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Fen Rug Aspires to High School Rugby Elite Status

Miguel Munoz

Miguel Munoz

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Although the Illinois weather might not be a good indicator, it is now spring sport season at Fenwick High School. Fenwick Rugby will look to build off of last year’s playoff appearance and take the next step towards being a part of rugby’s elite.
Rugby is a unique sport because of the fact that most players don’t have contact with it until high school. While other sports spend time scrimmaging, the rugby team is still learning the basics well into the season.
Senior Kyle Arquette said, “Most kids don’t really know what they’re doing out on the field until a couple games in. All that really matters is that they go hard all the time.”
Kyle Arquette was one of those lost first year players in 2017. By the end of the year he was on the Chicago Catholic Rugby Conference 1st Team. Kyle attributes his quick turnaround to the fundamental drills that are worked on at every practice.
While these drills might seem redundant after some time, they are necessary for a high quality team. These drills teach the skills needed for in game situations. Most important of all, they preach the safety of the game. Learning how to properly tackle is a staple of every practice, and helps keep players out of the doctor’s office.
The team returns a slew of talent from last year’s team along with Arquette. Liam Mahon, another 1st Team Conference selection, is joined by Nick Jakaitis, Mickey McDonough Billy Grehan, and Phil Prinske among others who will look to be the cornerstones of this year’s team. Their experience will prove important with helping introduce new players to the game.
It is said that rugby is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen. The adage could not be more true than for the Fenwick team, as members of the team are leaders throughout the school. The team regularly has players on the honor roll, in national honor society, as well as leaders in various clubs throughout the school.
The players from the rugby team are also leaders on different fields. Because of rugby’s spring sport status, students often also play fall and winter sports. Popular sports that feed into rugby are football, wrestling, hockey, and soccer. Some of the players that play rugby were captains of their fall and winter sports.
Senior and soccer captain, Mariano Mollo said, “One of the strengths of our team is our conditioning. Soccer kept me in good shape for the season, and I know other players worked hard in their sports.” Unlike many sports, rugby is a nonstop game. The ability to keep a high tempo while the other team is wearing down is key.
Another strength of the team is camaraderie. Teamwork is a premium and camaraderie helps the team gel. Senior Sean Muldowney said, “All of us have classes together during school and then we hang out on the weekends. It helps us get along during the games and not get down on each other.” Being united makes Fenwick a difficult team to play, as well as makes the games more enjoyable for the players.
The main goal of the team right now is to run the table in conference and then parlay that into a deep playoff run. With the plethora of returning talent, as well as an infusion of newcomers, this Fenwick Rugby team has limitless potential.

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Fen Rug Aspires to High School Rugby Elite Status