Woodlands HS grad Bizer makes USA U-20 National Rugby Team

Meya Bizer
Meya Bizer

Woodlands High School graduate Amelia "Meya" Bizer has been selected to play for the womens USA U-20 National Rugby Team, in pursuit of the Nations Cup in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Bizer plays in Houston for Coach Phillip Beck on the Woodlands Youth Rugby Club (WYRC).

The USA U-20 team begins play Thursday, July 14 against South Africa. It will then play England on the 17th and Canada on the 20th. If things go well, the U.S. will play for the Nations Cup on July 23. Keep it locked right here on Ultimate Woodlands as we will bring you results from this extremely prestigious event.

“What a tremendous honor—to play for my country," Bizer, an 18-year-old fullback, said. "My parents and coach are so proud, and so am I.”

"It’s great that Meya is our first lady rugby player to make the USA Under 20 national side, but she is also the first in Texas to do it," said Coach Beck, who started playing rugby at school in England at age 8, and has been the head coach of the WYRC since 2006. "She has worked very hard, is a great athlete and teammate, who quarterbacks our defense from her fullback position. We are all incredibly proud of Meya and this outstanding achievement.”

The name Meya Bizer might ring a familiar bell for fans of The Woodlands Highlanders football team. Bizer was a place kicker on Coach Mark Schmid’s team that went 10-1 last season with its only loss coming to Klein Oak in the first round of the playoffs.

Coach Schmid spoke highly of Bizer: “She was in our football program from the seventh grade until she graduated last year. She was actually a safety and linebacker and was out there hitting with the boys in her early years. As she grew older and the boys grew bigger, she brought  soccer skills to the table and became a place kicker for us, and made several PATs. “  

“I know for a fact that she took some serious razzing from some of our opponents, but she never let it get her down," Schmid said. "She just made sure that when she was kicking off for us that she would get down field a lay a big hit on somebody.

“As a senior, she knew we had a great kicker in Ben Pruitt, so she knew she wouldn’t see much action at all. She told me 'Coach, I am here to finish what I started,' and she was a great teammate on our 10-1 team last year.

“We are all extremely proud of Meya being named to the National team, we know she will do well, and we are going to watch the first game against South Africa on line, it’s going to be awesome."

For now there is only one thing on Bizer's mind, and that is winning the Nations Cup on the USA U-20 National team.

“I’ve only got four days before I fly out to California, it’s been crazy,” said Bizer, one of only two high school players named to the U.S. team.

“I started playing football with the boys at McCullough Junior High School, but a lacrosse teammate of mine at The Woodland HS, Kalyn Meese, had to challenge me to try out for rugby at the WYRC," Bizer said. "I mean they wear no pads and it looked really rough on television, and I’ll admit I was a little scared. But I showed up at my first practice and Coach Beck thankfully had built a Ladies team from scratch, and he let me jump in the action at that first practice and I was hooked.

"I love the speed. I love being the last line of defense at fullback, where I get to read the field and yell out signals and directions to my teammates, because I have a great view of the field and the flow of action from my position," Bizer said.

“It is definitely a physical sport and I have had my fair share of  bruises, but nothing too serious has ever happened to me or my teammates or opponents, knock on wood," she said. "I just love the concept of the game, pass the ball backwards, never stop running, don’t get tackled if you have the ball, and tackle anyone else on the other team who does have the ball.”

Bizer's journey to the Womens USA U-20 national team, began at a March tryout in Coca Beach, Fla. From there a group of 60 players was sliced to 35 and followed by another tryout at Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Two weeks later, Bizer received an email informing her that she had made the team, and now it’s off to California to represent her country.

National Team Coach Bryn Chivers broke down this year’s team and singled out Bizer in her comments. “We had some very good returning players but we were a little worried about having so many new players at camp," Chivers said. "It was clear after the first practice that the new players blended in seamlessly and the team chemistry improved with every practice.”
 
Chivers pointed out that some exciting new players factored into the team’s success, including Jennifer Sandifer (Navy), Grace Hovde (University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh) and Bizer.
 
You can watch Bizer and the USA U-20 team in action as all of the U-20's Nations Cup games will be webcast on USA Rugby’s UStream channel.