HHS has added a new sport for the Spring season: Rugby. The idea came about last spring and was spearheaded by seniors Stephen Cockey and Seamus Boutin. The talk around it cooled after school ended and there wasn’t an expectation it was going to be added as a sport. Then this winter, word came that should the team get enough members, it would be added as a spring sport. Cockey, Boutin and others scrambled trying to recruit every able-bodied male in the school. They cut it close numbers-wise but they have a team nonetheless.
The team draws from all four grade levels and it will be interesting to see how they do. Cockey and Boutin will be two of their key players. The other Boutin brothers, Freshman Rian and Junior Colin, will be important as well. Freshman Oliver Manser, Junior Pete Crowley, and Senior Jeff MacDonald have shown they’re going to be assets as well. Their ace is Junior Padraic McDonough, by far the most experienced and knowledgeable rugby player in the school. He will have to play of huge part of any success they have. The team went with some school staff members for a coaching staff. Mr. McLean, who was a long-term sub last year, and now teaches at Hanover Middle School, is the head coach. He is assisted by our vice principal Mr. Galligan, who is an experienced player, and by Padraic McDonough’s father.
The team has spent much of its time practicing in the gym at HMS while they waited for the turf to be clear. They don’t have a complete schedule in place, but the first game is set to be scheduled this week so that should probably take place in two weeks, according to Stephen Cockey. The team has complete autonomy over their schedule and may play in several tournaments as well sevens rugby, where each team has 7 players on the field as opposed to the usual 15. There is no Patriot League for Rugby, although some schools have programs. It’s just their first year and right now they’re officially classified as a club, but hopefully this year marks the beginning of a bright future for Rugby success here at HHS.