Sports

Rugby Rules for ALJ High School Senior Mia Lancellotti

99697f42c76bc460cd06_35b960b2c0223e8a737b_Mia_Lancellotti__3.JPG
Mia Lancellotti, left, pictured with a teammate, was the captain of the CODP rugby team during the summer of 2016. Credits: KJ Feury
3d563a870f3e6ed62496_Mia_Lancellotti__2.JPG
Mia Lancellotti, pictured trying to tackle an opponent during a game, has set the goal of playing rugby at a Division I college. Credits: KJ Feury
11f4de51b72a2ee897f5_Mia_Lancellotti__1.JPG
ALJ High School senior Mia Lancellotti has played rugby for the last two years, and she says her perspective of the game changed so much after learning from her coaches. Credits: KJ Feury
99697f42c76bc460cd06_35b960b2c0223e8a737b_Mia_Lancellotti__3.JPG

CLARK, N.J.-  It’s an uncommon sport, and one that’s growing in popularity.  For one Arthur L. Johnson High School rising senior, it was also how she spent her summer vacation.  Mia Lancellotti traveled across the United States playing a sport she loves: rugby.

Lancellotti traveled to Utah, Nevada and California with the Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) rugby team as its captain.

“I didn’t really expect to be named captain. I was quite humbled by that,” Lancellotti said. “I’ve been a part of other higher-level teams, but this team really molded well together and we came together as a team. Our sportsmanship and camaraderie for each other, you could see it on the field, how much we wanted it and the passion we all had. It was amazing being a part of that.”

Sign Up for E-News

Rugby, a type of football, is a full-contact team sport that uses an oval-shaped ball.  Only sideways or backwards passing is allowed. Rucking, mauls and scrums are words heard in rugby, but rarely anywhere else. According to USA Rugby, a successful rugby team “combines tackling, speed, strength, agility, passing, kicking, and driving for a multifaceted attack.”

“I think the reason why we went so far as such a new team in the tournament was because we all had a passion and drive to keep pushing forward,” Lancellotti said. “The whole point of CODP was development because we wanted to develop as a team and develop as people and players, so it was really exciting.”

The CODP, sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee, is designed to foster athletic development and take young athletes to an elite level.

Rugby has seen a steady increase in players and public interest over the last decade, according to USA Rugby.  The 2016 Olympics saw the return of rugby to the international competition after a 92 year hiatus.

Lancellotti picked up the sport in early 2015, just 18 months ago. 

“After my first practice, I knew I liked it and wanted to keep going with it and it totally took over my life,” Lancellotti said. “Originally, my friend’s dad wanted me to play when I was younger. As I got older, he pushed me more and more and I finally decided to try it out for fun to see if I would like it. I had watched a few games and found it interesting.”

She said her passion and talent for the sport were fostered by coaches Sharon Berger, Tom Feury and Ivano Mirandi.  The three provided her with the inspiration and knowledge to take her game up a notch, she said.

Lancellotti looks toward the future and knows that rugby will be a big part of it. She has set a goal of playing rugby at the Division I level in college. She said her parents have played a huge part in her development so far, and are helping her achieve her goal through the college application process.

“It has honestly been amazing to watch my daughter find a sport that she loves so much and that she puts her all into,” her mother Shannon Lancellotti said. “I never imagined that I would even allow her to play the sport but now I'll send her on a plane to go play in another state. It’s truly been a blessing to see her grow as a player and a person with this sport and it has truly humbled me.”

“I’m very proud of my daughter’s accomplishments in rugby,” her father Carmine Lancellotti said. “The sport was foreign to all of us when she began, and her progress is nothing short of miraculous. I’ve never seen her happier in playing a sport.”

Mia Lancellotti will play volleyball at ALJ this fall, and swim during the winter months. And, she said, she’ll be at the gym all the time, working to stay in shape for her future in rugby.

---------------

TAPintoClark.net  is Clark’s official electronic news source and the only free daily paper.  Sign up for our daily enews  and follow us on Facebook and Twitter  @TAPintoClark.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f9271be7c50b3bea46af_open_house_roselle

Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Durham School Services School Bus, Roselle

Hiring Event Open House Durham School Services ...

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_c78b21e6ed44eb79278a_burned_out

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Wednesday Night Prayer Time at Cranford United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_574768912fb23a4cacc7_bfeb2b8d2a5b0913fb60_2f2194e6f686708fbbc3_pd_fd_bbq

Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

Union County Hosts Events and Programs for Special Needs Residents

July 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce a series of programs and events throughout the summer and fall for residents with special needs and their families, coordinated through the new Office for People with Special Needs in collaboration with community partners.

“Union County is committed to providing every resident with more opportunities to enjoy activities ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 18, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Obituaries

Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more