BY MIKEY BARNES
Saturday, Oct. 24, was not just homecoming for the students of the University of Mary Washington, it was a very special day for the men and women rugby teams, as well as the rest of the athletic department at Mary Washington.
At 12:30 p.m., after the women’s rugby team played a friendly match against its alumni, players, fans, parents, faculty and students surrounded the center of the Battleground Complex, as Mary Washington’s brand new rugby field had its opening ceremony and its dedication. The Rugby field portion of the Battleground complex, which still waits on the new track to be completed in the spring, was dedicated in honor of long-time Mary Washington faculty member, Doc Warner.
The field has a state-of-the art Bermuda grass surface that includes an innovative drainage and sprinkler system. The field is considered much safer and meets all the requirements for high-level competitive play, in which the former field did not. With the new field, a tiered brick and grass seating area, which Athletic Director Ken Tyler referred to as, “both functional and very pleasing”, accompany it. The project for the field was eight years in the planning and was officially approved by the administration last year.
The field will not be used just as a rugby field according to Tyler, it will also serve
purpose to campus intramural sports, various club sports and recreational play. With the field being dedicated and the women’s team playing a friendly match, the men’s team was able to compete on their brand new field after the ceremony. The men’s rugby team or better known as Mother’s Rugby, played the University of Richmond and defeated them in a dominating fashion by a score of 84-14.
Senior Sean Amico, a member of the men’s rugby team, is very excited himself about the new field. “Being a senior, it’s awesome to get to play my last games on a brand new, beautiful field. It really shows us all the support the administration is giving us and gives me confidence for growth in the future,” Amico said. “We can now use this as a recruiting tool and as an outlet to hold more national camps or tournaments. Having facilities of this level has drawn the national attention we want.”
The field will be in limited use for the remainder of the semester, but will be in full use come next spring. The University and Tyler are very excited to see the what comes of the field. “Any time we can add a facility of this, it speaks to our commitment to providing a first-class experience for ours students,” Tyler said. “It is part of the overall excellence at the University of Mary Washington.”