Snapping Turtles rugby team

By Carson Tompkins
April 18, 2022

The hard hitting sport of rugby is growing in our very own Salem Keizer district. The high school girls, Snapping Turtle rugby team, is the team for the Salem Keizer area.

“When I first started I figured that rugby and football were going to be a lot alike, and in some ways they are. They are absolutely both contact sports, since both have tackling. But rugby is played with no padding, it is played on a football field in most cases, and with a ball that is similar in shape to a football only slightly bigger. The ball can only be passed to another player backwards, it can be kicked or run forward but can’t be passed forward.” South Salem senior Angelina Biondello said.

She has been playing rugby for around two years now, and is looking forward to her first contact season of rugby. Due to covid last year's spring season was played with no contact (no tackling).

Rugby is not yet an OSAA sanctioned sport so that leaves some hoops and obstacles for the team to go through. “The obstacles the team face being a club sport and not a OSAA sanctioned sport is none of the uniforms are covered by the school, we don’t get bus transportation or a certain place to practice.” North Salem high school junior Raychel Vippermansaid. Currently they are practicing at Geer Park in Salem.

“The game atmosphere can be very fast paced and many of the girls can be competitive on the field, myself included, but the competitive spirit tends to leave after the game is over. The atmosphere is very upbeat and friendly in most cases, there are some exceptions, but overall everyone gets along really well.” Angelina said. This has been echoed throughout the players on the team. At most games the two competing teams have a social after the game where they hangout and eat together.

Those looking to join the team can check out the website No experience needed, people are encouraged to join the team at any time.