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Sports

Revere rugby program continuing to build

6/12/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

BATH — Revere rugby head coach Keith Bull said his team had “an excellent year” in 2014.

“This is one of the most talented teams that we’ve had in the seven years since I founded the team,” he said. “The kids really started to learn the game of rugby this year. We had some two- and three-year kids, and it really takes a few years before you can really get the game.”

Bull said he “absolutely” saw improvement in the team as the season progressed.

“One thing about rugby is that it’s not very long of a season, just seven weeks, and when it really starts clicking for you is at the end,” he said of the club sport. “It was a team with a good amount of experience, and every week we had tremendous growth right up to the end.”

The team captains this year were seniors Nathan August and Jack Nece.

“Nathan was second in the state for tries and third in the state for points, and Jack was third in conversions for the whole state,” Bull said. “Those two had just phenomenal years.”

August and Nece shared the team’s co-MVP (most valuable player) honors this season.

“This was Nathan’s fourth year on the squad and he will go down as one of the best Revere rugby players ever. He’s going to play club-side rugby, and I think he will play for the Akron Rugby Club. He loves the game and the game loves him,” the coach said. “If it wasn’t for Nathan’s statistics, Jack was our overall team leader. He never missed anything all year. He turned into one of the best kickers in the state. He can continue his career and do some great things at the college level or the club-side level.”

Winning the award for “Hardest Hit” for a second straight season was senior Joe Murphy.

“He’s just one of the hardest hitters we’ve ever had,” Bull said. “This was the first organized sport that he’s played in in his life, and I just believe that playing for us is something that is going to help him in his whole life.”

The coach said he also was pleased with the performance put forth by senior Brandon Barnett.

“He had some injuries and he played through them because we didn’t have big numbers this year, but he still had a tremendous season this year,” Bull said. “We got even more than I anticipated from him.

This year’s squad also included seniors Blake Bullock, Nicholas Mata, Nicholas Pasku, Ian Russell and Zack Swift.

“These guys had tremendous seasons,” the coach stated. “They played tough and they played through the small injuries. They really blossomed into a great group of seniors.”

Other notable players on the 2014 roster, Bull said, included Ben Fink, Collen Mincher, Wyatt Luzader, Tim Oros, Andrew Mayiras and Jake Vogler.

“They are set up to be tremendous players next year,” the coach said. “If they make the necessary commitment to the game, they should lead Revere to another winning season.”

Revere finished with a 5-2 record and the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs to Highland. Bull said this was his final year as the team’s coach.

“I have a former player, Ed Luther, ready to take over the team,” he said. “Ed is probably one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Revere High School. He graduated from Bowling Green University, where he played in the Final Four two times.”

Bull said he has “really enjoyed” his time as the head coach of the Revere rugby team.

“I am really appreciative that I got to have these seven years with these kids,” he said. “Rugby is a tough, tough sport and if you can survive on a rugby field, you can do anything in life. That’s kind of how I’ve lived my life and hopefully I have taught these kids a lot about working hard. Now, I am looking forward to watching the next generation of Revere rugby players come along and they are going to have one of the best players in the country coming home to teach them.”

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