The stage is set for the much anticipated SCRC conference championship this week. The University of South Carolina will take on the University of Tennessee. With such a big game on the line the Gamecocks will look to their scrumhalf, Brian Keown for some big plays.
Keown got started playing during his high school days at the encouragement of a friend. “I started playing rugby during my freshman year of high school in the Spring of 2009. I started because my friend, who I had played football with for years, asked me to join the team with him for something to do in the spring,” said Keown.
Rugby has grown to be a huge part of the biological science major’s life, it’s the highlight of his day. “Rugby has pretty much dominated most of my leisure time for a long time now. It’s the thing I look forward to doing when I’m at school or work. When it’s not playing or training, I can always look forward to spending time with my teammates both past and present. In the future, I hope to be around the game for many years to come,” he continued.
With rugby being a major part of his life, it’s no wonder playing for South Carolina has been such an amazing experience. Although overwhelmed at first, Keown has found a phenomenal rugby family. He explained, “Playing rugby at South Carolina has been the time of my life. The beginning of my career here, along with many of the seniors, was a bit underwhelming, but we quickly turned that around. Since the players and coaches made the commitment to excel at the game in the 2012 season, we have not looked back. As a group, we come together each week ready to work at practice, and our efforts have really paid dividends over the past three years. I love being a part of this group of guys and plan to finish out my time here on a high note.”
The senior now has one final shot at his third consecutive conference title this weekend and wants some payback to avenge a loss from earlier in the season. Keown looks to go out a winner. “I expect to be involved in a great match this weekend. There’s really nothing like a rivalry match under the lights, especially when the championship is on the line. Tennessee took first place in the SCRC East this year by beating us in a close one, so we’re hunting for redemption and the SCRC Championship,” explained Keown.
The Gamecocks travel to Charlotte, NC this weekend to take on the unbeaten Tennessee Volunteers for the SCRC crown!