Back-to-Back Wins Boost RHS Boys Rugby as Postseason Looms

Rye High’s boys rugby team has had hard times and easy times as of late. In both cases, however, the Garnets came away winners.

Published May 25, 2024 12:13 AM
2 min read


Rye High’s boys rugby team has had hard times and easy times as of late. In both cases, however, the Garnets came away winners.

The tough assignment was on May 10, when the boys traveled to St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island to play what can only be described as an intimidating opponent. The Catholic prep school is a sports powerhouse, with a rugby program that rivals nationally ranked schools like Manhattan’s Xavier High – which beat Rye 31-0 earlier this year.

With their game faces on, the Garnets played their best – and won both their A-side and B-side games. The A-side, consisting of Rye’s most experienced players, won 45-26, while the B-side, made up of the team’s newer faces, won 36-22. Junior Archer Fenton scored three tries (a rugby form of touchdown) from fullback, senior captain Owen Welburn scored two tries and dominated defensively, while freshman Jagger Fenton continued his breakout season with five total conversions (a rugby form of point-after- touchdown kick).

“Going into the game we knew that we had to prove ourselves again and we did just that,” senior captain Sjef Smits said of Rye’s A-side match. “With our second-half performance, I think we can beat any team that comes our way.”

The easier of the Garnets’ two assignments was next, when they played on their home field May 16 against Play Rugby USA, a New York City-based organization that promotes grassroots rugby in underserved communities. Rye dominated the match, with a final score of 64-7. At least one player from each ninth-through-12th grade level scored, with Fenton and Smits leading the way with three tries each. In addition, Fenton and junior Owen Saya each had conversions.

At that point, the team’s regular-season record was five wins, one draw and two losses. On June 8, the team heads to Poughkeepsie for the state tournament at Vassar College.

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