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Rugby Cats Sweep Weekend Foes

By Jacob Novak '19, 03/20/19, 10:00AM EDT


A trip to Ireland looms later this week for the Wildcats.

This weekend was a very eventful and successful one for the Wildcats. The teams had four matches in three days, all resulting in wins.

The first game took place on Friday under the bright lights of Wasmer Field, as the Wildcats hosted Detroit Catholic Central. Head Coach Arbeznik ‘00 was very complimentary of DCC after the match.

“Benny Mateialona and Detroit Catholic Central are only a 3rd year program but their spread was fantastic. It was great to have them come down to Cleveland to give us a match and continue to build their program,” Arbeznik said. “You can tell that they're putting the right pieces for long term success.”

Detroit Catholic Central had a very solid defensive line. Even though the Cats finished with a score 45-0, that doesn’t mean this game was easy. Detroit Catholic Central’s defense was a tough one to crack at first, but the Cats eventually cracked the code by utilizing the team’s quick-footed backs, who were able to break through the lines and finish off the run with a try.

This weekend, the Wildcats welcomed a few new faces to the A-side team with three juniors coming up to assist the team. Luke Granzier ‘20 came in at openside flanker, and Chris Matthews ‘20 was put in at fly-half, and Jake Daley ‘20 played at outside center while senior Anthony Labate ‘19 nursed an upper leg injury.

On Saturday, Brunswick was the next opponent for the Wildcats. The Wildcats took care of business with another 45-0 victory, improving to 3-1.

Perrysburg made the journey down to Ohio City on Saturday as well, with an A-side and a B-side. In a 30 minute match, the Perrysburg defense was their highlight of the game, with an outstanding team effort up until the final whistle. The Wildcats A and B -side took home the victories.

Sunday was the final day of a long home stretch for the Wildcats. The men of Ohio City played host to Saint Joseph's Prep (PA) after Saint Ignatius rugby families housed the team on Friday and Saturday night. The two teams came together on Sunday morning for Mass at 9 am, celebrated by the amazing Rev. Dan Reim, S.J.

After Mass, the teams faced off at 11 am. The majority of the game was played inside Saint Joseph’s 22 meter line, where their incredibly reluctant defense held off the Wildcats for almost eight minutes to start of the match.

After a persistent barrage, the Wildcats finally broke through and scored. This how the game would continue for the rest of the match. The final score was 27-0.

This was the Wildcats fourth and final victory this weekend.

“In particular, credit goes to junior Jake Daley for stepping up over the weekend at #13 and junior Luke Granzier for playing his 1st set of minutes at flanker with the top side,” Coach Arbeznik said. “The man of the weekend was probably senior Nate Speelman at fullback. He took the ball at pace, defended kicks nicely, and set-up his teammates for a number of tries.”

The rugby team would like to once again thank all the families who housed the players from Saint Joseph's Prep (PA) over the weekend.

This week and next, the rugby team will be in Ireland on spring break, where they will be playing a handful of games before returning home to take on Brunswick.