Pelham Rugby plays at first Iona College Founder’s Day fest; U15 team triumphs and U13 trails

Pelham players and coaches at a practice at Prospect Hill last month.

This past Columbus day, Pelham Youth Rugby was one of the invitees to the first annual Iona College Founder’s Day Youth Rugby Festival.

Iona College’s Rugby Club hosted a clinic and games at their new rugby pitch in the center of campus. Pelham was the first team they invited to participate in what they hope to be a yearly youth clinic.

Upon arriving, the kids were placed into groups to be coached by Jamie McClellon, Alex Whillen, Dave Biskup and Spencer Scanlon, all of Pelham Rugby, NYAC and USA Eagle player Toby LeStrange (who also coaches Pelham), Play Rugby’s Christian Mayo and Iona Coach Pat Fiffe.

While the U13 team got a chance to practice on a full field, the U15 squad was able to use the hi-tech scrum machine Iona just purchased. Several Iona players were on hand to demonstrate and help as well.

Pelham’s U13 team faced off against Manhattan Youth Rugby in the first match. Although they ultimately came up short, several players caught the attention of the packed stands.

Playing in the game: Andrew Clausen, Chris Davis,Duffy Doyle, Conner Evans, Conner Fleming, Jack Fronce, Sofia Imperato, Quinn Jenkins, Alejandro Kahaner, Connor McNulty, Reed O’Brien, Luca Philips, Adam Razick, Tamio Shibasaki, Andrew Shulzhenko, Cameron Ward and Patrick Zahradnik.

Cameron Ward was named Player of the Game for the U13 team.

Things were much different in the U15 game. Pelham was matched against Manhattan’s U15 team and jumped to an early lead that they never relinquished. Pelham scored often, eventually tallying 21 tries and holding Manhattan to 2. Every member of the Pelham squad scored at least 2 tries.

Playing for Pelham: Dan Biskup, Matt Biskup, North Westall, Morgan Collins, Whit Johnson, Luke Persanis, Quinn Scanlon, Nick Roll, Kees Huisman and Cian Burns.

Nick Roll was named “Man of the Match” for his outstanding performance both with the ball in hand and in the rucking situations he faced.

Next week, Pelham takes on Manhattan again at Ingall’s Field with a 3:30 pm kick off for U13 and 4:30 for U15.