Quite a few fans braved the chilly weather for the opening night of WCHS girls rugby. Wrapped in blankets and coats, they were not disappointed Thursday at Nunley Stadium.
An aggressive offense by the WCHS Lady Pioneer rugby team, led to two scores in the first 15 minutes, 10-0, against Spring Hill’s Lady Raiders. With a lot of depth and a lot of effort, the Lady Pioneers held the early lead throughout the rest of the contest for the win.
“It was a great team effort and I’m very proud of all the players,” said WCHS rugby head coach George Smartt. “We had 34 girls show up, and we played them all. Our starters were only in for the first 15 minutes and then we started rotation. Everyone got to play. Even when our backs were against the wall and they were knocking on the door at the goal line, we didn’t substitute and they held up and fought hard keeping the game a shutout.”
“The crowd was also tremendous and we definitely had the home team advantage which gave us a lot of support,” said Smartt. “I would be hard-pressed to single out any players specifically as everyone poured their all into this win.”
Warren County was definitely put to the test, as the Lady Raiders wouldn’t give up, attacking up field with even more intensity as the game clock wound down. Several goal-line stands were made by the Lady Pioneers to keep the lead as the two teams would scrum at least a dozen times during game play.
Offensively, the Lady Pioneers dominated, working great from the sidelines by winning most of the lineouts. They advanced the ball through some tough running, passing and kicking a few grubbers to boot.
Defensively, tackling like warriors, the Lady Pioneer defense would deter every effort the Lady Raiders made toward a try.
Warren County couldn’t convert extra points on any of its two tries, as they both occurred in the corners making for a tough kicking angle.
Members of the WCHS girls rugby team are: Shyann Anaya, Alexis Aramburo, Iakiah Babb, Abbey Bain, Kaylin Barrett, Samantha Bell, Jordan Bess, Nancy Blankenship, Shelby Clark, Dallas Eubanks, Kylie Fann, Kennedy Goforth, Emilee Hale, Molly Hale, Haylee Hutchins, Makayla Johnson, Gracie Judkins, Alexia Loader, Lila Loftis, Rebecca Loftis, Abigail Mathis, Madison Mayfield, Mandi Mejia, Alli Mingle, McKenna Panter, Jadda Prater, Jessica Robinson, Karissa Smartt, Kathryn Stiles, Alora Stuart, Martha Townsend, Kade Wilcher, Kievan Woods, Makensi Woods, Yarizbeth Yau, Kyra Garrison, Jerica Hayward and Brianna Young.
The Warren County Lady Pioneers will celebrate senior night Thursday as they play host to Riverdale. Game time is 6 p.m. at Nunley Stadium.