Rugby team looks forward to promising season

Griffin Maat Rugby
Junior Griffin Maat makes a tackle during one of their rugby matches from last season. from schools all around the nation. Where he decides to go will suit him well.

With a disappointing loss to Dallas Jesuit last year, the rugby team looks to take back what is rightfully theirs.

This year, the rugby team has a much tougher schedule including Dallas Jesuit, The Woodlands and St. Ignatius (OH). They are also playing a couple of difficult teams over spring break.

Senior captain Josh Pane is a great leader both on and off the field, which is one of the main reasons why the coaching staff chose him to be the leader of the team.

Other key players include Blake Steele, Jake Duron, Josh Harris, Kyle Walker, Nate McKinney and Santiago Gonzales. All of which are very capable of achieving greatness.

The rugby team has been blessed with success for most of their existence and it certainly has not drawn back in their efforts to achieve the goal every high school athlete dreams of, a state championship.

Gonzales, one of the key players of the rugby team, has been on varsity for all four years of his high school career. He has started on varsity since his sophomore year and has continued to excel in his craft.

With a state championship ring under his belt, Gonzales is sure to bring a much appreciated experience to the team and some much needed experience.

“We have a tough schedule ahead of us but that will only do us good. Exposing [the rugby team] to better competition is always beneficial so we can get better. Our team’s coaching staff is the best coaching staff in Texas. With [coach Jim Wolfinger] being named coach of the year last year, and with several other great coaches on the team, we certainly have the best coaches around. The coaches make the team like a family, and we all embrace that community. I definitely look forward to playing with Griffin Maat, who keeps getting better and better. Excited to have my fellow seniors in the back line, especially Blake Steele. It should be a good year for rugby and I am very excited to achieve our goal, which is ultimately a state championship.”

-Santiago Gonzales, Key rugby player

Looking forward, the team’s success will not only come from the extremely talented coaching staff, but also from the big play makers themselves.

“Our ultimate goal this season is obviously to win a state championship. Our plan for the year is to play really well during the season. This year we have a much harder schedule in that we have to play two teams that were either state champions or state runner ups.”

-Robert Gonzalez, Rugby player

With a massive amount of seniors coming back this year, the rugby team seems to be in great shape for a long road in the playoffs. Returning varsity seniors include Josh Pane, Steele, Walker, Santi Gonzales, Robert Gonzales, Derek Allen, Grant Guthrie, Josh Harris, George Michael, Seamus Sullivan, Jake Duron, Jeffrey Landreneau, Josh Kitziger and Richard Roetzel.

Not only is the beloved Dean of Social Studies Brett Mills a rugby coach, but head coach Wolfinger, as well as Jimmy Schreiner, Conor Mills, Andres Diaz and Martin Power, are all a part of this incredible coaching staff.

The rugby team looks up this year with an award-winning coaching staff and an outstanding amount of senior and junior players. They have what it takes to go all the way and it clearly shows in their performance and players. Come spring, they hope to kick off the season on the right foot as they prepare for a long season that hopes to prove worth the effort.

The ultimate prize is the state championship trophy and the other goal is to send the senior class off with a bang. With the departure of the seniors after next season, the coaches look for the underclassmen to step up and replace the talent that is leaving.

The team has what it takes to make the leap but will they be able to cash in on the seniors’ last go around. The seniors want to go out with a bang and they hope the underclassmen can continue what they started early on.