Brooks Secondary School’s junior rugby team played its first game against Courtenay’s Georges P. Vanier Secondary School on April 11 at Cranberry Field. It is the first time the school has had a rugby team in decades, according to coach and manager Jason Krowitz.
“It’s been about 20 years since Brooks high school has played a full on rugby game,” he said. “Last year we played a little seven-a-side, which is sort of half the size of a full team.”
The idea to revive rugby at the school was shared by Krowitz and co-coaches Bill Broughton, Jack Beardmore and Albert Michau.
“My son has been playing rugby in the backyard with me since he was five,” said Krowitz. “He’s 15 now, so I wanted to start it up at the high school and at the same time a couple of the club guys simultaneously had the same idea. We got together and got last year’s team started.”
The team, made up of players in grade nine and 10, learned a lot in its first competitive match, said Krowitz.
“The score certainly wasn’t in our favour, 86 to nothing, but our kids played really well and we’re really proud of their composure on the field,” he said. “Eli Forsyth played a really good game and made a lot of tackles. Dion Harry and Jack Padgett also made a lot of key tackles and had a lot of good runs, and Ethan Hummel, Kaleb Parsons and Steve Fernandez were very effective in rucks and mauls.”
Before the match, the two teams spent time practising and socializing, added Krowitz.
“The other team had to get here early because of the ferry schedule so we practiced together and met together in the clubhouse,” he said. “A lot of sports you just can’t do that because there’s so much animosity, but rugby is a very friendly game.”
The team will be playing two away games next, at Shawnigan Lake and Port Alberni, before returning to Cranberry Field to face Brentwood College School at 3 pm on Thursday, May 2.