Several Green Hornets rugby teams took the field this summer, and they produced great results while forming new friendships.
The U13 Severna Park Green Hornets rugby team capped off an incredible season by once again claiming the title of best U13 team in the state on August 1. The team, consisting of Brook Nagle, Ailee Briggs, Calhan Cassidy, Dash Havens, Grayson Robinson, Jackson Eaton, Noah Croghan and Zoey Evora, put up a perfect record of 4-0 in their championship run, scoring 133 points and allowing a mere 24 points.
The team is unique in that they are not just amazing rugby players but amazing friends. They possess an impressive chemistry that, when paired with their high levels of skill, is the perfect combination for a dominant squad. MVP honors of the day go to flyhalf Dash Havens, who not only commanded a new and intricate system but also was successful on over 90% of his conversion kicks. Every player on the pitch had notable plays and everyone brought full effort to the table in every minute of every game.
Coaches Ryan O’Kane, Sean Martin, Brendan Nagle and Matt Ramirez have nothing but positive notes to add.
“There is truly nothing that can make a coach prouder than to see a group of kids work so hard all season long and walk away from this tournament with a state title,” said Ramirez, who has coached Green Hornets rugby for six years. “Since our first practice in June, we knew that this group was special, and we made that very clear to them. Nothing less than the best was expected from this group of kids, and they delivered nothing but the highest level of effort, concentration, performance and execution.
“I witnessed nothing but absolutely inspiring play from everyone on the pitch,” he continued. “We had awesome performances in Grayson, Calhan and Noah’s stellar backline play and Ailee, Zoey and Jackson’s gritty forward style. Just as importantly, we saw an absolute catalyst of a player in Brooke, coming off the bench every game and consistently putting the nail in the coffin, especially in a 60-meter breakaway run to secure the state championship game and title. Every member of this squad played the best games they’ve played all year and should walk away from this tournament proud of not only their rugby performance but their composure, demeanor and levels of class they’ve exhibited today.”
Led by veteran Charlotte Gibson and newcomer Lucas Aquino, the U7 Green Hornets capped off an undefeated season with two wins and one tie at the 2021 Maryland Rugby Festival.
“We only had had seven players today, so our players had to play every minute of the three games,” coach Matt Aquino said after the game on July 31. “I'm very proud of them for the hard work today and this season.”
The team included Amelia “Millie” Davis, Ronan Dapkus, Avory Evora, Charlotte Gibson, Harry Graham, Jackson Minor and Lucas Aquino.
The U9 Green Hornets won all three of their games on July 31. With nearly 20 trys by the team and only three surrendered, the kids dominated. The team was led by scrum half Kieran Gipson, Arjun Carie, Brooks Bilzor, Rachel Werner, Waverly Alexander, Laken Alexander and Noah Mack.
The U11 team finished off a great season by coming fourth in the state championships after ending the regular season with nine wins and one loss.
They started the tournament with a 25-15 win against the West Carroll Marauders, followed by a 15-15 tie with the Washington Warriors. They lost their final pool game and semifinal to the eventual champions, Ellicott City.
The team of Ares Mason, Cade Cobb, Elly Davis, Heath Gardner, Landan Weiciech, Lincoln Latchaw, Rodney Anderson, Stuart Werner and Will Gibson end the season after progressing in their teamwork and rugby skills. The team’s thoughts were also with teammates Clark and Callen LaChappelle, who missed the tournament for a family member’s memorial service.
Severna Park’s U16 rugby squad finished their winningest season in recent history. Unfortunately, with some key veteran players missing from the state tournament due to vacation schedules, the remaining U16 players had to step up and play in unfamiliar positions in the toughest bracket of the tournament. While they went 1-3 in the tournament, the kids gave their all the entire day.
“As a coach watching these kids step up and do as well as they did, I couldn’t have been more proud,” said coach Ryan O’Kane. “While they didn’t win the tournament, it was still an incredible year of rugby for these kids.”
The team included Liam Cooney, Sawyer Knapp, Alejandro J. Almodover-Vives, Gabriela Jurado, Ryan O’Kane, Tatum Isaacs, Riordan O’Kane and Darby Doyle.