Grace College Women’s Rugby Players Make Conference All-Star Team
Grace College student-athletes Kaylee Houghton, Olia Greathouse and Halley Krochta were recently named to the National Collegiate Rugby (NCR) Ohio Conference All-Star Team. Krochta and Houghton traveled to Houston, Texas, on Jan. 21 to be honored for their high level of play in the league and to participate in the all-star tournament.
“All three of these women are great athletes and leaders on our team, and for Olia and Kaylee, this is their second time being invited to the all-star conference,” said Tyler Scott, Grace College Women’s rugby coach. “It’s exciting to see the momentum build in our program this year as more of our players are being recognized at the tournament level and some are even welcomed back,” he said.
Houghton of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, and a graduate student working toward an M.Div. from Grace Seminary, has been playing rugby since her senior year of high school. “That was the year my school cut contact football, and I was looking for another contact sport to play,” Houghton explained.
During her second year at Grace, when she heard a rugby team was forming, she was thrilled. Houghton took it upon herself to recruit nearly three-quarters of the team. Naturally, she became the team’s captain and now serves as the graduate assistant for the team.
Krochta, a senior educational ministries and worship arts student, was one of the many players Hougton recruited.
“Kaylee tried to recruit me to play rugby for about two years,” said Krochta. “But she would always come to class with bruises, and I wasn’t too convinced it was for me. After a while, I finally relented and gave it a try in fall of 2020, and now I absolutely love it.”
Houghton and Krochta both made a strong appearance at the tournament and even had the chance to play for the Division 1 team.
“What an amazing experience it was to play at a high level of competition with players that far exceed my limited experience and skill,” said Krochta. “I was honored to serve as captain for the final game, where we won 36-0, and I scored two points on a conversion kick! It was also an incredible experience to play alongside Kaylee, who has been a close friend for all my years at Grace,” she said.
Greathouse, a second-year exercise science major from Lakeville, Indiana, was unable to attend the tournament due to an ankle injury, but she is recovering and looking forward to the spring season.
“They are all well-deserving of this honor, and I’m glad they had the chance to travel to Texas for this occasion. I know that they represented Grace College Women’s Rugby well,” said Scott.
The Grace Women’s Rugby team continues to grow and is looking to expand its roster. Club scholarships are available for interested players, and previous rugby experience is not required. The Grace team plays several tournaments in the fall and spring season as part of the Ohio Valley Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference.
For more information about the Grace Women’s Rugby team, contact Tyler Scott at email@example.com or 574.372.5100, ext. 6442.