Rugby: Bryan’s lost club

4 years ago Triangle 0

Written by: Koi Calloway, staff writer

In 2007, a young man named Steve Orner met with communications professor Michael Palmer to start a Rugby club at Bryan College. For several years the team did quite well. They were a part of the rugby league and competed with other rugby teams. But, in a series of events occurring over two or three years, the rugby club became inactive in 2019.

Steve grew up playing rugby in South Africa where his family worked as missionaries. When he came to Bryan, he found others with a similar love for the sport and together they enlisted the help of Associate Professor Michael Palmer to start the Bryan College rugby club. After acquiring more members and establishing a source of income, they joined the rugby league and began competing against other teams.

But then, many of the club members graduated and a change in leadership occurred. Unfortunately, the new leaders “lacked focus” according to former leader of group, Cooper Ferguson, and after those new leaders graduated. Interest in the rugby club began to decline. Ferguson said that the team suffered from a lack of funds and players. There were games where the team was playing with only 12 people against a team with 15 players and substitutes to back them up.

Eventually, they completely lost funding, and couldn’t pay to remain in the rugby league. They continued to practice, but had to provide the equipment and resources themselves. Unable to support themselves, they finally decided to put the club on hold at the end of 2018.  

Despite the loss of interest, the rugby club has contributed to the talents of those who took part in it. A prime example of this is Caleb Zimmerman who played in the rugby club along with his brothers. In 2014, Zimmerman received a scholarship from the Rotary Club. Later at the Rotary Luncheon he attributed his success to the staff and students of Bryan, that were his friends and mentors. He said it helped him to “build his character with resolve and loyalty.”

Despite it being currently inactive, this does not mean that the club is gone and forgotten about; it is merely discontinued. But once an interest is renewed, it will return with a new purpose and focus towards the students.

Koi Calloway is a transfer student from Southern California.  He’s in his sophomore year and serves as a member of the Bryan Triangle.  He has a passion for film and storytelling, and seeks to influence people for good in everything he does.  Koi enjoys role playing games as well as fiction writing and making friends.