By: Louisa Woltermann
The University of Findlay’s rugby team, created in 2011, brings women together both as a club and as a sport. Kaitlyn McCann, rugby president, says her favorite part of being involved in rugby is the unity.
“I have bonded with the girls on this team more than I ever did in any other sport,” said McCann. “And because it is so physical, it pushes you to do things you might not have thought you would be able to do.”
Club sports at UF were developed in the fall of 2011. According to the University’s website, club sports were established on campus so that all students could promote and develop their interests and skills in a particular sport. Club sports at UF can be classified as instructional, recreational, and/or competitive.
These teams can practice two to three times during the week and may also compete on the weekends while in season. Club sports are also able to attend regional and national tournaments.
The UF women’s rugby team is made up of approximately 25 women who are registered to play.
The rugby team accepts women of all different shapes and sizes. The only requirements for joining the team are that the women are in good academic standing and that they attend at least one practice each week according to McCann.
“Rugby is a very take you as you are sport,” said McCann. “So I don’t think we have ever turned anybody away and I don’t think that’s going to change.”
Alesha Blake, rugby treasurer, has been on the rugby team for five years. Blake explains that her interest in the sport stemmed from wanting to make new friends. When she received the rugby recruitment email she was excited to get involved.
Rugby is not only a sport at UF, it is also a club. Members are able to be players on the field as well as hold positions of leadership within the club. McCann holds the title of rugby president and also plays as hooker and flank on the field.
Blake states that leadership opportunities are not the only thing she appreciates about the sport.
“We’re a big family,” said Blake. “We’re there for each other whether it’s a good day or a bad day, if we’ve won or if we’ve lost. We are just very close knit.”
“It’s a different dynamic than the other sports that I’ve played,” said McCann. “It’s very much so relying on your entire team.”
Samantha Ponczoch, a freshman rugby player at UF, says joining the club was a good move for her.
“I suggest [freshmen] join the team,” said Ponczoch. “As long as they are willing to do a lot of hard work and be physical.”
To follow along with the rugby team, join its fan page on Facebook at UF Women’s Rugby Fan Page.
By: Dylan DeWitt
Without a surprise, two athletic teams continue to show their dominance, and make their mark on the nation’s best competition.
These two teams are the University of Findlay men’s track and field team along with the men’s basketball team. Both teams are inside the top 11 teams in the entire nation. Men’s basketball is ranked 11th, and men’s track and field is ranked sixth in the polls. The two Oiler athletic teams sustain a resume of excellence this winter season. This says the least about what these two teams have been able to accomplish thus far.
Men’s track and field is a top-ten team in the nation for multiple reasons. Not only is the team a dominant presence at invites and meets, but through individual efforts as well. Austin Combs has been a highlight through his weight throwing abilities. The Junior and Findlay, Oh. Native has become one of the best throwers in the nation. He currently ranks second in all of the Division II rankings for throwing.
One of his teammates is not that far from him either and he too is helping the Oiler throwers be nationally recognized. Dequan Lovell, a junior from Bridgetown, Barbados, is ranked seventh best in the nation for his throwing efforts.
Aside from the throwers, a few other track and field athletes have represented the Oilers well. Trey Everett, a former GLIAC champion of the heptathlon and national championship qualifier, has been able to stand out once again this season. He is currently ranked fourth for his point total in the event for Division II. Along with these three athletes, George Effah and Martin Etsey have had continued success. Both natives of Ghana, Effah is ranked fourth in the nation for the 400m and Etsey is ranked seventh for the triple jump event.
Going from Koehler’s indoor facility to Croy Gymnasium, the 11th ranked men`s basketball team has been a part of a historical tradition once again. Although recently having their 16 game win streak snapped in a loss against the Malone Pioneers, Oiler basketball has been electrifying all season. The team has even been able to bounce back after suffering an injury to Starter Taren Sullivan. In a game against Kentucky Wesleyan, Sullivan suffered an ankle injury that has been reported to be minor and have a two to three week recovery period.
The Oilers have been strong from all fascists of the game and have clinched at least a share of the GMAC championship title for the regular season. They have also been able to compile a 21-3 record, and a 15-1 record in conference play. With another 20 wins on the season, it marks the 16th time in 17 seasons that the men`s basketball program has been able to have a 20 plus win season.
Both teams still have the opportunity to compete more this regular season before the postseason begins.
The men’s basketball team has their four remaining games that go until Feb. 24th. After that, starting March 1st, the GMAC championships will begin. For men’s track and field, their next event will take them to Grand Valley State University for a two-day event. The seasons continue on, and so does the success of Oiler Athletics.
By: Markell McCoy
The Oilers Club works behind the scenes of athletics as the official booster club for sports at the University of Findlay. However, not everyone might understand what the club does behind the scenes in support of more than 600 athletes.
Associate Athletic Director for Development and Business at the University, Jim Givens says the Oilers Club helps supporters such as alumni, family members, and friends connect to UF athletes.
“Our mission is to ‘inspire student-athletes to become motivated, well balanced and successful’ and without financial support, it would not be possible,” said Givens.
He explains the Oiler Club is not a new organization. It has been around for over 20 years. Before the specific group ‘Oilers Club’ was in existence, there was a similar, yet smaller, booster club called Varsity F. The reason for expansion was to include more members.
The athletic department is always looking for new members to join the club. Like most groups, social media is the largest used platform to raise awareness for the Oilers Club. In addition to social media, information about Oilers Club is advertised at all athletic events.
Givens explains that all gifts are accepted, but in order to qualify for benefits, there is a minimum gift amount.
“Any gift to the Oilers Club qualifies one to be a member. Benefits begin with a $50 gift,” Givens said.
Oilers Club member benefits have a wide range of possibilities. From recognition in game programs, to qualifying to have lunch with the coach of their sport of choice, to season passes, Oilers Club members reap many benefits. Givens says members of the club join for various reasons. He also states why he manages the club.
“Overseeing the Oilers Club was very important to me early in my career because it provided an avenue to establish and maintain relationships with donors or potential donors,” explained Givens. “Also, I understood the importance of the financial component. Those two elements inspired me to become as involved as possible.”
Givens says the Oilers Club helps all student-athletes to succeed in obtaining the ideal ‘championship experience’ as all sports are supported through the gift donations.
If you would like to join the Oilers Club or just read more information, see http://athletics.findlay.edu/oilers_club/Oilers_Club_Brochure_Web.pdf.