Written by Aurora Smith|
Photos by Aurora Smith|
Rugby is a full-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. In Rugby, the focus of the game is to score. The main aim of rugby is to run the ball into the opponent’s in-goal and touch any part of it on the ground, scoring a try.
Shoreline Spartans Rugby is open to kids from kindergarten to high school level. The coaches for rugby consist of Matt Fragola, Mike Meyer, Dave Shoemaker, Andrew Cialek, and Joe Falivene. The Shoreline Spartans Rugby team was founded on April 5th, 2016 by Mike Meyer. The high school program started last year on March 31st, 2019. On the 1st practice, 8 kids came despite the rain. This season on the last practice before schools shut down due to the pandemic, the team had 20 kids came to practice. Matt said this was their biggest turnout. Matt also added ¨this is a testament to the fact that the kids are having fun learning the sport of rugby.”
The high school team has two captains, senior Josh Fragola and junior Rexford Smith. Josh started playing due to his parents’ influence. He said ¨I found this sport because I heard plenty of stories about it from my parents who played before. I always thought it was a cool sport, and because I wasn’t interested in any other spring sports, I figured why not try this out.¨ His favorite part of the sport is the relationships he formed. He believes that rugby is also different from other sports because they play together as a team rather than playing independently. He even said ¨we go out after games, and we work together on the field and being close to the players makes the game more enjoyable.¨
Rex said he started playing rugby after Josh Fragola suggested he should play. Rex’s favorite part of playing rugby is tackling. It took Rex only a few weeks to learn the sport. Shortly after he started he fell in love with the sport. In Rex’s last season, he was awarded ¨MVP¨ and he received a rugby ball as well.