Rugby shows great effort despite loss to Catholic RFC


Owen Meyer, Sports Reporter

The Forest Hills Rugby Club’s first game of the season was played against Catholic RFC, a combined team of Grand Rapids Catholic Central and West Catholic players. The largest team in the state hosted a sizeable crowd and two enthusiastic sides. The match featured Ryan Demeter, the team’s captain and blindside flanker, as well as forwards Jhett Gavle, Stevie Wolf,  and Evan “Lock” Elzinga. Leading the way in the tackling category was senior Isaac Gurley, the team’s eight-man. 

The backs were led by sophomore scrum-halves Topher Beckering and Luke Piotrowski, in addition to fly-halves Roman Hager and Andrew Weiskopf.

“I think the most important part of the game was getting everyone to know how to play and getting used to a new sport,” sophomore Andrew Weiskopf said. “I feel like the game slipped out of our hands at the end, but it was an overall great first performance for all of us playing for the first time.” 

Despite the loss, it wasn’t a bad game whatsoever for the team’s first go-around.

“The most important part of the game was our penalties,” junior Arash Kordbacheh said. “We need to get more familiar with the sport of rugby and avoid getting penalized so we don’t have to play a man down.” 

For those that do not know about the scoring in Rugby, you must move the ball forward by either running with the ball, passing it backward, or kicking it and then placing it into the “try zone”. A try is worth five points, a conversion kick is worth two points, and a penalty kick is worth three points. The Deadheads got off to an early lead with tries by Arash Kordbacheh and Topher Beckering. The Deadheads, mostly composed of newer players, found themselves with a lot of penalties in the second half that put them a man down on the field. This gave the Catholic RFC side many chances to score with an overloaded field.

Although the Deadheads were defeated, the game was close throughout. 

“I feel like everyone did a really good job together and played as a team,” Topher Beckering said. “Although we lost, we learned a lot from our first game and the outcome will be different in the next.”

“We learned a lot on Friday against a very solid squad that had a lot of experience. With most of our guys being new, it’s about learning the laws of the game and developing crisp passing and tactics” coach Brad Anderson said. “I’m really proud of our team effort and spirit. The Deadheads have a lot of courage, loyalty, and sportsmanship on the field.“

The Deadheads look to make a comeback on Wednesday, May 5th against West Ottawa and secure a win at 6:00 PM. The game will take place on the lower bowl field at FHC.