By Samantha Plumley – 1851 Staff
Junior Nick Lucido, co-captain of the rugby team has been infatuated with the sport since discovering it on a Nickelodeon cartoon. Destined for athletics, he experimented until he found his perfect match. The club ended its season for the semester on Sunday, November 1 after tying a match with Castleton State College in Vermont.
What is your first memory of playing a sport? What inspired you to play?
T-ball. I was on the Twins. That was the team all the kids that lived in the center of the city played on. Everyone in my family has played sports and always will. It’s not really a choice.
What other sports did you try as you got older?
Football, basketball, baseball, soccer. I tried skating for a little bit but that didn’t work out very well for hockey. I was the kid who was always on the crate.
How has athletics influenced your life?
In every way, shape or form. You’re always part of a team. It wasn’t just about you, you were working together with other guys. You learned that you have certain strengths and other people have certain strengths and together you make up for it. It teaches you how to be a leader and keeps you out of trouble.
So, why rugby?
It’s fun. I can’t think of a better team sport out there. Everyone lays down their bodies every game and it doesn’t stop. It’s not like we get a free playoff. You’re working hard for the guy next to you the entire game. And it’s always fun to hit somebody.
When were you first introduced to rugby?
The “Rocket Power” episode. That was the first time I ever heard about rugby. I still remember it.
How did you start playing on campus?
I found out when practice was and I skipped the Activities Fair because I already knew what club I wanted to be a part of. I just went to practice in the quad.
What is the biggest challenge of the game?
Making sure you mentally stay in the game because it can change like that. You get one bad penalty and your team is in a tough spot. Or somebody hits you hard and you don’t like it and you retaliate and you get your team in trouble. It’s always hard to keep your cool and relax and remember that it’s not just about you on that play it’s about everyone else.
Because the game is so dangerous, how does your mentality change while you play?
Focus when you’re practicing, make sure you learn how to do things right. Make sure you are paying attention because you want to make sure you have the best form when you are tackling and when you are doing scrums… So that way you are always safe. You make sure to protect yourself and the guy next to you.
How would you protect the person next to you?
Don’t give them a hospital pass-which is a bad ball – where if you are scared to get hit, you just give the ball to them and they get killed. Just don’t leave them out in the cold… you need to make sure that you put them in a good spot to succeed.
How have you shared your knowledge of the game to others?
I am captain here so if Coach isn’t here or late or if there is something that isn’t clicking with the players I can show them. It’s hard because a lot of people follow American football rules. Like, you can tell the kids who have known football their entire life or played football. The mentality is the same but the rules are different. Also I’m coaching at Catholic Memorial High School [in West Roxbury, Mass.] so I can teach the youth that too. Actually, a freshman we have this year I coached there and now he is playing for us. So that’s pretty cool.