Atypical Athletics


With spring just around the corner, rugby and lacrosse players are starting to prepare for their upcoming season. The sports are not part of Blue Valley, but are played by many students that attend the school. 

Senior Jack Bowersox is the captain of the rugby team and this will be his third year playing. Bowersox started the sport with the influence of his neighbor.

“He came knocking on my door and asked me if I wanted to join,” Bowersox said. “I decided to give it a shot.”

Only after playing for one year, Bowersox was named captain and has lots of duties that are gained by having the title.

“I make sure all my guys are giving their best effort all the time,” Bowersox said. “If there are  penalties or [if] anything happens, it goes through me, and I talk to the ref.” 

Bowersox describes the sport as very physical with lots of complicated rules.

“You pass backward and run forward, so it’s hard for a lot of people,” Bowersox said. “You [have] to create space and outsmart the other team.”

Bowersox says he enjoys rugby because he also played football during the fall.

“It’s similar in the sense that you [have to] score and tackle people,” Bowersox said. “The game is explosive.” 

Bowersox plays rugby with others who were also part of the football team.

“I like playing with my teammates,” Bowersox said. “[It] feels good to go out there and feel like you’re part of something.”

Bowersox is involved in the sport with junior Ian Olson who is playing for the first time this year. “I got really close with the seniors from football, and a lot of them play rugby, too,” Olson said. “I thought it’d be fun to play with them.” 

Olson describes the sport as a mix between soccer and football.

“[When you score] it’s like a touchdown — it’s called a try,” Olson said. “[You] run into the end zone and have to put the ball on the ground to score.” 

Olson said the sport isn’t as time consuming as football, but there are practices every week.

“[Since] I joined the team, we’ve only practiced two or three times a week at the Scheels soccer complex,” Olson said. “Tournaments are on the weekend.”

The rugby team encourages people to get involved in the uncommon sport.

“Anybody can play,” Bowersox said, “You have to have a lot of determination to want to do good.” 


Senior Colby Marsden was introduced to lacrosse in fifth grade and is now the varsity captain of the Valley Titans lacrosse team. 

Marsden’s coaches inspire her to make her love the game more every day. As captain, Marsden deals with the responsibilities of being a leader. 

“Our coaches invest in us so that we can invest in the team,” Marsden said. “We make sure everyone is following our team motto ‘attitude, effort and fun’ and [I] lead by example.”

Colby plays with sophomore Sarah Walsh, who has been playing lacrosse since kindergarten and grew up in New Jersey, where lacrosse is a common sport. 

“When I moved my dad looked for a girls program, so I could keep playing,” she said.

Marsden and Walsh play on the Valley Titans, a district recreational team that includes all of the Blue Valley schools and anyone south of Blue Valley.

Students like seniors Jillian Beal, junior Zoe Best and Ryan Sanchez, sophomores Ava Nickel and Marina Golden, and freshman Julia Walsh also play on the Valley Titans. 

After 10 years of playing, Walsh has gotten very familiar with the sport. 

“We use sticks to throw and catch a ball,” Walsh said. “There are 12 people that play on the field at a time. The goal is to pass the ball down the field to score in the goal.” 

Marsden said the fast pace of the game takes a lot of commitment and hand-eye coordination to keep things interesting.  

The team practices three times a week. 

“It’s more laid back compared to other school sports,” Walsh said.

Even though the team is made up of girls from many different schools, Marsden and Walsh are close to their teammates.

“You work as a team — communication is important,” Walsh said. “It’s a really fun environment to be part of.”