RHS Rugby Club
Very Much Alive at Five
By Melanie Cane
When the 17 seniors on the five-year-old Rye High School Rugby Club graduate next month, it will be a bittersweet moment because most of them have been on the team since they were freshmen.
But for the moment, Boys’ Head Coach Jim O’Hara and Girls’ Coach Jim Rinaldi are savoring the fact that the boys are headed to States this weekend and that the girls had a breakout season.
Both teams played their last game of the regular season on May 11.
The Girls’ team bested FASNY 25-10. They were dominant from start to finish, with junior captain Ella Garnett and Ashley Polermo scoring on all their tries. Rinaldi summed it up, “Today the team came together, and the offense and defense played their hearts out.”
The girls were 3-1 overall for the season. After losing to Harvey in their first match, the girls were determined to turn things around. They won the Harvey School 7s Tournament on May 3, after beating a visiting team from France, and then avenged their loss to Harvey in the championship contest.
The boys came up against Keio, who beat them in the state championships last year, and they made a valiant attempt to avenge that loss but fell 31-24. The Garnets were up 17-12 at halftime, but Keio stormed back in the second half. Three different Garnets — Grant Meyerson, Tommy Sciulli, and Chase Bekkerus — scored tries. Co-Captain Michael Davitt, who made three conversions and a penalty kick, said, “The Keio game was our toughest match of the season, maybe the toughest match I’ve ever played in.”
That was the boys’ only loss in their 3-1-1 season, having tied FASNY. In Coach O’Hara’s estimation: “It was another strong season for our program.”
The Rye Rugby Club’s 17 seniors
Ella Garnett running the ball