MAY 5, 2018, STOCKTON CA- The Bishop O’Dowd High School varsity men’s and women’s rugby teams finished the 2018 campaign with resounding victories in their respective championship brackets.
In the first order of the day, the varsity women ran right through their Nor Cal league rivals, the Lady Oaks of Danville, 52-21. Senior pivots Eleanor Carper and Sabine Schroepfer steered the ship and unleashed a torrid attack of explosive running rugby. The Danvile defense could not live with the pace and power of O’Dowd’s experienced and uncompromising back row featuring All-American Shariyf Mayer ’18, Sammy Gonzalez ’18 and Kaitlin Williams ’18. This victory secures 3rd place in Northern California and puts the Dragons’ 2018 record at 11-1.
“I’m really proud of these girls, they just played great. The core of this team has been together for four years and I’m really happy that we get to send these seniors off with a victory,” women’s varsity head Coach Julia Diskin ’06 said.
As the women were celebrating their victory, the O’Dowd men kicked off the last match of the tournament against a big and powerful Gridley side. More of the same story line, though, as the Dragons defeated Gridley, 65-17, to caprture the Open Division varsity championship.
The Dragons started fast and never looked back, with halfbacks Nick Sanchez ’18 and Andrew Crudo ’18 distributing and setting the pace Gridley had no answer for the hard running of David Rosario ’18, Quante Martin ’18 and Josh Mannix ’19. Seven O’Dowd ruggers touched down, with Rosario on the hat trick as well as Crudo and Mannix with a brace of tries each. The Dragons finish the 2018 season at 6-5.
“The 2018 record does not really tell the story of our team. It has been quite a hard season, our league is very competitive with a handful of narrow defeats that could have gone either way,” Director of Rugby Ray Lehner said.
“As always it is sad to part with another group of our seniors. David Rosario and Nick Sanchez were wonderful captains. They lived our core values and they always placed the needs of our team ahead of their own. That level of loyalty and commitment will carry them far in life,” Lehner said. “I’m really proud of our whole program, from the coaches to the players. It has become a habit here to save our best performances for last, and both the men and women delivered in sublime form.”