Join Boys & Girls Rugby: Fall Season!

Fall Sevens is about to begin. Are you ready?


Mentor Victory over John Marshall

Evelyn Megery, Editor

Did you know that MHS has a rugby team? In fact, the girl’s varsity team made it to the states championship in Ohio last season!

Rugby players in action

Although the official rugby season doesn’t start until the spring, the Mentor team couldn’t wait to join the fall league. In the next few months, expect these athletes to play with as much rigor and determination as they would in their official season. It is a great way to get to know the team and learn what the sport is all about.

According to a brief description provided by Coach Hummel of the boy’s team, “Rugby football is a relatively new “Club-Varsity” sport at Mentor High School. Players that play in the spring and meet our criteria receive a Mentor varsity letter. Rugby is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.”

The Scrum

With its inclusion in the 2016 Summer Olympics for both men and women, the sevens style of rugby as significantly increased in popularity across the country.

The shape of a professional rugby ball

There are a few differences between the fall season and spring season. “Fall Sevens” may seem odd to those who are unfamiliar with the sport. In the spring, there are fifteen players from each team on the field, but there are only seven in the fall, hence the name. With fewer players, the athletes focus more on their running and endurance and the game flows at a faster pace. Because of this, the fall season games are only fourteen minutes long with seven minute halves and a five minute half time.

If the fall is a busy season for you or you’re not ready to try out a new sport, feel free to come back in the spring! That is when rugby season officially starts, and they’ll be excited to show you the ropes.

“Rugby is such a unique sport due to the fact that it is a sport where there is no standard athletic mold to play,” wrote Coach Vicki McGarry, girls coach. “Each team is comprised of all types of players and player strengths. It is the most inclusive sport you will ever watch and play. During the field of competition players are doing what they need to win. After the game it is standard to have a social with the other team celebrating great plays from both teams with each other.”

No one gets in the way of Ally Lloyd.

The first practices for the fall season are at the end of August and you are welcome to check them out. You won’t be the only new person there who doesn’t know the entirety of the game, for there were people that joined rugby last year who had never played before and didn’t even know the rules and they ended up enjoying it.

“Rugby players come in all shapes and sizes,” said Coach Hummel. “If you played football, wrestled, soccer or basketball, rugby has a position for you.”

The boys team practices are Monday – Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Mentor High School’s JTO Stadium.

The girls team practices Tuesday – Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Mentor High Schools grass fields by the Lake Health facility.

The Mentor Boys’ Rugby Team

Lastly, you should know that matches for the fall league start on Sunday, September 25 and will continue to be on Sundays for the following five weeks. They will be held tournament-style, so each team will play three 14-minute sevens matches throughout the day. All matches, for both boys and girls, will be held in Vermillion and the the championship will be held in Columbus, which will include all of the high school rugby programs in the state.

Since rugby is a fairly new sport in the region and is not yet run by OHSAA, the team competes in Rugby Ohio.

Have any questions or are interested in joining the team? Ask the coaches.

Coach Vicki McGarry (Girls Team): [email protected]

Coach John Hummel (Boys Team): [email protected]

Also, check out the team’s Facebook page for more information.

“We encourage EVERYONE to at least to try the sport- most often once you try it you are hooked for life.” ~ Coach McGarry

Check out these pictures below! Photos of the girl’s team were taken by Evelyn Megery. Images of the boy’s team were provided by Kyle Martin.