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The CRC Experience

The CRC Experience
The Ultimate Life Rugby Fan Event
By Mike Hollerbach DC Student

The Life University Rugby 7’s team worked hard, fought hard and once again made the Life community proud of their efforts. Although it was a very disappointing final minute loss to Kutztown State the guys played very well coming in third out of the twenty best rugby programs in the country. This year’s event had most of the major colleges in the country in attendance. Schools like UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas, Ohio State and Arizona, to name a few, with the ultimate champion for the second consecutive year being the University of California. The Life U Running Eagles dominated in their first three games of the tournament, out scoring their opponents 85-0. On the final day in the first game of the elimination round the boys trailed the entire game and won it in exciting fashion with a last-second try against the Navy. Although the ending was not what the Life contingency had hoped for, it was still an exciting weekend that helped promote the university and the Life Rugby program on a national level.

The CRC tournament is a made-for-TV event that happens at the beginning of June each year and is broadcast via NBC and NBC SportsNetwork. The tournament is held at PPL Park, the home of the Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. PPL Park is a beautiful state of the art artificial grass stadium located in suburban Chester, Pa. It is a very picturesque location alongside the Delaware River, adjacent to the New Jersey riverbank with the Commodore Barry Bridge overlooking the stadium. Many times during the weekend large freighter ships gracefully pass the stadium which enhances the beauty of the stadium.

Life University rugby fans traveled from all across the country to be at this year’s event. last gameThe Life fans were loud and enthusiastic. Even though there were four local schools that may have had more fans in attendance, Life fans were much more boisterous. The marketing department provided inflatable noisemakers to enhance the spirit of the crowd. There were approximately four hundred Life fans in attendance with 50% of them being students who made the thirteen hour drive to Chester, Pa.

I have been fortunate enough to attend the Collegiate Rugby 7’s Championship in Philadelphia, Pa. over the past three years and I must say it is some of the most fun that I have had in my four years of being a student at Life University. The event grows each year, and each year Life University is committed to making a great impression on the national rugby community, spreading the message of chiropractic while exhibiting the passion we have for Life Rugby. The administration, the Life U marketing department, student services and the athletic department do a fantastic job of working together to promote student involvement and also promote the Life brand. At the tournament Life is well represented by running videos of the university on the stadium’s big screen multiple times each day and also buys advertisements for thirty second commercials on the nationally televised NBC broadcast. During these commercials they share the vitalistic philosophy of the school in promoting the undergraduate program as well as the Chiropractic program. Each year Life University is one of the standout schools of the event on and off of the field.

The majority of the 8,000 fans in attendance were well aware of Life University due to our great representation over the past two CRC events. In last years event, the marketing department handed out over three thousand Life U t-shirts for free which was a very popular decision. They went with the intention of selling the shirts but when told they were not allowed to sell the shirts due to a non-compete clause with another merchandiser. Shelly Batcher and the marketing team decided to just give the shirts away which created quite a stir in the concourse with fans from other schools eager to grab our shirts. This year I saw many of those same shirts worn by people who are fans of other schools and I personally had six people ask me if we were passing out shirts or they wanted to know where they could get one of our new shirts. At one point on Saturday I had a family approach me and say how much their children liked the shirts they got last year and how the children love wearing the shirts as pajamas. The family was very friendly and appreciative of last year’s gesture. It put a smile on my face to have complete strangers ask for something we take for granted. There were even many people who work in the stadium that remembered us and were happy to see us because of the good impressions we made the past two years.

As far as the student’s involvement, the CRC bus trip package was offered to students for $100, which was a fantastic deal for the experience they received. The $100 got them coach bus transportation to Philadelphia, two nights hotel including breakfast, tickets to the games on Saturday and Sunday. The students also received two very stylish shirts similar to the jerseys worn on the field each day. One of the shirts was a replica dry fit blue and neon green jersey. The other shirt was an unconventional red with Christmas tree green lettering. The red shirt was an odd choice and not typical of the Life University green. But, with four hundred people wearing the red shirts in our section of the stadium it was quite a site, very eye-catching. All of Life’s uniforms were chosen by Life President Dr. Riekeman, and although the red shirt was not well received by the Life contingency it really did look great in and around the stadium.

When asked about the event, Life University Sports Information Director Craig Dekshenieks said, “Once again, LifeU fans were the loudest, most passionate and largest of all the schools, including teams from the Philadelphia area. We have also set the standard for fans at the CRC with our t-shirts as well as our cheers and chants. We now see other schools trying to follow our lead, which only helps the popularity of the sport of rugby and the CRC event in particular.”

Included in the weekend was a Kickoff Party on the 33rd floor of the Loews Hotel in Center City Philadelphia. It was a beautiful site for a gathering. The views of the downtown buildings with the sun setting over the city and overlooking the William Penn statue perched atop of the Philadelphia City Hall building was truly remarkable. try1At the party, students were able to mingle with Dr. Riekeman, Dr. Cynthia Boyd and many other members of the administration. As well as getting the opportunity to chat with Dr. Riekeman and Boyd, there were numerous successful alumni in attendance to network with. Towards the end of the evening Coach Dan Payne and the rugby team stopped by to show their appreciation. It was a relaxing environment with delicious appetizers and desserts. Another bonus of the Kickoff Party this year was that there were many of the replica shirts free for the taking. Many students were encouraged to take extra shirts with them as they left the party. In all, there were forty three students who chose to take advantage of the university’s generosity and ride the charter bus.

When asked about the bus trip Craig said, “Our rugby team definitely appreciates our fans. Many of them have expressed that hearing our section cheer for them really spurs them on. The Athletic Department wants to thank the students who made the ultimate road trip to Philadelphia. Their support is what makes the CRC invite us back year after year.”

The next CRC is less than eleven months away, and I for one am looking forward to it already and I know I am not the only one. With our team coming in fourth in 2012, 2nd in 2013 and 3rd this year I know we have a great chance of winning it all next year. So with each student loan check set $25 under your mattress and you will be all set to join us next year in Philly. And like each year in the past, Saturday night of CRC weekend you will be able to eat a Philly Cheesesteak or Italian Hoagie alongside the “Rocky” statue. And if you have always dreamt of running up those famous steps to the Philadelphia Art Museum just like Rocky Balboa himself, you will have the opportunity to fulfill your dream. So stay focused and always remember to keep the “Eye of the Tiger.”

Rugby Sevens – From the Media Box

Rugby Sevens
From the Media Box
By Penny Aviles, DC Student

The Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational is a fast paced event where high performance athletes give it their all for 14 min. It starts with 5 pools of 4 teams each and ends with only one big winner. RugbyBallLife performed great at the beginning beating Penn 34-0 on Friday night and kept clear from trys on Saturday too. The first game, Life U against Virginia Tech, I experienced from the Media Box. I tell you, it was an experience of a lifetime. I never imagined reporting a rugby game from a media box in a stadium. Thanks to the Vital Source for sending me and to the kindness of Dr. Gooding (Super League Champion in 2000) who let me miss my Extremity CLET iRAT. I got to see the actual “Behind the Cameras” of a sports championship. Thankfully I was well advised by the Vital Source’s freelance rugby analyst and undergrad student Frank Sutton. Of all the people in that three-walled room, he was the “rugby connoisseur.” Most of the reporters there were as ignorant as I was on the sport. The reason being: rugby is a pretty new sport in the U.S. and has just recently picked up importance on national TV.

Saturday we beat Virginia Tech 19 to Nada! Life U started strong with Blane Mcllroy scoring the first try and Harley Davidson following right after. Within two minutes of the first seven-minute half, Life already had two trys in our favor. The Running Eagles spent the last four minutes of the first half holding their try zone strongly. One ruck after another Virginia Tech could not get past the last five meters needed to score a try (yes, it’s measured in meters not yards). War chants of the Life U fans could be heard all the way across the field from the media box singing: “Where are you go-ing? Nooooo-where.” Life U cleared the field later that Saturday with another victory against Arizona State. Even with a game “analyst” whom earlier recorded the Life-VA Tech game, Arizona Wildcats couldn’t figure a way to score a single try against us. The last try scored by Glen Maricelli gave Life U another 19-0 victory. The excitement to see our ruggers resist till the last second was more than words can tell. There was a huge sense of pride amongst our Lifers.

On Sunday morning Life U played against Navy. Maricelli managed to score two trys along with Harley Davidson (yes I know, I thought the same thing, and even reporters from other schools and magazines asked me “Is that his real name?”). This time the opponent team proved a tough adversary and would not let us go easy. Navy’s star player Johnson “AJ” Alexander scored the try that evened the game 26-26 due to a bad slip of Paris Hollis (hey, poop happens) in the very last minutes of the game. But Hollis recouped his fame by scoring the last try that gave Life the victory 31-26 over Navy with CERO seconds on the clock! Things got real. Paris moved us up to the Semifinals!

Before going any further on this report on the games, I have to describe how awesome it is to be recognized as one of the favorite teams in Philly. Our crowd was the strongest despite Life U being one of the smallest universities to compete in this kind of event. When you see schools like University of Texas, Arizona State, Penn State, UCLA and others with over 30,000 students you certainly can’t expect Life’s fans to compete in terms of cheering power on the stands. autographsI was surprised to find the complete opposite happening. Life U had one of the biggest crowds, with the most coherent colors and cheering aids. When walking around the stadium and exclusive areas, people stopped us to say our team had the best school spirit! Children asked Doc, our mascot, and players like Paris Hollis for autographs and said they used our team T-shirts as pajamas. The advertisements on the CRC programs say, “the NOT SO little university that’s CHANGED THE WORLD”; the Life U commercials streaming on the stadium screens advertising Life as the biggest chiropractic school in the world; and the vendor stand with the word “Chiropractic” in the background, have certainly imprinted chiropractic into people’s minds. Leaving a good impression created high expectations for Life U’s comeback against Cal. When opening the official CRC program magazine, the picture from last year’s championship portrays our very own Paris Hollis running with the ball and right next to him a legend that says, “Life is one of the only teams who could unseat Cal at the CRC, and it wouldn’t be an upset” (Booom! Take that Cal). Even in the media box, I noticed reporters ruling for our team during the matches. We are admired, we are loved, other teams wear our T-shirts, and we were surely the favorites this time around.

view_from_media_box

Before getting to beat Cal, we had to get through the semifinals game against Kutztown, a local Philly team who improved their performance tremendously since last year. I spent this game as close as possible to the action: running back and forward taking pictures of the players. I wanted to capture the moment of a try, of a ruck, of blood-spit, and of a tackle (it is called a tackle right?). So there I was with my iPhone and a tourist pocket-sized digicam trying to capture images of plays at least 50 meters away. I was rubbing shoulders with professional photographers and their $4,000 USD zoom-in lenses. All the commotion, all the running on the sidelines made it tough to see who was scoring what. I learned to keep some track of the scoring on my cellphone: Paris Hollis, try #1 (1 step closer to finals); Harley Davidson, try#2 (I can smell that late evening bus ride already); Hiko Malu, try #3 (oh man, isn’t he sexy? Just kidding Rocky!). We had a really good team, really good support and still that wasn’t enough to beat the local favorite Kutztown. Right at the final minute Kutztown scored leaving us down 19 to 17. The official CRC website described it as a battle “against a hard fighting Life U who had a strong contingent of fans cheering them on” (usasevenscrc.com). Kutztown moved on to the championship beating everyone’s expectations for a Life U rematch against Cal, the now two-year champion (that’s right, Kutztown couldn’t beat them). Our hearts were sad but our pride remained intact for our Running Eagles were exceptional and it truly was a weekend full of surprises. The rugby sevens proved to be a very challenging sport with many unexpected turnouts which make it even more exciting to watch. So hey, there’s always next year!

Rugby Program Expanded

Rugby Program Expanded
Life Welcomes Women’s Rugby Team
Will Renfrow, DC Student

My understanding of rugby was limited to misguided generalizations. You see, where I’m from we have football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. My impression was that rugby was a sport played by stubble-faced foreign guys; a sport of the gnarliest variety of machismo. I could see toothless gorilla-men running around and drop kicking each other to smithereens. Somehow a funny looking football was also involved.

You may be able to imagine my horror when I heard there was such a thing as women’s rugby and that some ladies I knew would be playing on Life University’s very own rugby team. Of course, I immediately imagined toothless gorilla-women grunting and pummeling each other into the mud and somehow a funny looking football was involved in the madness.

Intrigued, it was time to experience this international sporting phenomenon and famed Life tradition for myself. On January 18 the Life U. women’s rugby team played in their first official match versus Emory.

The atmosphere of the stadium was very warm and inviting despite the frigid weather. The teams on the field wore thin jerseys and shorts. Taylor Swift was blasting from a loud speaker during pauses in the game action. I had always wondered what kind of music got female athletes in a mood to wreck each other without mercy. At one point a young man yelled out, “break her legs!” A nervous wiener dog paced up and down the bleacher; its nails clicking on the cold metal with each miniature stride.

Not only was the ball funny shaped but everything seemed a strange ballet of both intensity but also beauty. womenrugby1At one point a bunch of girls decided it would be a good idea to lift another girl up into the air like they were going to toss her over the fence. I feared for her safety. A moment later a different girl went down and a group of girls surrounded her to form a mosh pit and kick her around some. After running and lateral ball movement they were at it all over again. It wasn’t long before I was an authority on the ins and outs of rugby. To show off my newfound prowess I struck up a conversation with the nearest spectator.

That fan turned out to be Rosanna DeGraaf of the local Archangels club team. Rosanna took some time to explain the game to me including the “ruck” which is actually used to determine ball possession on a down player. I learned that scoring is called a try and is worth 5 points if unconverted and 7 points if converted. Girls being tossed into the air were attempting to catch or deflect the ball thrown by the hooker in a lineout.

DeGraaf encouraged me to contact Archangel teammate and Life player Kristin Cardell to catch up on Life’s women’s rugby squad. It’s no secret that Cardell; who plays on two different rugby teams, is wildly passionate about her sport. Not just rugby either as she plays an Irish game called Camogie on her off days.

What drives Cardell to be so passionate and involved? “Rugby in general in unlike any other sport. The bond rugby players share is unique and yet universal regardless of where you are.” she said.

In addition to a student internship Cardell devotes her time to practice with the Life team and the Archangels. She also allocates time for training and fitness for her athletic pursuits, as she points out, “rugby is easily ten times more fun when you are in shape.”

Cardell did not hesitate to identify the foundational supporters of the women’s team. Director Dan Payne has provided organization, leadership, apparel, and fundraising opportunities. Newly appointed Coach Rosalind Chou, JV/Varsity men’s teams, and manager Andrew McNeil were other names Cardell accredited with devotion to the women’s squad.

womenrugby2Cardell reported she was pleased with the girl’s performance against Emory in mid-January despite the loss. Emory was reportedly short two players and gained a slight advantage when two Women’s Premier League players filled Emory’s roster gaps.

“Our goal is to step on the field, play hard, and be a better player when we step off. This team is so very coachable because they listen,” said Cardell.

Female Life students interested in playing rugby are encouraged and welcome to show up to a practice. Cardell stated, “Just give it a try, you will know very quickly if it is for you. I was hooked after my first practice…it’s not as scary as it seems.”

I asked Cardell, “what was your worst injury?” she replied she has remained healthy except for a minor dislocated shoulder. She did however, see a male player with a broken femur who appeared to have two knees on the same leg.

My opinions and concepts regarding rugby have changed drastically. It’s not about wearing spandex in the winter, or listening to Taylor Swift to get aggressive, or girls who slam each other into the mud for fun. It’s about a shared passion, relationships, and aspiring to push the boundaries of personal and collective potential. It doesn’t get much better than that.

PULLOUTS
a bunch of girls decided it would be a good idea to lift another girl up into the air like they were going to toss her over the fence

“Rugby in general in unlike any other sport. The bond rugby players share is unique and yet universal regardless of where you are.”-Kristin Cardell, Team Player

Life Women Invited to Join – “Just give it a try, you will know very quickly if it is for you.”

Boutique Fitness

Boutique Fitness
One Workout Packs a Punch
Carla Gibson, DC Student

In the past ten years, Pilates and yoga studios—and most recently, CrossFit gyms—have popped up everywhere to meet the exercise needs of our ever-sedentary population. All of these venues have a few things in common. They offer a specialized fitness routine, have a boutique feel, and they appeal to people who want to be fit and healthy, but need additional structure to fit a workout into their daily routines. Another commonality is they are all based on fitness routines that may have only been available to elite groups in the past. For example, yoga was originally practiced by priests in the Eastern spiritual traditions to get them ready to sit still for hours to meditate and attain enlightenment. Pilates routines only needed to be practiced by the ballerina who wanted to secure her role in Swan Lake, and it’s obvious that only a Navy SEAL needs the training provided by a CrossFit workout.

While other types of self-defense arts such as karate, tae kwon do, and jujitsu have been lining the urban and suburban strip malls of America for quite some time, I was surprised recently to notice clubs dedicated to the world’s oldest fighting sport—boxing. Boxing FitnessMaybe this surprise stems from my only childhood memories of boxing, which are of watching it with my crude uncles on a Saturday afternoon, and I would like to believe the world has become more politically correct since then, but I never considered that boxing would gain popularity among the mini-van-driving, soccer-mom crowd. This is a sign of the times, and a function of the neighborhoods and patterns we’ve created. While many of us would have never imagined our mothers lining up and paying money to train like a green beret, we probably also never thought we’d see the day when “women of a certain age” would put down good money to don boxing gloves. But, here I am, a woman of a certain age, entering a profession where I will use my historically non-existent upper body strength in some capacity for hours a day, and so, I have done just that.

This Groupon-induced fitness experiment began when a “group fitness cardio boxing” class was offered just 7 minutes from my house. After practicing yoga 2-4 times a week last quarter, I was looking to add some cardio and weights to my routine. Originally, I thought the Groupon said “kickboxing” and I was imagining a group class like you might find at LA Fitness or the YMCA—you know, the kind where you sort of look pretty and just kick and punch an imaginary opponent for 45 minutes. However, when I walked into the gym, Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Club – Atlanta’s Boxing Boutique, I was greeted by a full-size boxing ring and a variety of punching bags. On top of that, I was told I would need to wrap my hands. With an instant pang of regretful uncertainty, I thought, “Oh dear, what have I done?”

Luckily, the group class was attended by a variety of people. Some were burly guys with obvious aplomb in the boxing arena, CarlaBoxingsome were teenage athletes looking for conditioning, but the majority was comprised of ladies around my age, looking for a workout that was new and different. Coach Marty, a former executive search consultant turned entrepreneur and boxing trainer, greeted the class with a no-nonsense, boot camp approach. Unlike my yoga classes, where I was urged to take breaks whenever I needed to and go at my own pace, the mantra here is “Don’t PACE yourself—PUSH YOURSELF!” Despite the tough standard, by the end of the class, it was easy to see that he is a talented coach with a big heart and the interests of his students at the forefront.

The class consists of a fifteen minute warm-up, thirty minutes of training in various boxing moves (usually completed with a partner), and then a vigorous 15-minute drill on the punching bags. That may sound tame, but the combinations keep it fresh and different muscle groups are targeted in different ways at each class to ensure that you get full body conditioning. In addition to building physical muscle, boxing builds brain muscle too. The basic drills consist of five different moves and the coach will call out the moves in different combinations. At first, I can tell I am using my conscious brain to process the information and perform the move, but at some point, muscle memory and verbal cue combine and my body begins to do the motion before I am consciously aware of what was said. Obviously, boxing is a sport that involves an opponent and your brain needs to be constantly processing information and making adjustments to ensure you are protected at all times. This is a skill that has applications to so many other tasks in life and provides both the mental and physical workout that science keeps telling us is the spigot on the fountain of youth.

No matter what type of chiropractic technique you plan to use in practice, it’s likely you will find yourself in need of a workout to build and sustain your core. Whether you plan to deliver 300 full spine adjustments a day or you work in some of the non-force techniques such as Network and BEST, all require you to stand for some length of time, in positions that are not normally practiced by most, especially if you’ve spent the majority of your life in a classroom. Even if you’re not on the path to a DC career, developing upper body and core strength is an asset to the health of your spine. If you’re looking for something new, consider giving boxing a try.

Wellness Center Spin Classes

Wellness Center Spin Classes
Pat Banks, Director

For those looking to add some variety to their workout, spinning may be the exercise to consider. Created in 1987 by world champion cyclist Johnathan Goldberg, spinning is an aerobic workout that involves pedaling a stationary bike while using different techniques, speeds and incline levels. The benefits of spinning include lung and heart strengthening, as well as abdominal, hamstring, calf, and quadriceps sculpting. The wide variety of challenging and fun spin workouts help minimize the possibility of boredom. Attending an indoor cycling class can help you burn more calories by being motivated and pushed by an instructor. Research conducted on subjects who attend indoor cycling classes show that you can burn 7.2 to 13.6 calories per minute. Throughout a 40-minute class you can burn around 475 calories. Results vary based upon your age, gender, and intensity level. Come join us and Spin for Life.

Holla Back Y’All- “The Captain” Colton Cariaga speaks Out

Holla Back Y’all
“The Captain” Colton Cariaga speaks out
Michael Hollerbach DC Student

Colton Cariaga is the only captain the Life University undergrad rugby team has ever known. He is a quiet leader and leads by example. He is completing his undergrad degree in business administration and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in June, while simultaneously working on a Life Coaching certification. Following this season, he has one more year of eligibility to play college rugby. I was delighted to get to talk to him about his LIFE career so far.

“I am originally from Charlotte, N.C. When I was touring England playing on the USA National Under Nineteen Rugby Team, one of my coaches was actually coaching Life at the time. His name was Jason Payne and he encouraged me to come here. They worked out a little scholarship deal with me, and I was very flattered and excited to come to LIFE at that time.”

“I wasn’t too happy my first couple of quarters here, and I thought about leaving. But I decided to stick it out because I am not a quitter. After making that commitment, it seemed that I almost immediately became pretty good friends with Henry Hammond, my math professor. He is always looking after the students’ best interests and you can always just go into his office and he will talk to you like he has known you his whole life. That was a turning point in my enjoyment of my time here at LIFE and I really have not looked back since then.”

“In Summer quarter 2010, Coach Payne called me into his office. I had no idea what was coming. He said, ‘I like what I see in you, and the guys have a lot of respect for you. I want to ask if you would like to be the captain of our undergrad team.’ I jumped at it. I was like, ‘Yea…heck yea, I want to do this!’ I knew we all had a lot of big expectations for our team, and to be the first captain of the undergraduate team is something I really wanted to do.”

“Last year, we lost two games. We lost to our conference rival Arkansas State by two points. Then, in the playoffs, we got to travel out to San Francisco to play Cal-Berkley. They dealt us a pretty humbling defeat, beating us by 33 points. ‘Thirty-three’ became our motto for this season. We wrote it on the board and decided we had a year to close that gap. It is not so much about chasing someone else as it is more on us to get better. We are doing what it takes to improve and that is what the whole rugby program is all about. It is about constant improvement as a player and a person and I think that is the most important thing to take away from what our program is all about.”

“Being the captain of this team, I feel like I can ease up a little now, thanks to the success we have had. After winning the National Rugby Championship and Collegiate Rugby Championship qualifier in Las Vegas, I feel like the guys know how to win. They know what they need to do and how to treat their bodies. I don’t need to say much anymore. I do my part mostly just leading by example. The guys have been on top of it this year and they have been busting their butts, and it really makes my job a lot easier.”

“I have started taking life coaching classes and really enjoy it. I love my professors. I think they are very talented. My Intro to Coaching professor is Cherry Collier, the person who actually brought Life Coaching to Life University. I am excited about it, it is pretty intriguing stuff.”

“There are a lot of opportunities here at Life University and great people, too! That is what I really notice; there are a lot of good people here at this school, from the students to the professors to the staff who work here. Life University is a special place.”

Life Rugby Faces Tough Competition at CRC

Life Rugby Faces Tough Competition at CRC
Falling to Cal Berkley for Medal Contention

After months of buildup and preparation, LIFE Rugby took to the field in Philedelphia to compete in the College Rugby 7s Championship. Alongside them were big names in rugby including Penn State, Dartmouth, Maryland, and Cal Berkley, just to name a few. 16 teams would face off in 32 matches, all in an attempt to win this championship. If LIFE walked away with the win, they would be the first team in history to win the “Triple Crown” in college rugby 7s.  The first challenge LIFE faced was Penn State, beating them 19-17 with the final try coming seconds after the game had technically ended (one of the many things that sets rugby apart from other sports). Next came Temple, who showed to be an easier win for LIFE as the Running Eagles walked away with a 33-7 win. Last up on the first day of competition came Wisconsin, who LIFE defeated with a final score of 36-12.

LIFE fans and supporters filled the stands, all wearing matching t-shirts and making their presence known! Over the years, LIFE rugby supporters have transformed from just a handful of loyal fans in the bleachers in Marietta to hundreds of faithful fans that traveled all the way to Philadelphia to support their school. Alumni from all over joined in as well, as did several faculty and administrators from LIFE. While LIFE may not be a big name school, compared to the others in the competition, they are well known for their fierce rugby play on the field. Many of the athletes from other schools, when interviewed by NBC commentators, commented on LIFEs performances and how they are really one of the teams to watch. Arizona’s star player, Peter Tiberio, commented that LIFE would bring their most fierce competition and it would take all they had in order to defeat them.

A few of the amazing LIFE U Fans in Philly

Rugby 7s is a face paced game with two seven minute halves. In normal rugby, the teams have 15 players facing off against each other. In 7s, you have seven players who are covering the same field of play, which is approximately 10 meters longer and roughly 20 meters wider than a standard football field. According to Diffen.com “Rugby is best described as a blend of the contact of American football, the running of soccer, and the transition of basketball.” Rugby 7s is a game of stamina and speed, with quick turnovers and quick scores.

The second day of competition started out fierce. LIFE first faced off with a 12-5 win against Delaware, setting LIFE up for the Quarterfinals. The commentators on NBC had great things to say about LIFE, often stating that LIFE was the favorite to win and discussing what an upset it would be to Dartmouth and Cal Berkley, both of which are rugby power houses.  Our lesser known school next would face Arizona, who would prove to be the fiercest competition they’d faced so far. LIFE simply could not keep up with the speed and team work that Arizona and Tiberio would provide. After falling behind in the opening minutes, LIFE simply could not come back, although they made a hard push at the end but fell short. Ultimately, they succumbed to Arizona 19-12.

Cal Berkley faced off against Dartmouth, last year’s championship team, with Dartmouth taking the win, placing Cal Berkley and LIFE to face off for the 3rd place spot. Cal Berkley, however, proved to be too much for LIFE to handle and walked away with a 26-7 win. LIFE fought hard to gain possession and up until the final play, LIFE wasn’t about to give up, walking away in the 4th place position. Darmouth took 1st  place for the 2nd year in a row, defeating Arizona in a VERY physical, emotional game, taking out several players for Arizona in the process due to injury.

A great tribute to the school, its fans and its players was a statement found on Facebook by a Philadelphia native who works at Philadelphia University in their Financial Aid. He stated “Went from never hearing of Life University to becoming a fan. What a great group of people and such ardent supporters of their Rugby team. Their passion rivals that of any major program. In two days, every person I met from this school just north of Atlanta, GA in Marietta was so pleasant and really made working seem like I was at a good friend’s party.” While LIFE may have not walked away with the title, this tournament really put LIFE on the map!

Congratulations to Dan Payne, Tui Osborne and all the LIFE rugby players! You’ve had a great season and we are all proud to be called LIFE RUNNING EAGLES!!!