DSHA senior fights for good cause away from rugby field

Elizabeth Merz will tackle you with a smile on her face. The DSHA senior may be aggressive on the field, but she is anything but in everyday life and that's why she is this week's FOX6 High School Hot Shot.

"For me, being aggressive is fun," said Merz. "Also, it is a lot of fun for the other players on the team. We don't really practice that aggressively. It's more in games. It kind of makes it tough when you really have to fight for something. So it is really kind of inspirational almost."

Merz was reluctant to get into rugby, at first, but she has shined for the Dashers and helped them win nationals her sophomore year.

"I have two older cousins that played on this team," Merz said. "They kind of told me to play and I was like, "Eh, I don't know." But I love it. I am glad I played."

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When Merz is not taking opponents to the ground, she is volunteering her time for good causes.

"I am part of Best Buddies," said Merz. "I played soccer when I was younger and a girl on my team had Down syndrome. I was so close with her. I never understood the difference of having a disability so I just became involved in Best Buddies."

Merz also raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It became personal for her when her younger brother, Liam, was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It was really hard on our family," Merz said. "It was a three and a half year long treatment. But my family talks every day about how we can give back to all the support that LLS gave us when he was sick. LLS helped us so much so giving back was so easy for me. And just such a small thing for so much help that I was given."