EDMOND — At 14, drinking and drugs were Skyler Godwin’s favorite extracurricular activities.
He quit the football team and considered himself an outcast.
His family was worried, and he said he couldn’t find a sport he enjoyed or friends who were positive influences.
But bad attitudes changed and old habits disappeared in the spring of his freshman year when he joined Edmond Storm, a rugby club composed of students from all four Edmond high schools.
"I started playing rugby and it just made me think how much better I could be if I got (drugs) out of my system,” he said.
Now, a junior at Edmond North High School, he’s an honor roll student and captain of the Edmond Rugby Club.
"Instead of getting a drug high, I get a rugby high,” Godwin said.
Godwin had always been interested in rugby — a game of organized chaos that involves 15 players — but never had an outlet.
"I played soccer for five years, and I was always getting yellow cards and stuff because I wanted more contact in it,” he said.
Godwin got the opportunity in 2007 when Edmond resident Greg McFadden helped establish the Edmond Storm.
"My main goal for starting it was to give kids that didn’t make a team or wanted to try something different, an opportunity,” said McFadden, a lifelong rugby player who played for New Zealand’s under-19 national team and the Oklahoma City Rugby Club.
McFadden wasn’t the first to bring rugby to Oklahoma high school students.
It began in 1999 in Tulsa with the formation of the Oklahoma Green Country High School Rugby League, said President Gary Crews.
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