Monday, December 30, 2013

Presenting Cara Thayer

Liz's note: Cara's another Sinner... South Buffalo Sinner that is (Really is there a better name for a women's rugby team sending players to Vegas? Maybe the Slots!). She's precisely the type of player we're pleased to have in our rosters - great rugby experience at D3 collegiate and D2 club levels, fit, and ready to test herself with higher level competition. Here's her story:

I first started playing rugby 7 years ago, and have played literally every position on the field since.  Some worked for me some did not, I've found that my place is either at scrumhalf or as a loose forward, although due to my size I sometimes get put out on wing.  I was lucky enough to join a hidden gem of a collegiate program during my freshman year at Canisius College where in my first year of playing we were DIII NYS Champs and with only a few months of experience under my belt was playing in the DIII Nationals game.  The next year we had another undefeated season and were 2nd in NYS. 

When I graduated from college I took a small break from rugby to focus on my career and landed the job of my dreams on the design team at New Era Cap headquarters in Buffalo, NY.  Being permanently settled in Buffalo unfortunately does not offer much for a rugby player due to a lack of highly competitive rugby.  In January of 2011 the South Buffalo Men's team helped to form a sister team, the South Buffalo Sinners, which I was lucky enough to be a founding member of.  I was appointed captain in our inaugural season, and have been playing with the Sinners ever since.  Although we are currently only a social club, our president does a great job of scheduling us against tough competition to truly challenge us and grow us. We travel quite a bit, being a young team, so I have been lucky enough to play teams from all over the northeast! 

Aside from playing, I also coach Hamburg High School women's rugby team, who in my two seasons as a coach made consecutive state championship appearances!  After my first year as a coach we lost 10 of our starting players who graduated, so needless to say everyone thought it would be a rebuilding year for us.  My second season as a coach started out a little rough, with a lot of inexperienced players, but the girls worked hard and were able to make it to state championships as the WNY representative for the second year in a row.  It is a true testament to a situation being what you make of it. 

Playing for the Stars means a lot to me because it is really the first opportunity I have had to play at a higher level of rugby and I look forward to taking full advantage of it.  Even after 7 years of playing I swear I still learn something new at every practice and in every game, and I can not wait to play with this group of girls and gain any knowledge or experience that I can from this opportunity. 
I am always looking for my next challenge and though some people may think I am crazy I am willing to try pretty much anything that gets thrown at me, which is how I ended up in love with rugby in the first place.  This is my first Vegas 7s (and Vegas in general!) experience and I could not imagine it any other way.  

A big thanks to everyone who has been and is making this possible for us!

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