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Rugby Cat Senior Profile: Tommy Gill

By Jacob Novak '19, 05/10/19, 11:15AM EDT


Tommy Gill lives in West Park and attended Our Lady of Angels for grade school.

During Tommy’s time at O.L.A. a new sport started to appear and gain popularity … Rugby.

Tommy was hesitant at first to try rugby, but was once he heard how much fun his friends were having, Tommy finally gave in and signed up for rugby. He would play for the Westpark Shamrocks during his Rookie Rugby 7’s career. Tommy's parents were excited for him to start playing rugby.

Tommy is currently a flanker, though during 7’s, he would play hooker and prop, which is where he expected he would have played when he started playing 15’s freshman year. 15’s was a real wake up call for Tommy when he realized how much more work 15’s was than 7’s.

“15’s is more strategic and there are many parts to the game that you don’t often have to do in 7’s.”

Freshman Year: “I went into the season ill-prepared for 15’s rugby. I almost tore my hamstring off the bone during our first scrimmage and was out for a good part of the season. I was a prop at the time because I was quite out of shape and that’s all I could really do. It was not a very exciting or promising freshman year.”.

Sophomore Year: “The previous season had given me the motivation and drive to really work on myself in the offseason. I joined the wrestling team and worked hard during the winter time to get my tackling and conditioning down. I put everything I had into each wrestling practice and it led to a huge payoff in the rugby season. I was able to feel good while running around on the pitch. It gave me the ability to be the best player I could be. Joining the wrestling team was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made at Ignatius.”

Junior Year: “Junior year for me was a year of fine-tuning my skills. I was back in the wrestling room and continued to keep on grinding in the offseason. Luckily, the class of 2019 was fortunate enough to practice every day with the class of 2018. There was very good team chemistry and hard play all around. Everyone was getting better by putting the work in day in and day out with each other. It led to the B-side winning Midwest, B-side winning states, and the A-side winning states. That was a very productive year for the class of 2019.”

Tommy felt he had to make himself standout on the pitch and break the shadow of his brother Aidan Gill ‘18 that loomed over him. To this point in his career, Tommy has made himself a star in his own right and made his own shadow.

Tommy plans on attending Cleveland State University in the fall and will major in Mechanical Engineering. When I asked Tommy why CSU he said, “I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the Washkewcz Engineering School after my hard work in the classroom after four years st Saint Ignatius and I wanted to stay closer to home and save money and still receive and amazing education.”

Tommy wants to play for either the Cleveland Crusaders or The Rovers while in college.

Tommy would like to thank the following people, “I would really just like to thank the coaches for putting in all the time they have. I would like to thank Coach Arbeznik for organizing all of our international trips. The trips that I have been on were huge for me. All the different experiences and memories with friends will be things that I will never forget.”