Rugby: The Sport of the Underdog


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Rugby is an exciting sport that is perfect for fans who love constant action.

Good Counsel’s rugby team is in the opening stages of its spring season. If you’ve never heard of rugby, it is a mix of football and soccer. After an opening kickoff, the objective is to get the ball into the opponent’s “tri-zone,” which is almost like an endzone in football. One unique aspect of rugby is that you can only pass the ball backwards or diagonally to your teammates. It is an exciting sport that is perfect for fans who love constant action.


For Alexis Turbat ‘23, rugby has been a lifelong passion. He first started playing rugby when he was in elementary school, however he soon  stopped playing. So when the opportunity came for him to join the GC rugby team, he could not turn down the chance to get back on the pitch. When I asked Alexis what he thought of the team’s performance so far, he told me that the team has a lot of potential to perform well despite having many players who have little experience. He said that what makes rugby special to him is the joy he gets from playing in the matches and competing with his teammates, who have become like family throughout the season. Alexis says that this year’s squad has great team chemistry, and everyone works together to achieve the team’s goals.


The rugby team has some new faces along the sidelines, with three new coaches joining the staff. One of those new additions is Mr. Rapposelli, who is in his first year as an Assistant Coach and also teaches English at GC. Mr. Rapposelli, like Alexis, started playing rugby at a young age. When I asked him what made him want to transition to the sidelines, he said that his main reason was that he wanted others to have fun playing rugby just like he did. Coach Rapposelli has high expectations for the team this season. He told me that even though the team has strong athletes individually, the key to going far in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) is building team chemistry. 


As an avid sports fan myself, I was curious about why rugby is not as popular as some other sports here in the U.S. Alexis told me that rugby is in fact a popular sport worldwide, particularly in Africa and Asia. He believes that one way to gain more interest is to introduce students to the sport at the high school level.


I also asked Mr. Rapposelli why GC students should come out and support the rugby team. He highlighted the elite competition that the team will play this year, including the #1 and #8 rugby teams in the nation. But more importantly, he believes the real draw is a chance to watch a group of GC students that want to represent the school well and make it proud. He encourages everyone to show up and support the rugby team, especially on their Senior Night game against Georgetown Prep on Thursday, May 4 at 4:30 pm (at Dancel Field). 

Both Alexis and Mr. Rapposelli believe that this year’s rugby team has a legitimate chance to get to the WCAC finals. As Mr. Rapposelli put it in his own words: “We’re going up against the Goliaths and we’re the David. Everyone loves a good underdog.” So come out and support our rugby team. You might even become a new fan of this unique sport.