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Played at the Fortress Obetz sports stadium near Columbus, the day included finals for Boys D2, Boys D1 Club, Boys D1 School, Boys JV, Girls School, Girls Club, and Boys School Super DivisionDanville defeated De La Salle for the second week in a row, this time in the NorCal Premier semifinals, 35-12. It was close into the second half, with Danville leading 14-12 with 25 minutes left. But the Oaks backline started to find some space and pull away late.
‘It’s a team effort the whole way through, the kids have to buy into the process and the coaches have to deliver on it,” says Arbeznik. “Coach Short is doing the yoga and pool sessions and you have the coaches coming together for a game plan and, of course, the parental support, making the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Mo Sizemore was attending to every need of a kid before and after matches and without any one of those pieces, it just doesn’t work.”
“There were small areas we needed to clean up during the season, such as learning when to throw the wide pass,” says Arbeznik. “Coach Nick DiPietro ’06 talked with the guys with boxing metaphors of having to work to throw the haymaker; we avoided the big mistakes throughout the season. Our guys committed towards the process of earning the hard yards.””I think our second game vs. France against Tours showed me we would be pretty special,” says Tribe Leader and Wing Jack Dulik. “I have never seen us dig that deep before and that game showed me how special we were as a team.”
“Our kids were helped by playing Gonzaga; we have played them seven times in the last four years,” Arbeznik says. “You don’t want to be overconfident because you beat them in the past. Otherwise, you’ll be humbled pretty quickly. Gonzaga has been gunning for us, they’ve lost a couple of times in a row, but they can identify the mistakes they have made to improve.”
“A special thanks to all of our coaches from the varsity level to freshmen level. Without their efforts on every level, then the club doesn’t function. It takes a collective effort; this is a win for the club and the Saint Ignatius High School.”Perhaps what set this team apart from last year’s team was the ability to travel internationally once again. In March, the Rugby team traveled to France to take the pitch against Sporting Club Universitaire de France, Tours Rugby Club and Rouen Normandie Rugby. “The experience for the kids being able to play with their teammates abroad and the quality of opponents were good,” explains Arbeznik. “For me, it brings a feeling of completion; we were able to give everything to our students from what our program has to offer.”
“The scrum on our end with about five minutes remaining in what was the deciding factor,” says Ward. “We gave our last push and stole the ball and we got the ball out wide to Jack that set up a penalty.”
Join us on Monday, July 24 at Lakewood Country Club and Westwood Country Club for the annual Thomas F. Koch ’88 Alumni Golf Outing. All profits from the event go directly to a scholarship set up in memory of Koch.
We warmly welcome you to join us at the Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview versus St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill (and Sydney Grammar 3rd XV) Rugby Union matches on Saturday 3rd June 2023. The 16As, 4ths, 3rds, 2nds and 1sts will be playing at Leichhardt Oval from 10:45am (1sts playing at 3:15pm) whilst other teams will be playing earlier in the day at both Riverview and Hunters Hill grounds. All members of the extended College community are most welcome to join us in cheering on our teams or simply come and enjoy some great rugby talent, both at the College (for matches earlier in the day) and/or at Leichhardt Oval for the senior matches. If you wish to join any of the matches at Leichhardt Oval, please book your free ticket via the link HERE. Alternatively, if you’d like to watch the Leichhardt Oval games from the comfort of your own home, please view the live stream on Cluch TV. The team began to touch down in Japan on April 6, 2023, after 14+ hour flights from Northeast Ohio. Head Rugby Coach Dan Arbeznik ’00 and his wife Ellen were at Haneda Airport welcoming the student-athletes, coaches and families entering the country. Everyone settled into their hotel in Tokyo for a team meal before heading to bed for the first official day in Japan.
The rugby players that are dual-sport wrestlers, got to meet Gold Medalist Greco-Roman wrestler Ken Matsui and Putka even got to get in a quick match with Matsui where the senior picked up Matsui for a moment. Seniors Brendan Lynn and Carter Snyder also got a picture with the World Champ.The Rugby Cats arrived at Nishi Kyogoku Grounds, which would be the largest venue any Wildcat players have played. Their future opponents greeted them and Kyoto Seisho applauded the Cats as they came off the buses. This match was an exclusive A-side match and the Wildcats had to bring their best, which they did on a warm evening from Kyoto.
Just two minutes later, junior Patrick Cooney muscled his way in for a try and the conversion put the Cats up 19-5. The scoring avalanche would continue as Putka would sneak in at the 41-minute mark. The Wildcats would cap off their scoring with a try from Jimmy Collins and Connor Bender.
The A-Side came close to scoring in that first half, as the maul began to move within five meters of the try zone, but an infraction by the Wildcats forced a turnover, giving the ball back to Keio.
This match marked the fourth continent that Wildcat Rugby has played a match on and was a moment to reflect on how far the program has grown since 2015. “All credit goes to the high school and administration for allowing us to pursue these international trips,” Arbeznik says. “I think that is a part of who the Jesuits are; they embrace these opportunities. This has been great for our families and kids and I am glad we can offer these types of opportunities to the school.”
The next day the Wildcats would have their third and final match in Japan. This would be an excellent simulation for the National Tournament in May, when the Wildcats will play on back-to-back days. Before the game in Kobe, Japan, the Wildcats would visit Osaka, the second largest city in Japan. The Cats would visit shops and enjoy hearty street food before heading to Kobe.