By Jenelyn Russo
Photo Credit: Sarah Reid
As a soccer player, Steven Muise was never afraid to go hard against his opponent. But after getting kicked out of several games for his aggressive play, his father decided it was time to find a sport better suited to his son. He found a fit for Muise in rugby.
"I first started playing rugby about six years ago," says Muise. "My dad needed to find a way to get me into a sport where I wouldn't get kicked out for hitting people. And so we found rugby. It worked out really well."
A senior at Servite High School, Muise is a member of the school's club rugby team, having helped to start the program on campus last year for its inaugural season. His love for the sport is undeniable.
"What I love about playing rugby is just the atmosphere about it," says the 18 year old. "It's not like any other sport. Everyone out there is a brother, even if they're on the other team. While you're playing the game, you're trying to hurt the guy across from you...but once it's over, you're all brothers. I just love that whole community aspect of it."
Muise slots in at the fly-half position, a type of "quarterback" role. Along with being a captain, the position gives Muise plenty of opportunities to lead his teammates, something Servite rugby head coach, Anthony MosQueda, feels Muise does exceptionally well.
"Steven is a true leader amongst his peers," says MosQueda. "When on the pitch, he motivates and challenges the other young men to be better than what they are. He leads by example with his unprecedented skill set and knowledge in rugby. And he shows his Servite rugby brothers that they are a part of something great."
Muise is also a running back for the Friars varsity football team, and he carries some of that sport's structure and discipline over into his rugby style of play. Win or lose, Muise knows that there's much to be learned from game experience.
"Rugby has taught me that it's not always about winning," says Muise. "There [are] a lot of times in life, and in sports, when you're just not going to win. Maybe there's something better that you can learn from losing than from winning."
The Tustin resident plans to continue to play sports in college, alongside studying electrical engineering. He considers his father to be one of his strongest role models and feels his faith has taught him what it means to never give up.
"I think one of the things my faith does for me the best is perseverance. I think that's what my faith has taught me the most," says Muise. "There [are] going to be hard times. There [are] going to be times when you get knocked down and you have to get back up and you have to go."