By Katie Smythe
Alexandria hosted the 4th Annual Jesuit Rugby Classic at George Washington Middle School on April 13-14. Top teams from ten high schools participated, including T. C. Williams and four other schools from the Washington, D.C. / Baltimore area and from as far away as New York, Connecticut and Ohio.
Among the teams participating were nationally ranked No. 1 Xavier (NY) and No. 3 Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) who faced each other in the championship match. Gonzaga toppled Xavier 26-7.
Prior to the JRC championship, T. C. Williams squared off against Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, MD) in the 2nd Annual VA/MD Public High School Rugby Championship. The T. C. boys fell to the Raiders 25-17. Mike Ingleton, Andrew Fries and Mike Murphy scored tries for the Titans and Nick Czechanski kicked a conversion. In the girls match, the Titans lost 72-7; Tiffany Person scored a try for T. C. with a conversion by Nicole Hernandez.
According to T. C. head coach Jeff Murphy, most high school rugby is in the private schools or through club teams. T. C. Williams and Eleanor Roosevelt are the only two public high schools in the area with rugby. The Raiders won the 2012 VA/MD championship 24-22.
T. C. Williams is making an effort to grow its rugby program and draw more players to the boys and girls teams. Youth rugby is offered through Alexandria Rugby and the City of Alexandria's Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.
For those interested in watching high school rugby, T. C. boys play next at home on April 26 and away on May 3. T. C. girls play at home on April 19, away on April 27, and home on May 4. Home games are played at G. W. Middle School.