Leadership is key: How two players and a coach view leadership

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Graphic by Spencer Light | The Broadside (Contact: slight@cocc.edu)

By Caleb Elliott | The Broadside (Contact: celliott4@cocc.edu)

As the clock concluded on Oct. 15, a final score of 52-7 was won by the Central Oregon Community College rugby team against Seattle University, securing a 2-0 undefeated record.

“These guys both lead by example,” Head Coach Woody Bennett stated about Team Captain Zach Fairbanks and first year participant Avery Lewis. “If they’re busting their butts then everyone will know that that’s how they’re supposed to do it.”

The COCC rugby team defeated the Southern Oregon Raiders, a team that was favored to win the whole league, with a score of 70-26.

Fairbanks, in his third and final season playing for COCC, believes that working hard and taking initiative is critical in being a good role model to his teammates. “You’ve just got to work hard and be really positive and get people doing as much as they can. There will be mis- takes but as long as those mistakes are being made while going 100% there is a ton the of the game to play. A couple of mistakes won’t really matter,” he said.

“Even just little encouragements after plays or after someone has a good run just small stuff like telling them that it was an awesome run and just keeping that positivity goes a long way,” Lewis added.

“The sport is not just a team. Rugby is also a great community. Wherever you go there will always be a rugby team close by, and it will always be a great community of friends,” Fairbanks explained.

“It’s just so much fun, I love the way that it incorporates team dynamics so well. More than half of the team is involved in protecting the ball and passing the ball. I just love that part of the game. It’s a team game,” Lewis said.

Fairbanks and Lewis stated that they appreciate the team dynamics and close-knit atmosphere of rugby. They also admire the way that it incorporates team values.

“I enjoy the leadership style that he has where he is not barking at guys all day but when he does correct he does it in a respectable manner that makes guys want to listen to him,”Lewis stated about Fairbanks.

The leadership that Fairbanks showed has influenced Lewis and his perception of him as a teammate and as an individual.

Fairbanks explained that: “He’s always trying to get better. He pays attention during drills and he watches other people in drills. You can tell that he’s getting mental reps even if he’s not getting athletic reps and he is always in the right position.”

What Fairbanks admires about Lewis is his focus and his determination to get better, and he likes the fact that Lewis pays attention to details and his environment around him.

Coach Bennett stated that what he enjoyed the most about the first match was the fact that the team won in all aspects of the game. “It was a pleasure to be on the sidelines and watch them do things not just once but time and time again,” he said.

For more information about future games and events, you can email Coach Bennett at coachwoodyB@gmail.com and you can contact Bill Douglas, Director of Club Sports and Intramurals at bdouglass@cocc.edu. ■

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