From a distance, Kaitlyn Humbert is just another devoted player in the Stony Brook Women’s Rugby Club. However, when brought into sharper focus, Humbert’s pervading work-ethic and discipline distinguish her from many other Seawolves.
Humbert works two jobs to put herself through college. She commutes to and from class in a car she financially maintains herself. At the age of 19, Humbert keeps track of myriad responsibilities while simultaneously balancing her athletic and academic pursuits.
This year, under the supervision of their coaches Reggie Ferraro and Erin O’Sullivan, the Stony Brook Women’s Rugby Club was ranked fifth in the 7’s American Collegiate Rugby Association 7’s (ACRA) tournament.
Humbert, who plays the forward and back positions, expressed excitement for the “previously unknown” club finally making it to nationals.
“The team’s talent was finally organized [this season],” Humbert said. “The girls played their hearts out and it showed.”
The Women’s Rugby club, which had previously never been invited to the tournament, is, as Humbert put it, “reaching its potential.”
“This was our first time being invited to this tournament,” Humbert said. “We definitely made a statement about the progress and ability of our team by not only showing up, but placing as well.”
The differences that separate club sports from team sports may not seem obvious at first. Team sports fit under the umbrella of the university’s athletic department and receive financial support from the school. Club sports, however, are financially independent from the university, set their own season schedules and generally manage themselves. This means that members of club sports must financially support themselves and the team by purchasing things like uniforms or equipment.
This added financial burden proves that members of the Women’s Rugby club, specifically Humbert, are devoted to their sport and are willing to make physical and financial sacrifice to achieve successes like those achieved this past season.
A freshman business major from East Northport, Humbert has, in addition to joining the rugby club, mastered the balance of the college commuter lifestyle during her first year at Stony Brook.
“It was a little difficult to adjust to at first because of commuting and working,” Humbert said. “But now that all of the timing issues are settled, I enjoy it more.”
Humbert works as a groomer at Pet Zone in East Northport and as a pantry worker at Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville. Looking to the future, Humbert hopes to, in addition to continuing her business degree and playing for the Women’s Rugby club, work towards a career in the restaurant business.
“I love to cook and interact with people,” Humbert said. “I think that the [business knowledge] will help me run my own [restaurant]. My aim is to make others happy through food.”