Boys’ rugby strives to defend championship title


Owen Jones

Members of the boys’ rugby team compete in a game.

Mason Casellini, Staff Writer

The defending State Champion boys’ rugby team is working hard to reach the playoffs with hopes of winning a back-to-back Division II championship.

So far this season, the team has lost against two teams but are confident that they can dominate the field against their upcoming Division II competition. According to senior captain Nick McEvoy, the connection between the team is strong, and with their skills, they can defend the title. 

McEvoy says the team is preparing for playoffs by training every day as well as playing with highly skilled teams including Division I teams Xaverian Brothers’ High School and BC High School.

“This year’s season brings new potential with many players ranging from freshmen to seniors joining the team,” McEvoy said. 

Head Coach Dominic McNeil is ready to guide his players throughout the playoffs. 

“This year we are a smarter team because we learned from the teams we have played against,” McNeil said. 

McNeil said the key goals to work on are fitness, better tactics to prepare for Division II games and to overall get ready for the playoffs in June. 

Players connect outside of school through captain’s practices, which McEvoy says allow the new players to grow, connect as a team and create friendships, ultimately leading them to communicate and play better. 

“Players on either team after their games order a pizza and both teams get to enjoy it and talk to each other,” McEvoy said. 

As they get closer to the playoffs, senior Colin McDonald says the players are working hard at increasing their commitment and sharpening their abilities to retain the State Champion title. 

“We’ve been working hard at practice, trying to get as many kids to show up,” McDonald said. “Other than that, we’re putting in the work, improving our skills and getting better at the game.” 

According to McEvoy, last year’s championship team had many experienced senior athletes. This year’s team includes many new, inexperienced players, but the team is working on overcoming their challenges and building off their strengths. McDonald agrees that the team’s lack of experience and game knowledge has been a challenge.

“This year has been more focused on teaching, but it has been well received,” McDonald said.

Mcdonald explained that the team capitalizes on being a very strong forward group and tends to play a lot better in the middle of the field. 

“The team can be  a little weaker around the edges, so that tends to be the focus of our practices,” McDonald said. 

Senior Coltn Lane is a first-year player and enjoys his time playing the sport, which he describes as “wicked good.” 

What Lane found interesting about the game is the popularity of the sport in the region. He found  it easy to connect with the members of the team because he had known many of them for a long time.

“The connection in the team has built an important teamwork and reinforces our mental toughness for each other,” Lane said.