Seki Kofe

Loving what you do and doing what you love: Getting to know Seki Kofe

BYU senior center Seki Kofe runs the ball against UVU on March 25, 2015. BYU won 109-0 at BYU's South Field. Photo by Andrea Wride
BYU senior center Seki Kofe runs the ball against UVU on March 25, 2015. BYU won 109-0 at BYU's South Field. Photo by Andrea Wride

At 6’ 1’’ and 235 lbs., senior center Seki Kofe fits the part of a tough rugby player, but when he greets you with his wide grin it is easy to tell there is more to him than meets the eye.

“I still get nervous for the games,” Kofe laughs in his easygoing way. “It’s intense without pads.”

Kofe has been a key fixture of BYU’s rugby team since his freshman year. The celebrated athlete has won numerous awards and has been instrumental in the team’s back-to-back national championship victories. However, although Kofe has had great success at BYU, it was not always his plan to attend the university.

“My family has always played rugby,” Kofe said. “Originally I was going to play at Arizona State University because I knew the coach, but after my mission to Spain I decided I wanted to go to BYU.”

Although Kofe’s time at BYU has helped him excel academically, spiritually and physically, it has required dedication. His day typically begins before the sun rises and includes physical training, class (he is close to completing his degree in construction management), work and rugby practice. He is home long after the sun has set and works on homework until midnight. Kofe also balances being a husband and his calling as young men’s president in his ward.

Loving what you do and doing what you love: Getting to know Seki Kofe

BYU senior center Seki Kofe runs the ball against UVU on March 25, 2015. BYU won 109-0 at BYU's South Field. Photo by Andrea Wride

At 6’ 1’’ and 235 lbs., senior center Seki Kofe fits the part of a tough rugby player, but when he greets you with his wide grin it is easy to tell there is more to him than meets the eye.

“I still get nervous for the games,” Kofe laughs in his easygoing way. “It’s intense without pads.”

Kofe has been a key fixture of BYU’s rugby team since his freshman year. The celebrated athlete has won numerous awards and has been instrumental in the team’s back-to-back national championship victories. However, although Kofe has had great success at BYU, it was not always his plan to attend the university.

“My family has always played rugby,” Kofe said. “Originally I was going to play at Arizona State University because I knew the coach, but after my mission to Spain I decided I wanted to go to BYU.”

Although Kofe’s time at BYU has helped him excel academically, spiritually and physically, it has required dedication. His day typically begins before the sun rises and includes physical training, class (he is close to completing his degree in construction management), work and rugby practice. He is home long after the sun has set and works on homework until midnight. Kofe also balances being a husband and his calling as young men’s president in his ward.

“You decide whether you’re committed or not,” Kofe said. “You may not always want to do something, but if you love what you do you get it done.”

BYU Defeats Utah By 45 Points At Utah

Salt Lake City, UT- The Wasatch Cup will remain in possession of the Cougars after BYU beat Utah convincingly at the Ute Soccer Field 76-31. The expectations of both teams were high as BYU and Utah each defeated northern California rugby power St. Mary’s last week.

“The score doesn’t tell the whole story of the game. We knew the Utes would be ready to play as they have in the past,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth. “Our backs did a great job finding the holes leading to several tries.”

BYU senior prop Kody Thompson scores his one of his two tries against Utah. BYU defeated Utah 76-31 for the Wasatch Cup. Photo by Andrea Wride
BYU senior prop Kody Thompson scores his one of his two tries against Utah. BYU defeated Utah 76-31 for the Wasatch Cup. Photo by Andrea Wride

Utah jumped on the scoreboard early sending a penalty kick through the uprights in the 9th minute of the game after an early BYU penalty giving the Utes a 3-0 lead. The game momentum seemed to be wholly in Utah’s favor until the 10th minute when BYU junior wing Ryan Blaser ran in a quick try. BYU’s fly half Jonathan Linehan’s conversion was good following Blaser’s try putting the Cougars up 7-3 shifting the momentum to the Cougars.

BYU sophomore flanker Ara Elkington scored the first of his two tries in the 13th minute. Elkington wasn’t the only Cougar to score two tries. BYU senior prop Kody Thompson also scored two tries. BYU senior wing Jordan Lowry had the most tries with three.

BYU improves to 6-0 against St. Mary’s

Moraga, CA- Senior center Seki Kofe’s try in the 55th minute followed by junior fly half Jonathan Linehan’s conversion against a scrappy #4 St. Mary’s defense put #1 BYU’s point total at 32 for the day despite a rough first half.

The visiting BYU Cougars (6-0) won 32-28 defeating the Gaels improving their win streak to 18 since the Gaels handed the Cougars their lone defeat of the 2014 at St. Mary’s on Feb. 15, 2014. The 18-game win streak includes the 43-33 Varsity Cup National Championship victory over the California Golden Bears.

“We picked up the pace in the second half which made all the difference. Our forwards ran hard increasing our confidence as a team,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth.

BYU struggled in the first forty minutes despite an early penalty kick by Linehan in the 4th minute and a quick try by senior fullback Ryan Blaser in the 10th minute which gave the Cougars a 10-0 lead. The Gaels responded with great passing and kicking as they scored 18 unanswered points going into half-time with an 18-10 lead.

Subbing in for Blaser in the second-half, junior fullback Joshua Whippy scored a try in the 41st minute closing the gap to 15-18. Six minutes later, Linehan sent a penalty kick through the uprights tying the game at 18-18.

“I knew it was a critical moment of the game since St. Mary’s came out hard in the first-half,” said Linehan of his second penalty kick. “I knew I could count on my teammates to keep the momentum going.”

The momentum increased for the Cougars as freshman winger Calvin Whiting scored a try in the 48th minute as a good conversion by Linehan increased the lead to 25-18. The Gaels responded four minutes later with a penalty kick changing the score to 25-21.