Man of the Match – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

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I watched sophomore Daymon Long break his wrist in an intramural basketball game last fall.

It was a freak injury that put our team’s best shooter out for the semester. Long was forced to have surgery on the broken wrist and had to put his love of playing sports on hold while he recovered.

Now, Long sports a scar on the inside of his right wrist that has metal inside of it.

While he was recovering, he became tired of sitting around and doing nothing.

“The wrist thing happened and then I got real depressed,” Long said. “It was the first time that I really could not do anything with my life. I was sluggish. When I play sports, I feel a lot better.”

During the second semester, then-freshman Davion Herron invited him to multiple rugby practices. Finally, he decided to check one out.

“Everybody there was so accepting,” Long said. “It was such a brotherhood.”

Fast forward to this past weekend – the Rugby Club’s season opener against Fairmont State. Fairmont was coming off a 2014 campaign that ended with a playoff appearance. When Point Park faced Fairmont last year, the game ended with multiple injuries that caused Point Park to forfeit their next match against Franciscan.

Long started the match at outside- center. That didn’t last long. Captain Brady Winner went down with an injury.

He, like Long almost a year ago, broke his wrist.

Winner was forced to leave the game and Long was asked to step in and take his place at flanker, a position he was unfamiliar with.

After getting a crash course in the position, Long stepped up and played a major role in Point Park’s 28-7 victory over Fairmont State.

For his efforts, Long was voted by his teammates as the “Man of the Match.”

The honor had special meaning to the rookie sophomore playing his first full season of rugby. Four years ago to the day when Long was in tenth grade, his father passed away. The two bonded over sports more than anything else, making his honor extra special.

“It did mean a lot to me that, in a sports match, [I] did something that was important. We as a collective did something important.”

Long knows what he would say to his dad if he were here today.

“I’d talk to him about sports,” Long said. “I’d also say, ‘ I love you, miss you,’ but, who wouldn’t?”

Long and the Point Park Rugby Club will return to the pitch Saturday afternoon when they host Franciscan.