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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Building Rugby Community

Photo courtesy of Olivia Garza

Junior inside center Suuzanne Eubank prepares to catch the ball during practice at Penberthy Field on Oct. 5, 2022.

Suuzanne Eubank has spent days in the jungles of Burma aiding people who have had to abandon their war-torn homes.
Eubank, an animal science junior, has also spent hours on the rugby field, helping the maroon and white score and tackling opponents.
These two situations might not sound like they have anything in common, but the rugby player said she thinks they are more alike than they sound.
“Whether you’re on a mission trip in the jungles of Burma helping people who just had to run away from their home or you’re working to score a try, you’re all doing it together and you all are caring for each other and basically sacrificing yourselves on the field for each other,” Eubank explained.
A fourth generation Aggie, Eubank was raised in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her grandfather graduated from Texas A&M in 1950. After he graduated, he served in the military and became a missionary in Thailand. Her father followed suit, graduating from A&M and also returning to Thailand.
From their homebase in Thailand, Eubank’s family does missionary work in Burma, also known as Myanmar. The southeast Asian country has been locked in civil war for close to 70 years.
Eubank’s mission work includes providing aid to families who have to flee their homes.
“We [are] able to go to them and provide medical supplies, relief supplies and then come back and start classes all over again,” she said.
Although Eubank still goes home to help her family, she said the transition to college has been difficult.
“One of the hardest things was that we weren’t with our family because even on our mission trips in Burma, Iraq and Syria, we did it as a family and other team members as well,” Eubank said.
She said her faith and being a member of the rugby team have helped her find her place at A&M.
“What helped me get through was just a lot of prayer and understanding that this is where God has me for this time and this is what my mission is right now,” Eubank said. “And I have never found such a group of diverse girls that I love to spend time with and are just tough.”
Her love for missionary work and rugby really aren’t that different, Eubank said.
“The adrenaline rush and the intensity of it is probably one of my favorite things about [rugby],” Eubank said. “Which is why I said God put me there so perfectly because he knows me so well on how much I love it.”
Her leadership skills in her missionary work have translated onto the rugby field, women’s rugby coach Phil Grieve said.
“She is absolutely phenomenal,” Grieve said. “She doesn’t say a lot, but when she does, it’s on point and people listen. She mostly lets her actions speak for her.”
Rugby club president Emily Dodson agreed and said it’s clear that Eubank cares deeply for people and for her teammates.
“Suu [Eubank] is also always looking out for her teammates and always very encouraging, especially to our new players,” Dodson said. “She really loves and is loved by everyone on the team.”
The women’s rugby team is actively recruiting for the spring season and is hosting a trial week Nov. 14-18. More information about women’s rugby can be found on their website. Information on Suuzanne Eubank and her family’s mission work with Free Burma Rangers can be found here.
Olivia Garza is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and contributed this piece from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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