Collin Carroll stepped it up as a captain for the Staples rugby team this spring. Like many other rugby athletes, Carroll became interested in the sport at a young age when other boys were gravitating to football, basketball, soccer and baseball. He liked the excitement and speed of the game with its constant action and hard hitting.

As a freshman, Carroll made the varsity team and was a mainstay for his full four years at Staples. Without a junior program in town, he had to learn the game as he started to play it. He was a member of the indoor track team for two years which helped a lot in building up his stamina and running abilities. Lifting weights is important to rugby players and he kept that up in the off season.

Carroll credits current Wreckers head coach and former assistant coach Oscar Barahona with helping him to hone his skills on the rugby pitch.

"He put a lot of time into the program. His dedication and training programs really brought up the team," said Carroll. "Coach Barahona showed us drills we hadn't seen before. He still plays regularly so he can show us something by doing it."

His position on the team is scrum half or as he describes it, "a version of quarterback." In rugby, the ball is passed from the center of the line outwards to the speedier wings and the scrum half starts the action similar to a quarterback starting the action behind the center on a football team. In rugby, unlike football, each player plays defense and offense all game long. Strength, agility, stamina and speed are all key attributes to a good rugby player.

While at Staples, Carroll also participated in the Safe Rides program and for three years was part of Westport's EMT program; something he plans to stay active with for a long time.

Outside of school, he was a catechist at St. Luke's Church in Westport further illustrating his multi-faceted young life. Carroll is like so many Staples students who handle many diverse activities and sports at the same time managing the high level of academic courses required to succeed. Barahona recognized his success in the classroom and selected him as the team's scholar-athlete for the Staples Scholar-Athlete banquet.

He is now a freshman at the University of North Carolina and will be majoring in communications studies. Carroll doesn't know if he will be playing rugby there, but he is certainly open to the opportunity.