Cape Girardeau rugby club builds family atmosphere

Cape Girardeau rugby club builds family atmosphere

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - For 25-year-old Garrett New, rugby is contagious.

"It's like a disease, once you catch it, you're stuck with it," New said.

Rugby is not yet an epidemic in the U.S., but for those like New who have been infected, it's hard to shake.

New plays for the Kohlfeld Scorpions Rugby Football Club in Cape Girardeau. The team has been going strong since 1972.

Brian Pickard caught the rugby bug in 1995 when he was in the army stationed in Germany.

"They told me once you get tackled, let go of the ball, and once you tackle a guy let go of him, and it's been non stop ever since," Pickard said.

Two years later, he was playing for the Scorpions.

Pickard is now the coach and president of the club, his first year not playing. And he says he misses it horribly.

"It's not fun to sit and watch this."

By "this" he means a sport loved by those who play, and often misunderstood by the public.

"I think a lot of people think because we don't play with pads we are crazy, or borderline crazy," New said.

"A lot of people think rugby is football without pads and that couldn't be further from the truth," Pickard said.

The game has created a deep bond between the players, with an almost fraternity-like atmosphere.

"The camaraderie with the entire team, the entire sport itself," Scorpions flanker Andy Gaines said as to why he loves to play. "It's more like a family out here."

"Everyone is there for everyone. every single play you have someone with you, supporting you," New said. "Someone's always there to pick you up and that's pretty cool."

The Scorpions practice at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Arena Park and play their games on Saturdays. The men's club is open to join for anyone 18 years and older.

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