footballs in football field

Men’s Rugby Ranked 12th in the Nation

Jack Larish

Sports Editor

The men’s club rugby team, the Purple Haze, earned a number 12 ranking in the small college division of club rugby nationwide. The team also became back-to-back South Cup champions after two upset wins against the Virginia Military Institute and Southeastern Louisiana University.

Photo Courtesy of Jack Larish (C ’24)

Team captain Drew Turner (C‘23) attributes Purple Haze’s success with the team culture. He stated that the team is made up of, “A bunch of people that aren’t necessarily Sewanee varsity athletes or anything, but we all come together to form a bond that translates to the field.” 

With rugby being a club sport, Turner is unable to hold mandatory practices, yet he reports that team members are self-motivated. However, he added, “The people that show up are the guys that are going to play.”  

According to Turner, the team is able to pay for equipment, tournament fees, and hotel stays using a mix of university funding and donations. “Our funding is really good,” Turner claimed, “but as a club we’re a little separated from the athletic department.” 

While satisfied with the budget, Turner reported that the team is disappointed with the lack of recognition from the athletic department after such an unprecedented performance, “Sewanee’s had a struggling athletic program for some time, and we’re out here really making a name for ourselves. It’s interesting to see how the school hasn’t mentioned us.”

When asked what the key is to maintaining the team’s level of performance, Turner said, “We’re graduating eight seniors this year, so we just need to get the numbers back out.” All rugby practices are open, and no equipment or prior experience is required. “Bring yourself and a good attitude,” Turner remarked.