April Alumna Feature
This month's featured alumna of the month is one of our assistant coaches, Stacia Simonsen! Outside of coaching the UMWRFC, Stacia has been travelling the world and having all sorts of new and fascinating adventures. Here is what she has to say about these experiences and everything that she's learned from them!
Years of Rugby Experience
Inside center, flanker, hooker
What have you been up to since graduation?
I've concentrated a lot of my time and effort into traveling and adventures and being with my family. Some big highlights being living in New Zealand for a year and crewing on an actual replica Viking ship in the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean! I've had an assortment of jobs and roles, some being; maintenance, painter, sailor, prescribed burner, caregiver...I am also very privileged to have been assistant coaching the U of M women's for the past 4 years!
Are there any lessons, skills, or memories from your time on the team that have been helpful to you since then?
I'm going to go with one of Herbs most used phrases, "next time." Learn from but let go of mistakes, both yours and others around you, and get on with it!
What is your favorite Michigan rugby experience?
One of the best and most painful feelings was after our match vs brown to see who would continue on in Nationals. Although we lost, and very arguably should have won after Kadie Sanford led our marching maul to the try zones from midfield with no time on the clock (I'm no ref, but I think a penalty try should be awarded after repeat pulling down the maul on the try line....), it still felt incredible to be walking off the pitch with that team that day. Not only did every person on the field pour themselves empty in our most physical match I'd ever played in and nearly (should have, still bitter) won, we had put in massive amounts of work both in and out of practice for months, and years for some, to achieve that. We could be proud and at peace knowing we gave our all on that day, and in all those months/years leading to that.
Do you have any advice for current ruggers?
Put in work!!! Fit rugby is SO much more fun and safe!!!
"Look for work" is another favorite phrase I've picked up. If you do that you will be a good teammate and rugby player, and if you carry that into life you'll be productive and someone people like to work with.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
True champions press on.
Stacia and the UMWRFC following a 7s match.
The UMWRFC playing a rousing game of Ninja on a beach.
Stacia and a teammate.