Pioneer Spotlight: Andrew Massefski, Rugby Captain


Andrew Massefski (center)

Joel Roman, Contributor Writer

Senior year of college can be a stressful time with classes. Now, balance double majoring in accounting and finance, being a resident assistant to first-year students, and the club president and captain of one of the more successful team sport on campus, rugby.

For William Paterson’s Andrew Massefski that is just another day at the office.

Alongside his replica WWE championship belt that sits proudly at the top of his desk is a small but powerful stone carving of a football with a quote on the bottom that reads:

“If you don’t pick up the ball and run with it… somebody else will,”said Massefski. 

That mentality goes beyond academics and sports. It’s a lifestyle-type mentality that forces you to become better and to get after it in whatever you decide to do.

Massefski took the William Paterson rugby program from rags to one of the more dominating teams in the state since joining the team. His journey began because of time restrictions with football and lack of a wrestling program.

“I was on the Willy P web page and I saw rugby come up on the clubs page. I asked myself ‘why not?’,” said Massefski. “After I knew about the dates to try out and I came through for rugby.”

The rugby team is the 2018 Tri-State Conference 15s Rugby Champions after finishing the season 12-1. Their only loss was to the best team in the country at Nationals in North Carolina.

Under Massefski’s reign, the team is ninth best in the country, a three-peat in undefeated regular seasons capturing five Divisional Championships and three Tri-State Championships along the way.

The team’s goal is to be the best team and live by their motto of “Dominate” as they look to win a National Championship.

Massefski and the team received a surprising visit from South African rugby star Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira who shared insight into the game they love.


"The Beast" (center), Andrew Massefski (red)
Group photo with “The Beast”

“I was awestruck, starstruck to have one of the greatest rugby players here on our field, William Paterson,” said Massefski. “To have somebody here respected, universally throughout the world, was one of the craziest experiences of my life.”

One of the secrets to Massefski’s success, both on and off the field, is from one of the few things he absolutely enjoys in life, and that’s Anime, specifically “DragonBall Z” and the morals it carries.

“Anime has taught me a lot in life, like, life-lessons and deep morals ingrained into it. Taking away from ‘DragonBall Z’s Goku and Vegeta and how they train is unreal,” said Massefski. “That kind of motivation, never-give-up mentality, becoming the best and pride they have within themselves is what I see.”

Massefski emulates that mindset within the rugby team by drawing similarities to Goku, a prominent character of the “DragonBall” series, who was born as a low-ranked Saiyan but did not care, and ended up becoming the best and able to dominate any opponent.

“That’s something I saw from William Paterson Rugby, where people underestimate us and they don’t give us the respect we deserve,” said Massefski. “That’s why we say ‘let’s show everybody who Willy P is’ and we don’t care where we come from, like Goku, but we’re going to show you right now and do our best.”

When asked if he would consider himself as Vegito (fusion of Goku & Vegeta), Massefski humbly said it be very bold to say, but didn’t rule it out.

“I’m definitely a culmination of all the different experiences and all the different things that have inspired and taught me things, so you can say I have a little bit of Goku and Vegeta in me,” said Massefski. 

Other than watching his favorite anime, One Piece, Massefski’s laid back, and competitive nature perfectly shine during his downtime with a classic game of “Super Smash Bros. Melee” on the GameCube.

“It’s no debate. It’s the best Smash (game), it’s the best GameCube game. So, If anybody wants to play, I’m down to play Melee, any of the other platforms not so much, but see me on FD,” said Massefski. 

Massefski plays with a handful of characters, especially Samus. When asked who would win if Samus were to battle Goku, Thanos, and John Cena, Massefski’s answer was easy:

“At the end of the day, I think Goku is going to win. He has unlimited potential and he’s just so strong, but John Cena never gives up and they are not going to see him either,” said Massefski. ”It’s nuts that Thanos wiped half of the universe with a snap and Samus is my O.G., but I have to go with Goku.”

Massefski finishes his undergraduate this upcoming Spring but looks to get accepted into William Paterson’s MBA program. He also looks to play one more year of rugby to capture that elusive National Championship, and challenge anybody in “Super Smash Bros Melee.”