Boys’ rugby captain hopes to lead team to another State Championship


Katy O'Connell

Senior Nick McEvoy is Captain of the boy’s rugby team for the 2022 season.

Lily Chan, Staff Writer

With much passion for the game, the boys’ rugby captain, senior Nick McEvoy, hopes to lead the team to a second consecutive State Championship.

McEvoy began playing rugby his freshman year because his older brother was on the team. He started off playing football, but grew to prefer rugby because he could be more involved in the play. Little did he know that three years later, he would find himself as the sole captain of the reigning State Champions.    

At the 2021 Massachusetts Division II State Finals, the team faced Cambridge Rindge and Latin. The game started out close, but in the end some of the star players and even some of the younger players made key plays, allowing the rugby team to secure the state title.

“[The team] had a lot of athletic seniors and people who had been playing for several years, so we had a lot of experience,” McEvoy said.

After a mid-game delay due to a thunderstorm, Algonquin came out on top with a final score of 30-14. 

“Being able to have that result is a huge testament to the team’s work ethic and their confidence in themselves and each other,” coach Dom McNeil said. “They rode that right to lifting that trophy at the end of the match.” 

Many members of the 2021 team had played together for years. According to McNeil, they had a kind of independence that allowed them to play successfully even without his constant guidance. 

“They had great chemistry and great trust in each other,” McNeil said. “Rugby depends a great deal on that kind of chemistry.”

McNeil has had the opportunity to watch many of the players on the team grow and develop over the years. He says he has watched McEvoy evolve from a timid underclassman to a confident leader and a tremendous player. 

“He loves the game and has a passion for it,” McNeil said. “He’s committed to his teammates and to the growth of the Algonquin program. We struggled four years ago and he was a big part of us eventually winning the State Championship.”

At the end-of-season banquet last year, McEvoy was announced as the only captain for this season. According to McNeil, out of a small class of rising seniors, he stood out. As a soon-to-be Eagle Scout, McEvoy has a sense of duty, commitment, leadership and maturity that is uncommon in boys his age. 

“Even if there were 30 seniors, he was the clear choice [for captain],” McNeil said. 

Last year he was part of the team’s Leadership Council, which is a group of class representatives who display good leadership skills. Now he is the only captain with a leadership council composed of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.

“As captain there was a lot of pressure to recruit people so that we can win States again, but we have a bunch of leaders on the field so that helps take some of the pressure off of me,” McEvoy said. 

After losing a number of seniors last year, getting more people to play was essential. With a large group of underclassmen and an outstanding veteran group, McEvoy acts as a bridge between the two. 

“His charisma and leadership is infectious,” McNeil said. “He’s brought a lot of talent and dedicated players to the team.”

One of the team’s traditions is the opportunity to travel in the off-season and play against teams from around the nation and world. This February, some members of the Algonquin team along with players from St. John’s prep, Catholic Memorial and Malden Catholic traveled to San Antonio, Texas to play for the Mystic River U19 club rugby team. 

“The trip to Texas was a lot of fun and it was a great bonding experience.” McEvoy said. 

According to McNeil, the future of the reigning State Champions looks promising as a recent scrimmage with Malden Catholic further proved. It was a great experience for younger players and allowed them to gain an appreciation for the game. 

“There has already been an incredible amount of growth and with the talent that we have, I have no doubt that we are going to be competing on that field when the championship is played on June 30,” McNeil said.