Athlete of the Week: North Central rugby

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — North Central’s newest powerhouse team is its rugby club.

The Panthers’ program started 14 years ago. The club has now won eight state championships — five of those consecutively. Their current head coach, Suzi Dillon, has been there all 14 seasons. She’s seen it grow from 20 girls the first year to now 40 or 50.

“This gives them a chance to be a part of something in such a large school,” said Dillon. “They come out and play with all their heart, and they play really hard, and it’s just great to see them grow.”

“People were like, ‘You get to like tackle,’” said North Central junior Yamilette Hernandez. “I’m not a girly girl, so I thought it would be fun.”

Few teams across the state have a rugby club, but that doesn’t take away from the dominant legacy North Central is leaving. The girls say the success boils down to coaching.

“They make sure that our team is really tight knit,” said North Central senior Zoe Hughes-France. “We just love it, and we just want to win, and we try really hard to win.”

The girls will go for their ninth title later this month. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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