Edgar native develops love for rugby
Edgar native Lindsey Schneeberger never imagined she’d one day be playing rugby, let alone helping the Winona St. women’s club rugby team win the 2019 national championship. This is exactly what occurred during her first semester attending Winona St.
She is the daughter of Toni and Jerry Schneeberger of Edgar. Lindsey was a three-sport athlete competing in volleyball, basketball and softball in high school before she graduated in 2017. She then played one year of college basketball and volleyball apiece at UWMarathon County, before transferring to Winona St. to pursue a degree in physical education with a minor in adaptive learning.
“I never saw myself playing rugby but I think it’s a great fit for me; I didn’t know anything about rugby until I transferred to Winona St.,” Lindsey admitted.
She joined the Winona St. women’s rugby team during the first week of school after signing up at a club fair. Lindsey walked past the women’s rugby table twice before the club president got her attention.
“Diana Tapia stopped me and she asked me if I wanted to join rugby,” Lindsey said. “When she told me I could tackle people without any pads on, I signed up for the rugby club and then I needed to prove to the coaches I was good enough to play on the team.”
The rugby coach felt Lindsey would be a good hooker, in which she would throw the ball in from the sidelines when it goes out of bounds and also “hook” the ball back during a scrum.
She said people have a common misconception rugby is similar to football, which is for the most part not true. The only aspects the two sports have in common with each other are there are touchdowns, field goals and kickoffs. Other than that, everything else is different.
“The part that is very different between rugby and football is when a rugby player scores they keep the ball, so the scoring team always gets the ball kicked back to them from their opposing team,” Lindsey said. “Passing in rugby is also different from in football, because in rugby you are passing the ball behind you to your teammate. You can kick the ball forward but there can be no forward passes. Even if you drop the pass and it bounces forward, they consider that a knock on and then we proceed into a scrum.
“A scrum is a way to restart the play of a dead ball. In a scrum, there are eight players from each team, binding together, pushing against one another trying to win the ball back. The eight people are bind into three rows. The first row is three people with the hooker in the middle, second row is four people and the third row has one person. The ball in a scrum enters in from the side and the hooker tries to hook the ball back to the person in the third row.”
Lindsey cracked her rugby team’s starting lineup in the second game of the regular season, in which Winona St. finished undefeated in Division 1. The team fell down to competing in Division 2 during the playoffs, in which it competed in the Final Four and national championship game in North Carolina.
She said rugby is a very grueling sport on a person’s body, yet it’s also rewarding at the same time.
“Overall, rugby is a hard sport; it takes all the physical and mental strength out of you in a game,” Lindsey said. “We ran up hills two miles every day before our team practices, yet I still didn’t feel in shape during our games. My favorite part of rugby is the day after a game when I can see all the bruises on my body and wonder how they got there, because during the game my adrenaline would kick in and I wouldn’t feel any pain until the next day.”