Matthew Armstrong and rugby team captain Pat McTiernan. Photo Devon Bedoya
The Greenwich High School men’s rugby team had a ceremony on Wednesday evening at the Cardinal Stadium before their game versus Fairfield Rugby Club to honor the team’s graduating seniors.
This Senior Night ceremony highlighted the team’s seniors and their plans after high school. Many of the seniors will continue their education at colleges across the country, where some of them will continue to play rugby.
Seniors walked forward onto the field with a rose in hand, accompanied by their parents.
In cases where parents were not present, the players were accompanied by GHS coach Joe Kelly.
The seniors on the team are: Kevin Agudelo, Bailey Ballone, Manuel Carballo, Anthony Davis Jr., Jeffrey Enamorado, Emilio Garcia, James Gordon, Blake Guerrieri, JJ Hartwell, Zhaire House, Kevin Jewell, Jonathan Loja, Brian Merida, Robert Migliorino, Yuv Nichani, Philip Raviele, Ronald Rawlings, Connor Weigold, Kevin Wright and captains Kevin Iobbi, Patrick McTiernan, Alex Nanai, and Ian Pearson.
JJ Hartwell accompanied by his parents. May 24, 2017. Photo: Devon Bedoya
Some alumni from the rugby team attended Senior Night to show their support.
“I came today because people always did it for us, and when I was a senior it was a really nice show of support,” said Tommy Williams, a former captain of the team and a current student at Villanova University.
GHS Rugby alumni attended the Senior Night game. May 24, 2017. Photo: Devon Bedoya
Coach Kelly offered the seniors some advice on their future plans after high school.
“They should contribute to life like they contribute to the team, and set goals the same way they do for rugby in order to succeed,” said Kelly.
Coach Kelly talks with Coach Matt Armstrong. May 24, 2017. Photo: Devon Bedoya
It’s clear that the team has big goals and high standards after seeing their success at the National Championship in Kansas City, Missouri last week. The Greenwich rugby team left Nationals with a 2-1 victory, and a #5 national rank.
During Nationals, the team played in two overtime games. In their game against #7 ranked St. Edwards in Ohio, the Greenwich team came out after ten minutes of overtime with a 31-26 victory. Then, the team played their rival, #4 ranked Xavier. Greenwich was defeated by Xavier earlier in the season, but came back strong at Nationals. The game ended in a 22-22 tie, and after ten minutes of overtime neither team was able to make it into the try-zone. Even after each team was given five attempts to score points through penalty kicks, the score remained a tie. It ultimately came down to Sudden Death penalty kicks, in which Greenwich was finally able to successfully pull through.
“Our theme at Nationals was invincible,” Kelly said. The team was able to channel this theme to pull of an impressive victory at the National Championship, and it marked the most successful Nationals trip in the history of the program.
Coach Matt Armstrong talks to the team after the game. May 24, 2017. Photo: Devon Bedoya
On Wednesday’s Senior Night game, the team came out victorious once again. The game ended in a 67-34 win over Fairfield Rugby Club.
“We came together as one today,” said Patrick McTiernan, one of the captains on the team. Although he sat out from the game due to a knee injury he sustained at the National Championship, he still felt bonded to the team.
“It’s great to be a part of such a great team,” McTiernan said.
Their Senior Night win means that the Greenwich rugby team will advance on to the state final.
GHS Rugby senior players pose for a photo with their families. May 24, 2017. Photo: Devon Bedoya