In an interesting Metro Area Varsity Rugby Conference (MAVRC) matchup between the only 2 public /charter school rugby programs in the District of Columbia, the Pride of Perry Street Prep took on cross town rivals the Colts of Calvin Coolidge High School. While many of the players from both teams have family and neighborhood connections, they are all part of a larger rugby family. The Coolidge rugby program like Perry Street is also a program that started thanks to the efforts of members of the Washington Rugby Football club.
While their rugby program is still developing a foothold in the school, Coolidge was a national media sensation in 2010 when their varsity football program took the bold step in hiring a female varsity head football coach. Despite the naysayers, 2 years later that same head coach was coaching her team in the city championship title game. Judging by the size and athleticism of their rugby team it appeared that many of the Coolidge players might be members of that football team.
With a stiff breeze and temperatures 35 degrees cooler than the previous day, both teams struggled in the early minutes to get loosened up and display the open exciting rugby that both teams are known for. As both teams got their blood flowing, the Pride defense began to exert pressure and created turnovers that ultimately resulted in points on the board. Good support play and quick rucks allowed the Perry Street team to dominate possession and maintain momentum through the first 20 minutes. Not one to bow down to anyone, Coolidge began to show they were just getting warmed up and answered with their first points of the night. This appeared to embolden the Colts and rattle the Perry Street team for the next few minutes as worked to get their momentum back.
Through the aggressive play of the Prides loose forwards, Junior- Marcus Mcintyre, Senior-Brian Betts and Junior- Christian Adams, the Pride began to notch up tries as the game wore on. Other than an alert, blind side score by replacement scrumhalf Sophomore Justin Owens, four out of the five tries scored by the Pride were the results of Flankers- Adams and Mcintyre.
With 20 minutes to go, just as it appeared the Pride were beginning to run away with the game, a Coolidge players suffered an injury that stopped play for an extended period of time. With a 30 minute wait, temperatures dropping fast and Coolidge having no more players to substitute it was decided by both teams to call the game.
In closing, the Pride’s Coach Bayer commented, “any time these two teams play each other you know it is going to be a battle.” Calling the game early “was a disappointing way to end a game but considering the conditions and risk of injury from waiting around in the cold, you have to do what is best for the kids.” Final Score 27-5.