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Wando Rugby Invited to Lowcountry Tournament

Junior%2C+Huw+Meredith
Junior, Huw Meredith

Junior, Huw Meredith

Elijah Bull

Elijah Bull

Junior, Huw Meredith

Annie Wright, Staff Writer

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After the completion of their first tournament, the Wando Rugby team moves on to work towards another winning season.

On Saturday, December 2nd, the team traveled to the Citadel’s Summerall Field to compete in an all day tournament, inviting teams from the lowcountry, as well as surrounding states to kick-off the season. The tournament, called the Citadel Southern Classic, is a chance for local and regional teams to expose the sport to the community, as well as a chance for competition between leagues. This year, however, the event invited several high school teams to come play. With a previous state championship, as well as a win over the region’s best, the team has high expectations for their season to come.

“I think it was a good representation of where we are at as of right now. We have about five practices until our first game…but I do think that our team’s pretty good this year, we did lose a lot of our starting players, but I think we still have a lot of potential. Our forward pack is not as big as last year, but we do have a lot of strong players.” said senior Arthur Doyle.

The team is comprised of about 70 players, 9 volunteer coaches, and a growing fan-base of devout parents, siblings, and friends. With their recent years of winnings, the Wando team has grown in popularity for more reasons than just winning titles. Rugby is all about playing quick and diligently, all in respect of the referees and other players. With the team not actually being an official high school sport, they have room for more members. However, not all are able to play all the time.

“For each game, the roster can only be 23 guys, so only 23 guys can only ever go into the game…it’s a lot more competitive actually for those starting positions because if you’re not in the best 23 you’re out of luck,” Senior Owen McNulty said, “They [the coaches] usually try to get everyone some playing time throughout the year.”

Aside from the rules, the sport’s increased numbers and popularity has gone up due to the excitement of the sport, and its variety from other sports many see as similar. Many players come into the sport knowing little about it, but receiving much of their background from other physically-interactive sports. From 2014 to now, Wando Rugby alone has gone from 50 to over 70 teammates, graduating 32 seniors within the past 4 years.

“I’ve played a lot of sports and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a sport,” Doyle said. Doyle started on the team his sophomore year, and has loved the sport ever since. “It’s like one of those things where I enjoy going to practice, and practicing is a lot of fun…I probably am going to play as long as I can.”

Senior Ross Jaeger, a second year player, came into the sport without much background. With the support of his new teammates, Jaeger now plays A-team and gives much of his regards to the other players and coaches.

“I started playing [rugby] and I realized it was the sport for me,” Senior Ross Jaeger said,”the comradery was just amazing and everyone was nice to me, and it kinda felt like a sport where no one was really judgmental of the fact that I had never played before.” Jaeger continued to talk about the ease of being brought into the team saying,”Not only is it fun, but it’s the players that make the game.”

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Wando Rugby Invited to Lowcountry Tournament