Wayne State Women Return With 11th NSCRO Championship Trophy, Fourth Straight 15s


WAYNE – The dynasty of Wayne State women’s club rugby continued this past weekend after the team outscored their final four and championship opponents 147-26 in Georgia.

The players and coaches returned to campus Monday afternoon with medals around their neck and another piece of National Small Rugby Organization hardware to add to the already full trophy case.

Head coach and founder, Darrin Barner said the team had great senior leadership throughout the entire season as they look to pass the torch onto the next group.

“We’ve just had a great way of not really rebuilding a program when the senior class leaves, we just simply reload,” said Barner. “You know a stellar upperclassmen group of girls that we have here.”

Wayne State College defeated a physical MSU Moorhead team 57-14 Saturday and dominated Endicott 90-12 Sunday from Life University in Marietta, GA during the 2019 NSCRO 15s National Championship.

Senior captains Brook Hoesing (inside center) from Arlington, NE and Anna Fleecs (8-man) of Glidden, Iowa both said this championship run was unique.

“Honestly for the program it just means that we’re still on top,” Hoesing added. “Hopefully we can get more people to come out next year. Because that’s what this program thrives on; is new people coming and wanting to play.”

“I started in the same position and never played rugby before in my life,” said Fleecs. “Came on as a rookie with a great group of seniors that really pushed me to do my best. So, any player can come and play rugby. You never have to play before.”

Hoesing is pursuing a degree in Respiratory Therapy and Fleecs is studying Human Service Counseling.

Isabelle Robinson is a sophomore prop from Brisbane, Australia and earned the Most Valuable Player award. She was shocked when her name was announced since she received a yellow card Saturday but came out strong in Sunday’s match.

“I just put 110% out there,” Robinson mentioned. “Like our caption Brook said you don’t want to be watching this film next year and looking back and saying you didn’t give it your all. So, I went out there and just gave it all I could.”

Robinson is majoring in Exercise Science focusing in physical therapy.

Julia Baxter also earned the “Heart and Soul” award.

This marks the 11th overall title for the Wildcat women, fourth straight 15s (sixth overall/five 7s).

The team will now take a break from conditioning and competition with finals week on the Wayne State campus happening now. But, once January rolls around the team will prepare to add to their five NSCRO 7-on-7 championship trophy collection.