Glendale High School has a hungry boys rugby team.
“Hungry to score points, hungry to win… and I’m just hungry,” smiled Glendale’s Michael Ram after Thursday’s 29-0 TVRA South East win over Aylmer East Elgin in Tillsonburg.
The defending TVRA A/AA champs improved to 2-0 in the four-team South East boys rugby division, both wins against the two AAA schools in their division, including a 7-0 win over Huron Park last week.
“Communication is what we were really good at,” said Gemini’s Zachary Winegarden, who scored a first-half try that turned out to be Thursday’s game-winner.
“Knowing where everybody is,” said Ram, who scored two tries – five points each – and a conversion for two more points. “Trusting your teammates.”
“And we have good coaching,” said Gemini’s Jason Vanthuyne, crediting Mario Shelton, Mike Perovich and Tony Hietkamp, and their staff advisor Robert Farr.
“It all boils down to basics,” said Shelton. “As long as the boys know the basics – the rules and regulations – the rest is all up to them. We just give them knowledge, they implement it.”
That knowledge and rugby experience paid dividends on the field Thursday.
“East Elgin’s good at everything,” said Ram, “They’ve got good football teams… but they’re an inexperienced rugby team. I think they’re new to the game.”
Also scoring tries Thursday were Griffin Billard and Jordan Fitzpatrick, who added a conversion.
“We do have a lot of new guys this year,” said Gemini’s Grady Brooks. “So we’re learning a lot more – we’ve got a lot of guys learning. Everyone’s still learning, obviously, and every game we’re getting better and better.
“Next week we have WCI – that should be a good game. Then Beal, which is an AAAA school, that should be a good game too.”
“It’s hard when you’ve only got one sub,” said Ram. “We lost two or three guys this year.”
“But we’re getting some after this game,” a teammate noted.
“A couple guys,” nodded Brooks.