Rugby game to honor teammate raises funds for cancer research

Lindenwood men’s rugby players defend opponents from Life University during the Glenn Markway Memorial game.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

The Lindenwood men’s rugby team devoted Saturday’s game to fallen teammate Glenn Markway.

Markway was a Lindenwood rugby player who after being diagnosed with myeloid leukemia in April of 2013, lost his battle to cancer on Aug. 1, 2015. Since then, the Lindenwood rugby team has continued to honor his memory.

In March 2016 the team held a bone marrow registry drive in an effort to lend a hand to those battling leukemia like their fallen teammate. The team also retired Markway’s jersey number, 64, after his death. More recently, the team created the Glenn Markway Memorial Shield, which is presented to the winner of the Glenn Markway Memorial game each year. 

In this year’s Glenn Markway Memorial game, the Lions faced Life University, which is ranked No. 1 in the country currently. Although the team fell to rival Life University 32-10, team morale is still strong.

“We were tied 10-10 at half,” said coach Josh Macy. “In the second half, we were kind of  starved for chances. We mostly played a lot from our end, and Life did a good job taking advantage of that.”

The 10-10 score at halftime itself was the result of missed chances early on in the match.

“It started at the end of the first half when we were up 10 to 3,” Macy said. “We didn’t take advantage of opportunities to go up 17-3 in the first half instead of 10-10.”

Though Life pushed with every opportunity and shut the Lions down completely in the second half, confidence still runs high in the Lindenwood locker room.

“The big thing is having to separate playing of the game from whatever the game remembers,” Macy said. “A loss isn’t indicative of how we care for a cause, so we just have to be able to separate that.”

Sophomore fullback Cristian Rodriguez mirrored this mentality and magnifies the team’s week-to-week focus.

“I try to stay positive, and it’s pretty hard to lose, but you’ve got to take it as it is and know it’s only one game,” Rodriguez said. “At the end of the week, Sunday is ours to celebrate or grieve a loss. Monday we’re back at it no matter what.”

Though the team is disappointed about losing a game that meant so much to everybody, the team will gear up again this week for a home matchup against Clemson.

“We feel good; there were still a lot of positive takeaways,” Macy said. “If we execute against Clemson, we’ll be in good shape.”

Despite the final score, the Lions are in a very secure spot in the playoff picture as far as the record shows, and there’s no panic in St. Charles.

“Yeah, we lost to Life, but everybody knows we’re one of the top programs in the country,” Rodriguez said. “Last game was a loss, but we’re going to play Clemson this week, make the playoffs and most likely see Life in the semifinals and see what happens then.”

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