Highland Rugby Prepares For Playoffs

Highland+and+East+both+go+for+the+ball+during+the+lineout.
Highland and East both go for the ball during the lineout.

Highland and East both go for the ball during the lineout.

Madison Anderson

Madison Anderson

Highland and East both go for the ball during the lineout.

Lauren Brown, Staff Writer

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Senior Lilo Clark can remember his freshman year, in 2014, as the spring season was quickly approaching, he didn’t know what sport to do. He could try any spring sport, such as running track or playing baseball. But the sport he did decide to play was one the football players were all doing, and one that now seniors Ben Berg and Kenta Yamazaki were really pushing him to play.

He decided to play Highland rugby.

Clark is a year around athlete, as he plays football in the fall, participates in wrestling during the winter, and runs track along with rugby in the spring. Although there are many similarities between football and rugby, Clark likes the contrast rugby has with football with rugby’s different way of thinking and playing the game.   

Highland plays the game of rugby at a whole new level compared to their opponents as shown at their most recent matchup against East this past Saturday, April 29th. Highland killed East with a final score of 38-7. Although East has the biggest forwards in the state, Highland’s forward pack shut them down and responded very well to their size. Highland’s defense was strong as Highland’s backs stopped East’s backs almost every time they touched the ball.

Even though Highland beat East and is going into the playoffs undefeated, there are a few things they still need to work on.

“We can still clean up a few things,” Clark said. “Teams like that shouldn’t score any points on us at all.”

As Highland rugby prepares for their new matchups in the playoffs , Clark hopes the team will continue to keep up their sportsmanship they have kept the whole season against upcoming teams.

“We showed good sportsmanship against East even though they were talking trash the entire game,” Clark said. “That is what our program is about.”

The rugby program at Highland is so much more than showing good sportsmanship. It’s about developing relationships with the players and creating that brotherhood that only spending months together will form.

As Clark played his last regular season game Saturday at Highland, he couldn’t help but think of all the memories made over the past four years.

“Being my senior year, it’s been awesome having this last chance to play with the boys again,” Clark said. “I’ll miss them.”

Clark won’t have to say goodbye to his boys yet though as Highland rugby is hoping and is expected to make it far into the playoffs.

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