Rising Star Molly Kennedy
While Molly Kennedy only picked up a rugby ball last year, this season she is co-captain of the Rye High School Girls’ Varsity Rugby team, along with Kiki Smith and Izzy Godden.
“Molly embodies what it means to be a teammate,” said Kiki Smith. “She is always looking out for everyone, not to mention that she is an unstoppable force with a ton of talent.”
In addition to the RHS team, Molly is a member of Play Rugby USA, a New York City-based nonprofit founded by former USA Eagle Mark Griffin, which introduces children in underserved communities to the sport.
Last summer, Molly traveled to Phoenix to train with Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA) and play against some of the best players from across the continental United States.
This spring, she was invited to join the U16 EIRA Female Rugby team and will travel to Ireland in July where, over the course of ten days, the U.S. team will play in four games while training at Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare.
A versatile athlete, who enjoys playing various positions — scrum half, inside centre, and right wing — Molly is always willing to fill in where she is needed. “She is one of the hardest working athletes I have met in my career,” said Rye Girls’ Rugby Head Coach Geri Jones. “Watching her light up on the field is an amazing sight, and everyone on the team looks up to her.”
Molly, whose parents are both teachers in the Rye City School District, is also a top student who enjoys her AP World History and Honors Chemistry and Engineering courses. She is a member of the RHS Girls’ Volleyball and Basketball teams, too.
A great promoter of rugby, Molly encourages any interested young female student-athlete to come by Nugent Stadium and watch a game. “Rugby has opened doors for me and taught me a lot about myself and who I want to be,” she said.
She also hopes that rugby enthusiasts will help offset the cost of the EIRA tour and support the organization. Reach out to Molly on Instagram, @molly_kennedyrugby.