Germantown Municipal School District is proud to have had so many of our students compete in the State Rugby Championship in Murfreesboro this weekend. The Mustang Rugby Club, which includes several GMSD students, sent three teams to the competition.
The middle school boys team, who have made it to the state championship for seven consecutive years, vied for their fifth state championship this year. Their coach, Kevin Roedel, is extremely proud of his young athletes.
“Rugby,” he says, “is unique because there is a place for children of all shapes and sizes, and every child that practices gets to play.” This inclusive spirit has paid off extensively as the program has grown up, with the Germantown high school rugby team qualifying for the state championship for the first time this year.
“This is the first high school team we’ve had that really started playing with us in middle school—and the seniors were on the first team to win as a middle school,” said Roedel.
Aidan Riseling, Andrew Jelinek and Conor McGowan (not pictured)
“We knew we had a really talented team and we’ve really worked to raise the bar for them,” he shared. ‘Raising the bar’ has included the addition of several out-of-state matches and an increased emphasis on the team beginning at the middle school level.
The men's team took on the Harpeth Harlequins in the championship, winning the 2018 High School State Rugby Championship, 24-20.
Of the high school seniors on the current team, Roedel mentioned that three Houston High graduates will go on to play rugby for colleges across the region.
Houston High student, Ashley Ward, has signed with Lise University out of Atlanta which hosts the #2 female rugby program in the United States.
Germantown’s female rugby club also competed in the state championship this weekend to play for their third place title.