Santa Clara Magazine

Retro Ruggers

Retro Ruggers

By Matt Morgan

SCU ruggers like Conor Rounds ’17 (above) claimed honors this year, winning the Jesuit Cup Trophy in April. Photo by Devin Moren ’20
 Men’s rugby wins the Jesuit Cup and earns a spot at nationals.

SCU rugby once ruled the roost. The U.S. won Olympic gold in 1920 and 1924 thanks to guys like Caesar Mannelli ’22 and Rudy Scholz ’18, LLD ’20.

This year a new crop of SCU ruggers claimed honors of their own: winning the Jesuit Cup trophy in April. Coach Paul Keeler’s seven-man club team out-scored opponents 154–50 in five games. “We’re small, but we’re very physical,” Tucker Smith ’18 says. “We try to play fast and outwork people and stand our ground when we need to.”

With a senior class stretching 18 deep, featuring Ryan Chavkin ’17, Connor Leahy ’17, Conor Rounds ’17 (above), and Nick Russo ’17, the Broncos were flush with experience. What does a tourney of Jesuits look like? “Tough and respectful is the short answer,” Smith says.

Winning the Jesuit Cup qualified SCU for nationals. The Broncos fell 2–4 but ended on a high note: winning 34–0 vs. Wyoming and 31–17 vs. James Madison University.

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