FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A former Carroll High School rugby star is headed to the pro’s, as he was drafted in the MLR, or Major League Rugby.
Christian Olney grew up in Fort Wayne where he first fell in love with the sport playing for the Leo Lions team. Growing up, he’d play and practice at Pathway Community Church, a field where later on in his life he helped build for the community.
He continued his playing career at Carroll High School, where he won 2 state championships in 4 years. His senior year he was named captain of the team.
During his time in high school, he tore his ACL, and it was recommended he not play. Instead of quitting, he put in the hard work and went on to play at The Ohio State University, where he help lead them to a big ten title.
Here’s what he had to say about staying the course:
“I didn’t play my first year in college, but immediately I king of got drawn back to it. And it was something i loved and i worked really hard to kind of put in the work, physical therapy wise, athletically, and just get back to where i wanted to be. Played at OSU the rest of the time and ended up doing pretty really well. Had a chance to win the big ten championship for them.”Christian Olney
Coming out of college Christian wasn’t sure if he was going to pursue going pro. Leading up to the draft, he went through plenty of drills at the combine. His numbers stood out to multiple teams, and his confidence grew.
Come draft night for Christian, it consisted of a small gathering here in Fort Wayne with his girlfriend and parents. He was excited to be in this position, but nervous that his name was or wasn’t going to be called.
“Going into it there’s a few teams I felt pretty confident that had taken a really good hard look at me and they liked what they saw. But you know, you never really know. And there’s a few times where you think a team’s gonna pick you up at a spot and they don’t, and then kind of your entire luck changes and you end up going to the team you liked the most. So it was a just a crazy experience.”Christian Olney
Christian was drafted with the first pick in the third round by the New Orleans Gold. He heads down to be with the team later this week to continue his dream.