Lopes’ players, coaches remember teammate killed last week in California
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
It is with incredible sadness that Grand Canyon University Club Sports announces the passing of a former member of the GCU Men’s Rugby family. Andrew Summerfield – who played for the Lopes during the 2018-19 season – was killed by a still-unknown assailant last week in his hometown of Inglewood, California, a Los Angeles suburb. Summerfield left the team after that season, but the Entrepreneurial Sciences major remained enrolled last year and had been taking online classes in the fall with the intent of returning to campus and the program in the fall of 2021. Summerfield was 20 years old.
“Andrew was a great guy to have around the program,” said GCU Assistant Coach Adam Muszynski, who coached Summerfield during that season. “He always tried his best, was a great athlete and respectful, making it easy to give him opportunities on the field. This is tragic news that no coach wants regarding a current or former player, and the GCU Rugby family extends our thoughts and prayers to Andrew’s family in this hard time.”
While Summerfield spent just one season as a wing on the team, he made an indelible impression.
“Andrew never settled for mediocrity – always wanting to do more, whether it be entrepreneurship, academics, or rugby,” 5th-year player Damon McCaskill said. “His drive and passion for others was contagious as he strived to help better the community we grew up in. I’m blessed to say that his drive and passion inspired me and others around him.”
Teammate Riley Steed said, “I have nothing but respect for someone who was as naturally athletic and gifted as him but was still able to take criticism and advice from his coaches and peers. That was Andrew. He was one of those guys where if he scored a try, everyone on the field and sideline would burst with cheer. He was humble, reliable and had strong character.”
Summerfield’s influence and loss were felt by members of both the men’s and women’s rugby teams. Summerfield came up through the rugby club and high school ranks with a few of them on both sides. “Watching him grow from high school to now college, it was a blessing to meet someone as thoughtful, funny and kind as Andrew,” said GCU Women’s Rugby player Temprist Smith. “Drew always had bigger dreams that involved helping his community and his peers. Even in his offseason, he was working toward the bigger goal, whether that be health, wealth or academics. Even though we weren’t that close in high school, I am honored to have encountered such a pure soul as Andrew Summerfield.”