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November 15, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 10

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SU rugby player sees All Black

When I came to Susquehanna, one of things I would hear about from my professors and upperclassmen is how important it is to get into contact with alumni early on. I remember hearing the phrase, "Alumni are excited to help you." Of course, now that I'm in my junior year, I can now say from experience that alumni are there, whether it is to give you a piece of advice or give you the opportunity of a lifetime.
As a journalism major, I expected alumni help to come by the way of helping me land an internship this upcoming summer. But to my surprise, my alumni connections led me to be able to have field access and take photos of the New Zealand Maori All Blacks versus USA Eagles rugby game on Nov. 9 at PPL Park; an experience that couldn't be replaced by any internship or word of advice.
I became acquainted with Michael Franken, a class of 2005 alumnus, through the rugby team here at Susquehanna. Joining my first semester, I grew close to both the men's and women's team.
But along with playing the sport, I continued my hobby from high school and took photographs of the men's team. Franken introduced himself at one of the games, and we talked about both photography and rugby, two things that we both love.
Since then, Franken and I have kept in touch. Our chatting about rugby and photos, and Franken's awesome networking skills landed me a photo pass for the All Blacks game.
As a rugby player, being able to see the All Blacks play, even if it was their Maori team, so close to home was a chance that couldn't be passed up. However, being on the field and literally an arm's reach away from players is irreplaceable.
For those who haven't seen the All Blacks play , prior to each game they perform the haka, a historical warrior dance. The performance felt surreal to me. Each movement made was done with such might and precision. It was a moment that I'll forever remember, hearing the words and hearing the ground shake as each stomp signified a different message.
But then the game began and the excitement I felt increased exponentially. Here I was, standing on the sidelines, watching a professional game of rugby, let alone watching the All Blacks. With each hard hit, I leaned in closer to the field trying to be as close as possible to the game. When a team was close to the try, I cheered and applauded when the opposing held the ball up, something Susquehanna's women's team was exceptionally good at in past seasons.
What came most out of this experience though is how much I actually love the sport. The amount of conditioning that goes into lasting an entire 80 minutes of play. The soreness you feel after a hard match and the bruises that appear after. But mostly, the camaraderie formed between others who love the sport just as much as you do.

SPORTS HEADLINES

Crusaders lose by one point

SU rugby player sees All Black

Field hockey seniors say goodbye to Sassafras Field

Men's rugby advances to EPRU championship

Volleyball falls out of Eagles' nest in championship

Aurand lifts Susquehanna to NCAAs

Hedley leads Susquehanna hoops

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