Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BYU Rugby Memories: Adam McMurtrey

My story may stand out as unique. You see, I had never played rugby before attending BYU. The only relationship I had with rugby was that my high school English teacher had a picture on his wall of a rugby guy getting 'lit up' by another player. I thought to myself back then, "Man, that is a tough sport!!" That is probably what attracted me to it!

My older brother, Richard, joined the team my freshman year of college. I decided to join too. My athletic abilities and experience in football were paying off during conditioning. I tried out for the BYU Lacrosse team and made it. At the same time, I was practicing with the rugby team too. I wanted to play with the tough rugby guys—the BEST rugby guys, so that one day I could become the best. The decision to play rugby instead of lacrosse was an easy one, and later I realized, the best one!

Practice then was on the freshman field by the track, on the football field, and in the IPF. We practiced in the snow many times! The BYU rugby club was smaller then, but very prestigious. I was more than excited to practice every other day, and train on my own on the in-between days. That is where I met my great friend, Jacob Sohn.

We trained so hard. He couldn't stand that I was skinnier but could lift more weight and run faster than he could. He was a hard-hitting stud, and I couldn't stand that he could hit people and tackle people better than I could. Honestly, I couldn't tackle very well.

Jacob and I started to push each other. We would run sprints together on the off-days. I would push him hard in the weight room and in running sprints, not allowing him to stop until I was tired. As a result, he became one of the starting players as a forward.

Jacob had his way of pushing me too. We got together in the IPF on off-days where he coached me one on one how to tackle better. Tackling and hitting hard was a huge struggle for me. I was scared to hit people hard. But, getting tougher through Jacob's personal coaching and yelling at me, "HIT ME! HIT me!!", incredibly improved my self confidence. I began to put some muscle and tackling ability behind my athletic strength! Soon, I was playing on the JV squad during games. To me, I had come far: from zero playing experience (ever!) and little rugby skills and knowledge of the game to 100 percent involvement, skill enhancement, and knowledge of the game. I credit my improvement to Jacob, the "Polys", and the excellent coaching staff.

BYU Rugby changed my life forever, and I am SO thankful for the opportunity to join the team! What a prestigious honor!!! I gained self confidence! Man, I was playing BYU Rugby!! Incredible!! And, thanks to Sohn, I was hitting harder, running smarter, and staying strong. Thank you, BYU Rugby, for the experience of a lifetime!!! I look forward to cheer for the team in 2010 and on!

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