The deep history behind Saint Mary’s Rugby is rooted in determination, hard work and the knowledge that trusting the process is the only way to reach the top; a mindset Scottish senior, Sean Yacoubian has come to know in his past two seasons with the club.
Founded in 1888, Gael Rugby has long since represented more than a sport at Saint Mary’s, a tiny college in the hills of Moraga, CA. In recent years the program has exploded with talent creating waves in the rugby community nationwide. Throughout the past six seasons, the program has collected three national championships, but most recently in the 2017–2018 season, the Gaels fell short in the quarterfinals against Lindenwood University.
Last year’s loss has stuck with the program and is a reminder of the work it takes to reach the mountain top. Scrum-half Sean Yacoubian has been with the club for two seasons and understands that the key to success is adapting to change whether it be within your team, your opponent or yourself.
Yacoubian credits the success this season so far to the ability to adapt.
“An important factor that has allowed us to be successful so far is the willingness to change things from last year. We’ve realized that if we want to get back to where the program has been before, then certain aspects of how we play and train have to change,” explained Yacoubian.
Yacoubian scores a try against UC Santa Barbara. Photo by Beckie Harper
Updated 18:43 - 26 Feb 2019 by Hugh Barrow
Yacoubian has scored six tries in four games and displayed smart, tactical play throughout the season. His boot proves to be effective time after time, consistently pinning his opponents deep in their backfield allowing his teammates to utilize the strong defensive play he and the club is known for. Every Saturday Saint Mary’s fans are treated to spectacular matchplay, but according to Yacoubian, each player’s attitude during the week is what allows them to play effectively on Saturday.
“I just always try to have the mindset that if I perform well in practice then I will be more confident going into a game, and this helps a lot,
The Gaels hope to continue their success throughout the remainder of the season with the help of strong team leadership which Sean has greatly influenced with his consistent performances.
“The key, I feel, is just to always stay focused on the task at hand,” Yacoubian put simply.
Sean and the rest of the Gaels will take this mentality with them on their mission to reclaim their title as D1A Rugby national champions, a title they last earned only two years ago.