Over the first weekend of Block 8, Colorado College’s Cutthroat rugby team competed in nationals and placed 11th overall. On the first day they played four games, and on the second day they played two. For a sport that consists of two seven-minute halves of continuous sprinting and brutal contact, you can imagine how exhausted the team must have been at the end of the tournament.
“We had three broken bones and multiple sprains this year,” senior Madeline Abrams said. “We take 12 people to nationals so it’s incredibly stressful when some of us are injured.” But according to Abrams, once they are on the field, the team does whatever they can to play and nothing can stop them. “I kept joking that they were going to have to take me off the field in two pieces if they wanted me to take a break,” Abrams said definitively.
She continued the challenge the weekend presented for the team; “The competition stepped up this year, which was a bit of a wakeup call,” Abrams admitted. Senior Nora Holmes, who Abrams recognized as a leader and rugby star, was not able to join the team on the field because of a broken ankle.
However, Holmes was able to fly to Pittsburgh with Cutthroat to offer her support from the sidelines. “We have an amazing alumni base and they offered to fly all of the seniors to be there for nationals.” This type of generosity and sportsmanship is rare.
Aside from setbacks due to injury, Cutthroat crushed it on the field. “We’re a team that’s half underclassmen, and most of those people haven’t played rugby before,” Abrams said. “I want to give a shout out to all the rookies that got thrown into a sport which makes zero sense, and competed at a national level.”
Along with all the rookies, Abrams recognized Eliza Guion and Sophie Redpath for outstanding performances. “Eliza Guion stepped up to fill in the position of scrum half while I was injured and the other scrum half was injured,” Abrams said. “She played an absolutely amazing game of rugby. It was incredible to see her rock a position she has no experience in.”
Junior Sophie Redpath, who played through a broken rib, took some of the hardest hits Abrams has ever seen and seemed to shake them off. “When the coach subbed her in, the energy on the field went up ten times,” Abrams said with pride.
Abrams couldn’t help but reiterate how proud she was of how the team played. “We don’t care as much about how we placed, we care about how we play and how we feel as a team,” she said. “Joining rugby was one of the best decisions I’ve made at CC. It’s been such a positive and impactful thing for me over the last four years. The rugby community is so supportive and I feel so lucky to consider everyone on the team family … We just celebrated CC’s 50th year of rugby and it’s amazing to be a part of that legacy.”
While rugby has come to a close for the Cutthroat seniors, Abrams will remember this team as a highlight of her college career. She and the others will carry the lessons and love learned through this game for the rest of their lives.