Louisiana Tech University rugby has seen a major turn around in the past two years and this is partially due to the addition of 8-man Will Crawford.
Crawford’s dug his roots into rugby while a student at Culver Woodcraft Summer Camp. A counselor got him hooked on the sport. From there, Crawford went on to play in high school and the rest is history.
He has developed a sense of teamwork over his years of playing and team player is an understatement when it comes to describing Crawford. His favorite moments in rugby come when rookies, he helps teach, finally begin to understand the game. “That moment when all of the drills and the repetition finally transfer to the game and you see them become true rugby players. It’s awesome to see the enjoyment they get from that moment,” he explained.
Crawford, a business administration major, transferred in from Arkansas University and the team has been a major threat in the Deep South Rugby Conference ever since. “The transfer from Arkansas rugby to La Tech rugby was definitely a learning one. Arkansas had well kept designated fields for all club sports, a team with an average of 30-40 experienced players per practice, solid senior leadership, and depth for every position. Louisiana Tech Rugby, which is only in its 5th season since being reinstated, had none of these things when I first arrived,” said Crawford.
Although the transfer was a learning experience, Crawford still enjoys every minute of being a Bulldog. He continued, “Playing for Tech is a lot of fun. We have a great coach in Scott Graham and he demands the respect of the players everyday, but is also very approachable and makes playing for the team fun and enjoyable. We work hard for him and believe in what he teaches, this only builds a strong team bond as well making us a tight nit brother hood that fights for each other.”
Transferring to a new school opens up new opportunities. One of these opportunities for Crawford was spending the summer working and playing rugby in New Zealand. At first it was a culture shock but Crawford soon adjusted. “Playing rugby in New Zealand was a dream come true. I played for Hutt Old Boys Marist for their Barbarians team. It was a culture shock first, then a physicality shock second. They love to hit! But I’ve never met a more relaxed and caring people than in my time in New Zealand. They welcomed me into their team and the club as a whole, and I got some very good rugby in as well as travel,” explained Crawford.
La Tech hosts conference rival Troy University this week. Check out Crawford and the rest of the Bulldogs in action tomorrow in Ruston, La.!