Article by: Kayla U.
With IASAS Rugby and Touch 2016 just a few days away, the Bearcat community is buzzing in anticipation for the riveting event to take place. For some athletes, it may be their very first IASAS, but for others, it could be their very last, such as rugby player Dan O.
Dan is one of the few athletes who has had the opportunity to represent ISM on our home field, and to make this occasion even more rare, was a member of the IASAS boys soccer team that won its first gold medal in 30 years! Coming off a win like that, Dan and the rest of the rugby team are determined to keep the spirit ignited.
At an early age, he discovered his passion for soccer and assumed the position of a striker. Inspired by the superstar Thierry Henry, Dan selected #14 for his jersey every soccer season and has combined his talent and work ethic to become one of the top players at ISM. Over the years, he has transformed from a young boy who aspired to be great into an athlete whom younger kids aspire to be like.
Although fatigued from the first season soccer championship, Dan still showed enthusiasm throughout the rugby season. Reflecting upon the sudden change of IASAS venues from JIS to ISM, he still feels as though “it’s a bit surreal.” Rugby has been a passion of Dan’s for a number of years. As a player for ISM as well as outside of school for the Mavericks and Philippine National Team, Dan is a dedicated athlete and says the sport has not lost the luster it held for him as a young boy. He even hopes to pursue the sport at a university level.
Dan values the the impact an individual is able to contribute in such a physical game, claiming, “You can physically control what you want to happen on the field.” Now that he is able to show his peers his talent for the sport, he reminisces about how this was a dream of his when he was younger. As co-captain of a team with great potential, he wants his teammates to give their best effort and continue to push, despite their exhaustion. Having the experience of playing once at home already, he states that one key consideration is to “not let the crowd get to you” and remain composed under the pressure of a home crowd.
Dan is proud of and confident in his team, which craves the gold more than anything. He believes that “if you strive for something then you can make it happen.”
Who knows? Maybe the next star rugby player will be born in the bleachers, inspired by seeing our ISM Bearcats play on our home field.