October 19, 2017
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  • The Green Hornets Rugby U9's were all smiles after a recent play day at Kinder Park. See link to a full photo gallery of Green Hornets rugby in our article below.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Green Hornets Rugby U9's were all smiles after a recent play day at Kinder Park. See link to a full photo gallery of Green Hornets rugby in our article below.

Green Hornets Rugby Wraps Up Successful Summer Season

Colin Murphy
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August 8, 2017

Green Hornets rugby capped off a successful summer season with strong performances at the Maryland State Rugby Festival in Sykesville on July 29 and 30.

More than 70 local kids participated on co-ed Green Hornets rugby teams this summer, playing competitive matches for the organization’s U9, U11, U13 and U15 outfits against teams from throughout the state as part of the Rugby Maryland league. Rugby Maryland comprises 12 youth rugby organizations from around the state including four from Anne Arundel County: Green Hornets, Arden, Edgewater and Andover.

Severna Park’s performances at the Maryland State Rugby Festival, the end-of-season de facto state championships, were led by the title-winning efforts of the U13 side, which went 4-0 at the tournament to bring home the Classic division crown.

“The U13 team played great in the tournament as well as all season long,” said head coach Ruth Seerey. “Many of the kids have been playing together now for over four years, it showed in the final championship.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Green Hornets Rugby at Kinder Park play day, 7.22.17

The team of Brayden Albrecht, Nikalena Benson, Tanner Calzado, Evan Campbell, Liam Cleary, Rin Feemster, Daniel Jones, Riordan O’Kane, Caleb Rassofsky, Aidan Seerey, Jack Simpson, Jacob Towner, Finn Spiers, Nathan Kohler, Michael Maguire, Cameron Neal, Lincoln Scott and Jacob Pooler went 7-2 during regular-season play before entering the Maryland State Rugby Festival. Coach Seerey cited a particular sequence that demonstrated advanced skills and teamwork in which a lineout from hooker Rassofsky led to Calzado winning the ball and passing to scrum half Cleary, who passed to fly half Aidan Seerey, who downed the ball for a try in the team’s final win of the season. Jones was voted by teammates to receive the tournament trophy for his outstanding play during the season and championship tournament.

“All our players played their best rugby season ever, and I am very proud of all of them,” said coach Seerey.

The Green Hornets U11 team likewise finished off a strong season with an equally strong performance at the Maryland Rugby Festival, dropping their opening contest before winning their next three to go 3-1 and claim the Plate-division championship. The team of Alejandro J. Almodovar-Vives, Alex Walker, Benjamin Kreis, Brett Hudson, Caitlyn Zabko, Dash Havens, Elizabeth Knott, Emma Hurd, Grayson Robinson, Jackson Eaton, Jacob Rollin, Lincoln Boyle, Miles Wade, Morgan Knott, Morgan Spencer, Ryan O’Kane, Shamaree Johnson and Tristan Schultz “had a great year,” said head coach Ryan O’Kane, who coached the team with assistant coach Tim Knott. “The progress these kids made this year was amazing. From the first game, the kids gave it everything they had. … Through the season we saw great improvement, and by the tournament it had come all together.”

Despite falling narrowly 27-20 in their opening match, the team rebounded with three wins by scores of 38-5, 32-0 and 38-10 in the Plate championship.

“The three games were the best they played all year,” said O’Kane. “It was so much fun to watch. The kids were playing as one team. It was wonderful to see, and I was so proud of them that day.”

Severna Park’s U9 roster of Bronsen Kemper, Charlie Pooler, Coleman Eaton, Karleigh English, Cooper English, Ares Mason, Andrew Jarrell, Abigail J. Almodovar-Vives, William Gibson, Lucy Davis, Oliver Hines, Stuart Werner, Zaine Albrecht, Elly Davis, Brooke Nagle and Cole Hudson wrapped up an excellent summer as the Green Hornets’ youngest squad, many of whom were just 7 years old.

“We had a lot of new players join us this year and five returning players from last season,” said coach Brendan Nagle, who thanked assistant coach Matt and the parents for their support of the team. “Our new players loved getting to know the sport, and every week and every game there was constant improvement from everyone. Most of these kids will be back again next year to play, and they only wished that the season was longer.”

Severna Park’s 22 U15 players split into two squads competing in separate Classic and Championship divisions at the Maryland Rugby Festival, with the Championship-division team going 3-1 with wins over Andover, Ellicott City and Sykesville and a narrow loss in the championship game to the Howard County Hurricanes to place second overall. The U15’s of Aiden Milewski, Brendan Syme, Callum Ackerman, Carson Gotimer, Casey Grindle, Dominic Jones, Gavin Cheesman, Grace Cavanagh, Jackson Levin, JJ Arrington Jr., Joseph DeSimone, Kylie Maguire, Leyton Calzado, Malcolm Morris, Michael George, Nicholas Cegelski, Oscar Spiers, Patrick Vernon, Paige Nagle, Ryan Harrington, Samuel Feemster, Tyler Chisholm and Tyler Daniels was a mix of veterans and rookies that “came together strong, improving every week and exemplifying hard work, sportsmanship and team spirit,” said head coach Tim George, who coached the team with assistants Nick DeSimone, Harry Gotimer, Chris Flynn and Green Hornets Rugby commissioner Pete Freeman.

Like many of the kids in the program, some of the U15 players are multi-sport athletes who played rugby to stay sharp in advance of fall sports. Milewski and DeSimone are football players and rising eighth-graders at Severna Park Middle School, while Grindle and George are soccer players who played to keep up with conditioning. Some of the U15s got an introduction to tackle play a few times this season in short exhibition tackle matches.

“All my older friends who are going into high school recommended I play this year,” said Grindle, who plays select soccer and will be in eighth grade at SPMS. “This is my first year. I went from playing two-hand touch, and I just got into my first tackle game.”

Said Milewski, “I started off just for conditioning for football, and it’s really good for conditioning. It’s just a fun sport to play.”

James Spiers, dad to Finn and Oscar on the U13 and U15 teams, said the Green Hornets have exemplified the best aspects of rugby since his kids began playing in the summer several years ago.

“The great thing about this sport is it’s a team game,” he said. “There’s no one individual who is carrying everyone. There is a spot for everyone. The camaraderie is fantastic. The kids have an immediate bond.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Green Hornets Rugby at Kinder Park play day, 7.22.17


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