Rugby’s road to nationals

Jesuit High School’s varsity rugby team will be travelling to Charlotte, North Carolina this week to participate in the annual High School National Invitational Tournament.  They will be looking to bring home their 9th national championship.

The team enters the tournament with a record of 18-4 and is currently ranked among the top teams in the country. Three of their four losses came from top touring teams from New Zealand and England.

Head Coach Mr. John Schorey thinks that the team is being overlooked because of its four losses but also thinks that the team is battle-tested and feeling confident.

“The hardest game is always the first game in the Nationals because of nerves and travel. The team to beat this year is Gonzaga [College High School] from Washington D.C. who beat us last year in the National Championship. They are the number 1 ranked team in the country and if we meet them in the championship game, we will be prepared to give them the toughest game they have had all year. We hope to bring Jesuit a 9th national championship,” Coach Shorey said.

The team has been plagued with the injury bug as of late, but senior prop, Nick Econome, thinks that the team won’t let that stop them.

“I think we have been given all the means necessary to succeed in this tournament.  All the teams that we will play will be tough, but I think we will fair well against this competition.  I think our biggest adversity is all the injuries, but despite that, we still have the depth to succeed even without some key players,” Nick said.

Without those key players, Jesuit may face some difficulties on the pitch against some of their fellow top competitors.

Senior lock and forwards captain, Robert Paylor, is looking for redemption after last year’s loss in the National Championship.

“Last year’s loss was absolutely devastating. All the hard work and perseverance that we put into that whole season made losing a national championship by one point heartbreaking.  From the moment we stepped off the field that day, we have been focused and determined to return home national champions this season, and we have trained well enough to come into the tournament with a lot of optimism.  Our team is pumped up and ready to compete,” Robert said.

Jesuit Varsity Rugby knows that winning a national title is never easy, but they have been in this position before.  They know they will face a challenge in this tournament but  despite all of the adversity, their skill, determination, and experience will surely give them a decisive advantage.