Steele travels to Florida with USA South Rugby team

Litza Craig

Bearden High School has only had a girls rugby program for three years, but it has already produced a star. Junior Summer Steele recently tried out for, and made, the USA South Rugby team. Steele will join her 19 teammates on Thursday at a rugby tournament in Florida. She has only been playing for two years, but the junior certainly holds a leadership role on the Bearden team. “Summer is definitely a leader,” senior Jasmine Riddell said. “She always is there for anybody who needs encouraging, and she is just all around a good teammate for past players and new players.” Steele, who plans to play on the collegiate level, is fully committed to rugby after trying out other sports and finding out they didn’t really meet her interests. “It’s actually really fun,” Steele said. “It’s more fun than like soccer; those sports are lame. Rugby is pretty awesome.” Making the national team is a huge honor as it provides a chance to play in college, and to also go pro. It also means that Steele will get a chance to go out for the USA women’s rugby team to compete for the gold medal, possibly as soon as the 2016 Olympics. “If you are on those teams and you do well, then you’re eligible to go forth and to try for more things,” girls rugby sponsor Ms. Angelia Ford said. The 2012 Olympics will be the first time that rugby will be included since the 1924 games that were held in Paris. “It (the national team) puts her in a good position, and if she wants to pursue it and keep up with it, that’s great,” Ms. Ford said. “So it’s kind of fun for us here at Bearden.” The Lady Bulldogs are excited for their teammate’s accomplishment, and hope she brings back valuable lessons from her national experience.