By Hadassah Curry
When former Alderson Broaddus student Devin Andres heard rugby was coming to AB, he knew it would change his life.
Andres left the university following the end of his freshman year in 2017. He transferred to Grove City College in Pennsylvania after his spring semester, but the experience caused him to feel sadly estranged.
However, AB still held a special place in Andres’ life. When the news of the upcoming rugby program broke, he immediately reached out to coach Lauren Miller to express his interest. Now, Andres is back to play rugby at AB.
“I found it to be a great opportunity, especially in the first season since the program is new,” Andres said.
Andres was a former safety on the AB football team during the fall of 2016, but an injury left him unable to play the rest of the year. After transferring to Grove City, Andres joined the college’s football team before switching to their rugby program. Miller believes that this prior experience with football at AB and Grove City will assist him.
“As an athlete, I know that he has field vision from his experience playing at Grove City,” Miller said. “His skill set will back him up with contact sports since he played football at AB.”
Rugby isn’t completely new to Andres – he began playing in his junior year of high school. However, he was initially unsettled when he signed up due to stories of injuries he’d heard from others.
“I was hesitant to join at the time,” Andres said. “But at the first practice, I fell in love with it.”
According to Miller, AB’s rugby program is one of the few in the country to be fully supported by their university, and offers rugby-specific scholarships to students. Miller believes that Andres will be a great asset to this program at AB, and will also serve as its ambassador due to his familiarity with both the sport and the university.
“We are incredibly excited to have Devin on campus,” Miller said. “We couldn’t ask for a better first recruit.”
Miller explains that having a first ever recruit in a program built from scratch helps attract other athletes, which will make a huge impact.
“The athletes we bring in this year will set the tone for every year going forward,” Miller said. “He is the person who is going to set the attitude, expectations, and behavior for the program.”
Andres stated that he wants to make the program special because he feels it can help students make a name for themselves.
“Friendships you make out of the sport will last a long time,” Andres said. “You build a family and a way to succeed in games.”