Seventh/eighth grade tackle team defeats Rockaway, Manhattan; sixth/seventh team loses first two

The Pelham seventh/eighth grade tackle rugby team won the first two games of the season Sunday, while the sixth/seventh grade team was edged in their first pair of matches.

The seventh/eighth grade team, the reigning league champions, first faced Rockaway, the early season favorites to run away with the title. Rockaway are big and aggressive and have been playing just as long as Pelham. In earlier action Sunday, Rockaway destroyed Manhattan, setting up a showdown with Pelham.

In an extremely hard-hitting, well-played game Pelham won 4-2, with two tries scored by Whit Johnson, one by Xavier Worsley, and one by newcomer North Westall to secure the win. In the second game, victory over Manhattan was decided on the final play of the game. Matt Biskup hit a Manhattan player, dislodging the ball for newcomer Jake Soifer to scoop up and score in the corner.

Players for Pelham were Cian Burns, Whit Johnson, Matt Biskup, Dan Biskup, Luke Persanis, Xavier Worsley, North Westall, Jack Weyndling, James Cahill, Alex Calder, Kees Huisman, Matt Rabinowitz, Nick Roll, Quinn Scanlon, Jake Soifer and Morgan Collins.

The sixth/seventh graders first took on a strong Manhattan side that fielded predominantly seventh graders against a Pelham team mostly made up sixth graders. Pelham lost the match, 5-3.

In the second game, Pelham took on a very big team from Long Island and kept it close until the final few minutes, eventually losing 8-3. Luke Persanis scored five tries in both games, and Sofia Imperato tallied on an absolutely brilliant run late in the second game. Quinn Scanlon tackled everything that came near him, Adam Razick had some fantastic runs, and Pelham’s two little guys, Tamio Shibasaki and Jack Fronce, were the best tacklers.

Playing on the sixth/seventh team were Jack Fronce, Luke Persanis, Adam Razick, Cameron Ward, Sofia Imperato, Quinn Scanlon, Chris Davis, Jean Vigroux, Quinn Jenkins, Tamio Shibasaki, James Bristow and Kyle Lefler.

The league standings after the first week:

Sixth/Seventh Grade League

Manhattan                  2-0-0

Aspetuck                      1-0-0

Lycee                             1-0-0

Long Island                1-1-0

Pelham                         0-2-0

Ridgewood                  0-1-0

Jersey City                   0-0-0

Seventh/Eighth Grade League

Pelham                         2-0-0

Aspetuck                      1-0-0

Rockaway                    1-1-0

Manhattan                  0-2-0

Ridgewood                  0-1-0

Jersey City                   0-0-0