Rugby player smashes into success

By: Jency James The Press Tribune
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What activity gives you the opportunity to dislocate your shoulder 12 times, separate your shoulder twice, fracture your rib, cut your head open, have a concussion and break your fingers? Gage Young can tell you-it’s rugby. The 18-year-old sustained all of these injuries, but it comes with the territory when you play a rough sport like rugby. Young founded the rugby team at Woodcreek his freshman year and has lived the sport with a fervor. After his summer of basic training for the National Guard, Young will train for Sierra College rugby before transferring to the American International College in Massachusetts on a rugby scholarship. 1. What made you decide to start a rugby team? Football was fun but I wanted something in the off season. I saw some clips of guys in short shorts tackling each other (a.k.a. rugby) and thought it was really cool. I got some friends together and asked (Todd) Mckillop to coach the team. 2. What’s the difference between football and rugby? Football is all about trying to hurt the other person. You just want to kill them. In rugby, you knock a guy down and then you pick him back up. There’s no hatred on the field- it’s all a brotherhood. 3. How do you train in the off season? I lift a lot of weights. During the season, I don’t like lifting because muscle slows you down, so I do my heavy lifting in the off season to build a muscle base. The off season preps me for the real season. 4. What’s the atmosphere of the team like? The whole team was already friends, that’s how I got them to join. In the off season we’ll play pick up games and hang out. I’ve made friends in rugby all up and down California that if I ever see again I’ll say hi and talk to them. 5. What has been your most memorable moment in playing rugby? We were playing a pick-up game at Woodcreek and four cop cars pulled up and we were like, “Oh crap, we’re in trouble.” These cops got out and had rugby gear and we ended up playing tackle rugby with them. They won but we let them win (laughs). It was cool to come together and just have fun. To suggest someone for this feature, email Jency James at ---------- Wolfpack Rugby vs. Jesuit Red When: 5:45 p.m. Friday, April 15 Where: Woodcreek High School, 2551 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd. in Roseville Info: