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Experienced Revere Rugby Club ready to break out of pack

4/4/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

BATH — Last season, the Revere High School Rugby Club finished with a 4-4-1 record, but all four wins occurred during the team’s last five games.

“Our team is young, but we really turned it on at the end of last season,” said head coach Keith Bull. “That momentum’s already carrying over into this season. We’ve now won five of our last six games, and we have a lot of good, experienced young players. These kids form a really tough and physical group.”

On March 24, Revere opened its season with a 20-5 victory over Coventry — marking the school’s first opening day victory in its six-year history.

“That was our first win over Coventry,” Bull said. “We had been 0-5 against them. They’re always a solid and strong team with really good coaching. But we came out with a dominating win, and that tells me that we’re off and running.”

Bull said the team is led by a pair of senior co-captains.

“Our two co-captains are the cornerstones of our team. Their success will determine our success,” the coach said. “Brett Higgins will lead us in the back as a top scorer and one of our hardest hitters. Brian Luther, a four-year player, will lead this team to be one of the best teams in Revere Rugby history.”

In addition, the team features two other seniors who will play key roles for the team, Bull said.

“Joshua Cargel will play wing for us, and as the season goes on, we expect Joshua to contribute more,” he said. “Alex Myers will anchor our pack and has that look in his eye that he will not be stopped.”

According to Bull, the strength of this year’s team will be its pack.

“We’re going to be one of the biggest packs in high school rugby in the state of Ohio,” he said. “Our offense will be led by [junior] flyhalf Nathan August, a third-year player who could be one of the best flyhalfs in the state of Ohio.”

Bull said August is part of a really strong junior class for Revere this season.

“Brandon Barnett could have a breakout season. He is really starting to understand the game and getting tougher,” the coach said. “Joseph Murphy, who will play wing for us, is one of our hardest hitters and should be one of our top scorers. Zack Swift, who will play wing for us, will bring veteran leadership to the back line and should score often for us.

“And Ian Russell is a third-year player who will go down as one of Revere rugby’s most versatile players. He has already some more aggressive play that will lead to greatness.”

Other key juniors include Blake Bullock, Nicholas Mata, John Nece and Joe Merklin. Sophomores who are expected to make an impact this season include Ben Fink, Garrett Higgins, Isaiah Kessler, Wyatt Luzader and Collen Mincher.

Revere’s second game of the season will take place April 7 at 6 p.m. against Medina High School at Bath Community Park. Bull said the team is using the extended break between its first two games to work on fundamentals.

“It usually takes two to three years to really understand the game of rugby, and now we have a lot of second- and third-year players,” he said. “So we are starting to go beyond the simple stuff to learning more strategy.”

Bull said expectations are high for his team this season.

“This year, I feel really confident that we’ll compete for our league championship,” he stated. “This is the best team we’ve ever had, and it’s a junior-dominated team, which will make us even better for next year. We’ve put in a lot of hard work, and it’s really starting to pay off. I think the sky’s the limit for us.”

For additional information about the Revere High School Rugby Club, go to www.revererugby.com.

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