Spotlight On: A Series on Culture & the Arts
Josh Macy is the head coach and a top player for Xela’s new rugby squad, Xela Rugby F.C. We caught up with him in a cantina – he is a rugby player, after all – to talk about their upcoming matches and the future of rugby in Guatemala.
XelaWho: Rugby? In Guatemala? How’d this all get started?
Josh: Some of my Guatemalan friends and I were in a bar one night talking and we decided that Xela needed a different sport. A sport someone could play even if they weigh more than 120 pounds. The next day, we decided to go for it, practicing on a papifutbol field one half cement and broken glass and the other half dying grass. Xela Rugby F.C. was born.
X: Who comprises the team? Is it only for Guatemalans? Do you have to have played rugby in the past to make the team?
Josh: The team is mostly Guatemalans with a peppering of foreigners (The United States, Holland, Canada and England are represented). The idea is to develop Guatemalan rugby players, but foreigners and travelers are
welcome because they can add experience and help the people who play and live here year round. Anyone (from anywhere) is welcome at practice, and no experience is necessary – only a desire to have fun and play hard.
X: How many matches have you played so far? How’d you do?
Josh: So far we’ve lost our lone home match against Guatemala City, 24-7. Our rematch is scheduled for late November in Guatemala City. We match up well with them athletically, but they have size and experience on their side. We’re all looking forward to furthering the newest facet of the epic Xela/Guate rivalry. Man I hate Guate. Terrible traffic, mareros, and the stupid Rojos [soccer/football team].
X: What’s on tap next for the team?
Josh: We’re looking to increase our recruiting in the coming months, as well as grow our sponsorship base. Also, selected players will be combining with the team in Guate to represent Guatemala in December to compete for the Central American Cup in Costa Rica against teams from Costa Rica and Panama.
If you’re interested in playing rugby in Xela, contact Josh at 5346-3454 or stop by the Inter-American school for practice on Wednesdays at 4pm or Sundays at 10am.