The McQuaid Jesuit High School rugby program, started by Tony Canali in 2002, has quickly gone from a startup club sport to a prominent varsity program that has three teams and more than 60 players. This year’s top varsity squad finished with a record of 15-2-1 and won the New York State High School Championship tournament held May 29-30 in Albany. But rugby at McQuaid is about much more than wins and losses. Team members recently raised money, registered bone marrow donors and took part in the Hike for Life, all to benefit Christopher’s Challenge, a charitable fund that helps pay costs associated with bone marrow transplants. Head coach Matt Thomas and senior P.J. Abelein spoke to the Catholic Courier about what McQuaid rugby means to them.
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