Meet Maria Sedjo

“What is a not-so-fun fact about yourself?” I asked, hoping to kick off the conversation on a light topic. “Well, if I jump off of high things, my shins feel like someone is stabbing them with needles…”

Hailing from West Chicago, CRWRFC’s Maria Sedjo helped make the team’s season an impressive one. Whether contributing as a Lock or an Eight, Sedjo’s athleticism seems natural, experienced, and calculated. Charles River fans and members quickly become aware of Maria Sedjo’s commitment to the club on and off the field, but who really is she when she’s not barreling through opponents on the pitch? I had the opportunity to sit down and throw back a few beers with Maria to find out.

Over Pabst Blue Ribbons, Maria and I discussed her seven yearlong rugby career. Being one of eight children born to Mike and Jenifer Sedjo, Maria has had more than enough experience working with people to achieve a goal. So, it is not surprising that when she began playing rugby with her college team, the Calvin Knights, it would only be the beginning of a successful career. Sedjo was voted the most valuable player of 2016 on the Charles River Women’s team, but with a pregame internal monologue of, “Ready? Cool. Let’s go,” this award only seems fitting.

The consistent preparedness and focus witnessed by her teammates and CRWRFC fans have led to many memorable moments, including Sedjo’s numerous tries in the 2016 fall season and a hat trick in a round robin with St. Lawrence and University of Albany Law.  Her uncanny ability to play a full 80 minutes and walk off the field seeming energized rather than fatigued is something I believe can be attributed to her natural athleticism. This is not to say that she does not work hard on her endurance capabilities. Maria certainly understands the importance of consistently training, a lesson she likely learned from competitively swimming for most of her life. The combination of her talent and hard work makes for a remarkable performance no matter what position she plays on the field.

Sedjo’s meaningful contributions to the Charles River Rugby Club include those she makes on the field, but also those off the field. In her role as Vice President of the women’s team, she helps to set the yearly budget and aids in fundraising for major events. For instance, her efforts in helping to raise money for CRWRFC’s epic Ireland trip in August 2017 will help those who cannot afford the expenses.

An article certainly cannot do this River Rat justice, so if I could suggest anything to you readers out there, it would be to open up a conversation with her–perhaps beginning with a not-so-fun fact!