By Jack Rice ‘19

On Thursday, May 2, the Brother Rice rugby team had one goal in mind: defeating Saint Rita.

Although the team felt adequately prepared, there were outlying factors that could possibly set back the Crusaders. The stereotypical rainy, windy Chicago weather was in full effect, leaving the ball wet and the turf uncomfortable. In addition, the team had four starters out with injuries.

But the team showed absolutely no signs of weakness.

From the opening kickoff, the Crusaders showed their dominance on the offensive side of the ball. An early try from senior prop Danny Connors set the pace, carrying two defenders with him past the goal line to score.

“It was majestic,” said senior Ali Zayyad. “D.C. runs like a gazelle with the force of a rhino.”

It was as if the Crusaders couldn’t stop scoring, with tries from Tommy Tavrides and Jessi Plunkett coming soon after. Nothing was more impressive, however, than the offensive performance by Ryan Schickel, who scored 3 tries in the first half of Thursday’s matchup. “We were all feeling it today,” said Schickel. “It’s games like this that make you appreciate hard practices.”

In the second half, senior forward Jalen Rheams proved to be the most powerful force on the field. Explosion runs, ferocious tackles, and a try highlighted the performance of the first year player.

“I’m glad I played rugby because there’s truly no sport like it,” said Rheams. “ I picked it up pretty quickly and it’s been so much fun.”

Senior fly half Tim Desmond, who also plays the team’s conversion kicker, had a phenomenal performance with two tries. As the final kick sailed through and the clock hit zero, Brother Rice came out on top with a final score of 86-5.