Fallon native takes home rugby title
Fallon’s Sara Parsons discovered rugby two years ago in her fifth year attending the University of Nevada, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Parsons made history for her latest team since college, the Washington, D.C., Scion Sirens, who won the final round of the Club Seven National Championship on Sunday in Colorado – a shutout victory against the New York Old Blue, 38-0.
“They were an incredibly competitive club,” Parsons said of Old Blue, a well–known team on the rugby club circuit. “They made for some great competition this weekend against us and all the other teams. It was a good game and it was a lot of fun to play against them.”
The championship, comprised of a 32-team bracket which began on Saturday, featured intense competition from across the nation. The Sirens seemed to hit the ground running when they won their first four matches in a row on Saturday to move onto the semi-finals and eventually take the tournament.
Parsons, who faced Old Blue for the first time, is also in his first year with the Sirens since she moved up to D.C. in June to play rugby, her third stop in a long journey with the sport over the past two years. This summer presented Parsons an opportunity to play at the highest level of rugby competition she has known thus far, with a team featuring several women on the USA Rugby team.
“So I challenged myself to play with them and further my career, and moving out here, again they became a family,” Parsons said. “The community I found is so special in that you could go anywhere, not just in the U.S. but in the world, and somebody will have a place for you to stay and a warm meal and they’ll take care of you.”
A former Greenwave athlete, Parsons attended the University of Nevada on a partial athletic scholarship to play centerfield for the women’s softball team until her fifth year when she joined the university’s rugby club. Soon after, Parsons moved from Reno to Austin, Texas, where she played with the Austin Valkyries whom she recounted as an immediate family to her.
“It’s been so wonderful seeing the hospitality and kindness in people,” Parsons said. “Seeing that has allowed me to come out of my shell and talk to people, which I had to do while moving to places where I don’t know anyone. It’s very beneficial for me to put myself out there so people can see who I am and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Two years and three new homes later, Parsons is now in the USA pool for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August 2017. Competing at the highest level has always been a motivation, Parsons said, which took her across the country, including to the East Coast for the first time without knowing where the path will take her next.
“That seems to be the question lately,” she said. “I’d never been to the East Coast before I moved out here so living out in D.C. and Virginia area has been crazy, a whole different world. I think I’ll stick around for a bit and explore the east for a little while, but you never know.”
The other factor in her success, Parsons said, has been the support of her family who she said she misses more than anything.
“It’s super hard being away from them but they’re also so supportive,” Parsons said. “They know that playing rugby and furthering my career is something I want to do. My family makes it so much easier for me to go out across the nation and chase my dreams.”
Though a standout, Parsons remarked the victory as a huge team win in a season she said was all about teamwork in the first place, and said she had an incredible cast which welcomed her to D.C. and to the championship.
“We kind of went into the tournament knowing we’ve worked so hard and we put our selves in a position to contend for the national championship,” she said. “We wanted to prove to everyone we weren’t just all talk, that we could dominate teams and be the best in the nation, and for that to happen, our game-set is based on team wins.”