OWU rugby members get the chance to travel

By Claire Yetzer

Staff reporter


It’s not just the retired who escape to Florida. Two Ohio Wesleyan students had the opportunity to travel to a warmer climate while representing the women’s rugby team.

On Jan. 19 and 20, two members of Ohio Wesleyan’s Women’s Rugby team participated in an All-Stars 7 tournament, hosted by the National Small College Rugby Organization in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jesse Sailer and Ariana Campos were chosen as seniors and captains of the OWU club team and helped form the Ohio Valley Women’s Collegiate All-Star Team.

The tournament is in its second year. It has expanded from 8 teams to 12 teams this year.

The  Ohio Valley All-Star team was made up of players from 5 small colleges. Players from Ohio Wesleyan University, Denison University, College of Wooster, University of Findlay and Tiffin University were nominated by their coaches and attended practices were chosen for this honor.


Yetzer: How long have you been playing rugby?


Sailer: Since my first semester freshman year.


Campos: I began by playing for the women’s soccer team my freshmen year but found it to be too big of a commitment time wise. So I decided to stop playing, and I started working as a waitress and then my roommates at the time both played rugby and got me to try it out. That was my sophomore year so I’ve been playing for 3 years now.


Yetzer: Why do you think that you were chosen to be a part of the all-star team?


Sailer: This was my second time being chosen to play for the Ohio Valley All-Star team, so I already had three and a half years of rugby under my belt as well as the experience and ability to play against harder competition. The coach was also choosing a lot of returners for the team and with that comes chemistry because you have this group of girls that have played with each other before and was able to help the newer players.


Campos: I believe I was chosen to be apart of the all-star team because of my athletic ability. I got really good at playing, it just came naturally to me and it’s honestly become my favorite sport


Yetzer: What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?


Sailer: I played soccer and track in high school so I already had the athletic ability under my belt, it just took a while to become accustomed to the rules of rugby but once I got the hang of it I was able to excel on the field. So I think my overall ability of knowledge of reading the field and knowing what to do is a strength. Weakness would have to be my lack of patience. I get really heated if we have girls that aren’t passing or are making the same mistakes but it’s those moments where I need to remind myself that as a veteran who’s been playing a while, it’s my job to teach them and to make them better players.

Campos: My strengths are my speed and my voice. I also communicate a lot on the field because it’s very important for my team to know what’s happening. Communication on the field gets overlooked a lot because everyone is so into the game that we forget how important it is to be communicating because that puts us in a better position while doing less overall work to win the game.


Yetzer: What is your favorite thing about rugby and why do you play it?


Sailer: Tackling. It’s nice to play a sport where you can just body someone and completely lay them out. Contact sports are different in that they make you use all of yourself and there’s a lot of both physical and mental strength that goes into playing something like rugby.


Campos: My favorite thing about rugby is just the type of game it is. Rugby is a truly a hard sport to play because there’s a lot of contact. It’s a great feeling especially when they come to a game and watch you lay someone out. They respect you and if you get laid out they respect you too because we take those hits like champs. That’s why I love rugby, and I would definitely like to continue playing after I graduate from Ohio Wesleyan.


Yetzer: What is your relationship with your teammates like?


Sailer: I love my team, as well as the teams I play against. As intimidating as it might seem, if someone takes you to the ground they’ll be the first to pick you up and tell you ‘hey great run’. We’re family first and foremost and that’s why I push so much when it comes to recruiting because this team gives more than it takes.


The Ohio Valley Women’s Collegiate All-Star Team placed 6th out of 12 teams. They won 2 games and lost 3.


The Transcript, I thank you

Upon returning to Ohio Wesleyan for my junior year in the fall of 2017, I had no plans of writing for The Transcript, let alone join their staff. Being a journalism major, I knew I had to do it at some point, I just didn’t think that semester was the right time.

I was taking the notoriously difficult Data and Ethics class with Paul Kostyu, associate professor of journalism and department chair. That class alone, now knowing from experience, can increase a student’s stress level beyond normalcy.

Only two students were in that class: myself and Aleksei Pavloff, the sports editor for The Transcript at the time. From the first class, Aleksei pushed me to join the Transcript. He continued to do the same in every class after that.

I’m now incredibly grateful that he did.

Fast forward a year and half later, and here I am, writing my last editorial as editor-in-chief of The Transcript.

It’s clear to anyone who knows or has read our issues and pieces over the past year that The Transcript wasn’t always perfect. Not by a long shot. I was constantly emailed/notified about the problems in the issues, as well as spoken to about them in person. There were even instances where I had the paper shoved in my face, with the person citing a very specific inaccuracy.

Yet although this was frustrating at points, it didn’t mean these problems that arose weren’t backed up with validation. Just ask Kostyu, and he’ll show you his edits (which I’m sure he keeps) of each issue after it was published, each page marked to the brim in black ink. Thinking on it now, he did leave less white space.

Kostyu wasn’t alone in his criticisms. Ingles also edited each issue, and although there was less ink when she edited (and in purple), she made sure to point out the biggest problems. Even TC Brown, instructor in journalism, joined in on critiquing here and there.

While that may not sound like the most joyous experience, it had many positives. The presence and dedication of these mentors, whether through outside guidance or critiques, has proven both beneficial and necessary, as without it the staff, and paper, would have gone into a tailspin.

The challenges of having such a small staff have been apparent over the last year and a half. Recruiting was certainly hard when I first started as editor, especially when there wasn’t much interest. The number of stories assigned to one person sometimes seemed to much for their own sanity. Designing was a strenuous process, but necessary.

Regardless, we as a publication have certainly come so far. This semester, we experienced The Transcript evolve into a fully-digital publication, with our designed issues being sent out solely in PDF format to our subscribers via email. We saw a complete re-branding of the website, including a new theme. We added new features never used in previous versions of the site. We increased our social media following, as well as participation. The deadlines to turn in a story were changed from a week to three days maximum, although great encouragement was put on turning it in that same day. Because of this, we post stories daily, providing a more consistent form of news. We now design our e-editions once a month, instead of bi-weekly. Most recently, we saw our highest viewed story on the website to date, as evident by Jesse Sailer’s piece “Ohio Wesleyan’s ‘invisible problem,’” (3,000 reads and counting). We truly, I believe, have set up The Transcript for a positive future.

Throughout my tenure, I’ve come to realize that nothing could have been possible without you, the reader. It’s your feedback, whether positive or negative, that has kept us going, particularly over this year. The sense of pride felt when one of you picked up the paper or viewed one of our stories online was, and still is, incomparable. As I stated before, I know we weren’t perfect, but we do, and always have, appreciate your continued support. I encourage you to keep giving feedback/suggestions/whatnot, because sometimes the best ideas may come from the people on the outside.

The Transcript has become part of my routine over the past year and a half, so much that it has become normal. There have been moments that I will cherish forever, and situations that will no doubt benefit myself and the rest of the staff going forward. For example, tips from my predecessor, Gopika Nair, have been engraved in mind for years to come.

It truly is hard to believe my term as editor-in-chief is coming to an end. Throughout the ups and downs, working for The Transcript has been one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had, working with many fantastic people along the way while improving my skills as a journalist.

I wish the new editor-in-chief and editorial staff the best as they continue to keep the Transcript heart beating. Whoever that may be, I have full confidence that they will do an amazing job, and positively make their mark on the Transcript’s long history.

That being said, it has been an absolute honor to serve as editor-in-chief of The Transcript for the past year, and I thank everyone who has joined me on this thrilling ride.