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Inside a rugby player’s time at Jesuit

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For the last two seasons, Eric Cervantes ’18 played every minute of every game for the Jesuit High School varsity rugby team. During the last season, Eric played in the state championship game against an opposing team that had six players over 250 pounds while Jesuit only had two players over 200 pounds.

“It was a very physical game last year, but we dominated them physically and mentally,” said Eric. “I think what won us that game was our defense. It didn’t really matter how big they were: [with] the little guys, we would just run through, and [with] the bigger guys, we would run around. We just put our bodies on the line.”

During the regular season, Jesuit’s rugby team did well due to some key components like good coaching and team chemistry. They got 34 wins, 12 losses, and 2 ties overall.

“We’ve all been together since freshman year,” said Eric. “We also have a coach who was here since the beginning of our rugby program. He’s been coaching since 1999, and he’s won many national championships, so he knows how to coach us.”  

Jesuit’s varsity rugby coach, John Shorey, has also been a very huge part of the team’s success. He said many things to make the team better. For example, Coach Shorey told Eric that he needed to condition the whole week and not take any time off, as well as play every game.

“If you want to win a national championship, then you need to act like a national championship team,” said Eric, quoting his coach. “So, you can’t be late to practice, and you can’t be messing around while doing drills. You have to be doing everything at 100% as hard as you can and as fast as you can.”

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