the Nationals. The team was 5-2 this fall before they headed to Elkhart.

It’s been 20 years since a Kent State rugby team has made it as far as this year’s team.

The team and their supporters believe that this trip is long overdue.

One fan, the mother of a player, was excited to be at the Moose Rugby Grounds despite the cold weather.

“It’s really wonderful because it’s the first time they’ve even gained any notoriety for their rugby team. But to be here is phenomenal.”

Not only was the Kent State rugby team going through a transition, senior Jon Journay also made a change.

“I went to Hillsdale College, which is in Michigan. It’s a Division II school and I started off playing football for them.”

Jon transferred to Kent State to play football and was promised walk-on status. When his football plans fell through, he ended up on a different field.

A friend introduced Jon to rugby a year after arriving at Kent State.

“When I quit doing football, I found John B. and he introduced me to rugby.”

Jon’s favorite part about rugby is the physical contact. He believes that a player has to have a certain mentality to make it on the rugby field.

The team chants a quote from Conan The Barbarian before they take the field battle.

“You kind of have to have that mentality of being just like a warrior, going out there and hitting with no pads, out there in the freezing cold. You’ve got to be able to take the beatings, the bruises, and the cheat-shots,” said Journay.

The team ended their journey finishing 4th in the Midwest.

“This sport just brings you closer together.” said Journay. “By going out there and fighting battles with your teammates, with your best friends. It’s worth it though. In my mind, I think it’s worth it.”