When I look around the world, I sometimes wonder – what makes one person stand out more than another? What makes one person a celebrity – a legend even? What makes this or that person a name to be remembered?
Sometimes it’s one or two things they’ve done that makes them a remembered person and makes them famous (or infamous, in some cases). Sometimes its endorsement deals. And then sometimes it's the thing that they do day in and day out. For years. For a lifetime even. Does the recognition always come? For some, it doesn’t. But this time – finally – the recognition has come for one particular name that needs to be remembered.
This coming Monday, World Cup Champion, former USA Eagle, and Club-Level National Champion Patty “Jeeves” Jervey will be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame – a member of the first class of women to hold the prestigious spot.
Hailing from Marietta, Georgia, Patty’s 31-year rugby career (that’s still not over, I might add) started at the University of South Carolina. She later solidified her rugby career with a transfer to Florida State University – the same university that produced other female rugby greats such as Candi Orsini and Kathy Flores – where her position as a center (and sometimes wing) really took off.
While many rugby players consider retiring somewhere in their 30s or 40s, on her 50th birthday, Patty played in a friendly match against NOVA (Northern Virginia). And just this past weekend, played with the Harlequins in the 2014 Women’s Premier League National Playoffs, where this season she’s had a go at playing both 8-man and flanker.
Over the years, Patty’s relentless and lifelong dedication to the sport of rugby has earned her: A coveted spot as a USA Eagle, with her first appearance in 1989 A World Cup title (the USA defeated England 19-6 in the first Women’s Rugby World Cup in 1991) Four additional World Cup appearances as a USA Eagle (1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006) 40 caps (only recently surpassed by USA prop Jamie Burke) A record for the most international points scored with 178 total points A Division I National Championship (2012 with her club team Atlanta Harlequins) Coaching positions with USA Rugby South Women’s All Stars and the Harlequins
Patty’s legacy is one that is well known in the women’s rugby community, and now, she’s been given her place amongst rugby greats like All Black Jonah Lomu and Springbok Francoise Pienaar – a well-deserved spot for a player that has reached the highest levels of rugby and has had a hand in cultivating the sport both internationally and domestically.
As her teammate and on behalf of the Atlanta Harlequins, I’d like to give the biggest congratulations and three cheers to Patty Jervey on this and all of her accomplishments.
Stay Frosty, PJ.