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Rugby takes Kentwood’s Cassidy Meyers to the next level
Just a few weeks after Cassidy Meyers graduated from Kentwood High she helped the Women’s Junior All American rugby team make history July 17 when it beat England for the first time in more than 20 years.
“That was a huge accomplishment,” Meyers said. “We ended up taking second overall at the Nations Cup which is a pretty big deal.”
Not only did the American team beat England, they did it in the United Kingdom, with a final score of 27-17 after taking a 19-0 lead into halftime.
That victory put the American squad into the final of the Nation’s Cup against Canada. When the final was over, the Canadians won the tournament, but it was a significant experience for the WJAA group.
The WJAA team is a developmental squad made up of players ranging in age from 17 to 20 years old. According to USA Rugby’s website, “the goal of the program is to identify the future Women’s National Team World Cup and Sevens Olympic players and start their development process. The players’ experience at the WJAA level will help them succeed with the senior teams as they learn how to handle the pressure and pace of international matches.”
Meyers first made a national youth development team in the spring of 2012, just a few years after taking up the sport of rugby.
She is also a member of the Kent Crusaders Rugby team, something she picked up after playing soccer since she was a toddler and wrestling since grade school — she won a girls state wrestling championship in 2012 as a junior at Kentwood.
“It sucked me in deep,” Meyers told the Reporter in March 2012 about her passion for rugby. “I really fell for it. It was the intensity of soccer but you could hit people and play with your hands. If you’re an athlete you can be turned into a rugby player. And the form is exactly the same as a double leg take down.”
Her love of rugby will take her to American International College in Massachusetts.
“I really liked the campus and the environment,” Meyers said. “It’s a small school and they’re moving up into Division 1 for rugby.”
What drew her to American International was the coaching staff, particularly the head coach, Melanie Denham.
“She’s a good coach,” Meyers said. “And I know that I can grow there.”
Meanwhile Meyers will do her best to support her two younger brothers — she is the fourth of six children — in their Kentwood athletic careers.
Dalton will be a senior this year. He plays soccer and wrestles. The youngest of the Meyers clan, Walker, will be a junior. Both boys placed at Mat Classic in February as did their sister.
“I plan to come home in the winter for the holidays,” Meyers said. “I plan to come home and some point to try and support them.”