SEBASTIAN — The Sebastian River High School made history in 2008 when it established the first Girls’ High School Varsity Rugby Program in the nation.
Now, with three extraordinary seasons under their cleats, the team is hoping for another historic milestone – winning the USA Rugby National Championship.
Undefeated in the State of Florida U19 Division, the team went on to represent Florida in the USA Rugby South High School & Youth Championship Tournament and took home that title as well. U19 teams are comprised of high school and club teams whose members are all 19 years of age or younger.
As Southern Regional Champions, they are one of eight teams nominated to play in the U19 Girls USA Rugby National Championship on May 21 and 22 in Sandy, Utah. The competition will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium, home to the Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer Team.
The final hurdle before the championship game is raising the $20,000 needed to get the team to Utah to compete in the tournament. Along with Head Coach Allan Dobson, they will be taking 22 of the current 34 squad members to the competition; 15 starters and 7 reserves.
Several local restaurants have stepped up to help, including Chili’s on U.S. 1 in Vero Beach. Mention Sebastian River High School Rugby on Wednesday, May 11 between 4 p.m. and closing and the restaurant will donate 10% of your meal cost to the team.
Although normally closed on Sundays, the Pig & Whistle, at Riverwalk Plaza in Sebastian, will open at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15 and will donate part of all proceeds to the team. (Limited menu; cash only.)
Interestingly, rugby was last played as an Olympic sport in 1928. Although only included as an Olympic sport four times, Americans won two titles. Both men’s and women’s rugby will be played once again in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The way they are playing, the girls you support today may just become tomorrow’s Olympic champions.
Checks should be made payable to The Treasure Coast Rugby Foundation Inc. with “SRHS” in the memo line. Mail checks to Peter Dobson, Treasure Coast Rugby Foundation Inc, 825 13th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960, or drop them off at the Sebastian River High School.
All donations will be acknowledged by letter and the funds will be earmarked for the Sebastian River High School Girls Rugby Program.
For more information, call Peter Dobson, (772) 563 2095.
The national varsity recruiting video for High Schools and Colleges which features SRHS Girls Varsity Rugby can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2HdUmZQ0h4