Lillian Fillyaw had been scouted by colleges since her freshman year and had long known she was going to play rugby somewhere at the next level.
The McMinn County senior put her decision in writing last week, signing to continue her education and athletic career at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a ceremony at the county high school by McMinn.
As well as playing rugby, Fillyaw will also compete in throwing events for the Queens track team.
“I’m really excited. I think it’s a good step for me, especially being in sports, being with my friends and getting to know a lot of them,” Fillyaw said. is really good.”
Ivy League schools Harvard and Brown had watched Fillyaw early on, as well as Rio Grande in Ohio, but Queens was where she felt most comfortable.
“I think I always wanted to go to Queens because I knew everyone,” said Fillyaw, who is undecided on a major. “I know a lot of girls there and I’ve known the coach for a long time. And I love the environment there. And finances and everything was just the best for me.
In college rugby, Fillyaw is expected to play the lockdown position, which requires size and strength – something Tribe Rugby head coach Dan Long has noted Fillyaw possesses in abundance.
“Her role has just been to crush people, and she does a great job,” Long said. “They have a hard time grabbing it first and then have an even harder time knocking it down. It therefore takes up this challenge well and has exceeded it.
“She is going to translate that very well with her size and her power. It’s a great fit.
Fillyaw played a major role in the success the Girls of Tribe Rugby enjoyed during his time, according to Long.
“She’s been an important part of the team since she started playing four years ago,” Long said. “He’s played a lot of different positions for us and just been a powerhouse, really. She’s doing great things on and off the court, and I think she’s going to be a great addition to the Queens program.
Fillyaw also reached sectional competition in track and field last season in the shot put. She also participated in bowling and soccer at McMinn.