Head coaches sound off on possible cooperation between football and rugby
Tomas Aguirre Duffy ’20
Editor’s note: This article was written before Coach Rice’s departure this fall to pursue new career opportunities.
Rugby and football, both are collision and endurance sports, equally brutal and energetic, though not equal in popularity in America. Football is the pinnacle of American sports; rugby, it’s older British brother.
Coach Modeste, the head football coach, described football as a symphonic battle of bodies.
The preparation time of both physical and mental training is unique to football according to Coach Modeste, along with the modernization of the sport upgrading to the best technology for protection. When I asked Coach Modeste if athletes could play both football and rugby, since they are in different seasons, he responded, “If they have a positive experience playing both, they will usually continue doing so, and I will fully support that path.”
Coach Peter Rice, the head rugby coach, described rugby as a cross between football and soccer. He states how rugby captures the brutality and aggression of football while implementing the non-stop pace of soccer. One thing that is unique about rugby is unique the culture of brotherhood in rugby, according to Coach Rice. He explained, “When our team captain was injured last year, he served as a touch judge (referee) or water boy in several of our matches.”
Coach Rice suggested that cooperation between football and rugby programs is possible, saying “Many top Jesuit high school football programs also have nationally ranked rugby teams. There, the players and coaches cross over between sports as they serve each other’s purposes.”
Both Coaches seemed to have agreed on one thing there is a possibility of players playing both sports. Could this lead to a newly found or expanded partnership between the two?