Local high school rugby club continues success with third place finish in state

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Photo by Flyers Rugby

The 2022 Lindbergh Flyers Rugby Club finished third in state.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Lindbergh Flyers Rugby club finished another successful season May 8, finishing third in state with a 6-1 record. 

The team has had sustained success since its founding in 2018, making state every year and winning it in 2019. Coach Ron Laszewski said a big part of the immediate success was the simplification of team tactics — rugby teams field 15 players, meaning teams can get caught in overcomplicating tactics. 

The team features high school students from all around South County, including Lindbergh, Oakville and St. John Vianney. Laszewski said prior to joining the team none of the players had played the sport before, but were able to use general athletic skills to get better.

“What’s great about rugby is it culminates — if you’re good at a lot of different sports, you’re probably going to be good at rugby,” Laszewski said. “Most American kids love to tackle and that’s one of the easiest things to teach.”

The 2022 season culminated with a 33-17 regular season victory over eventual state champions St. Louis University High School. Junior team captain Connor Kuehler said the victories over SLUH and Chaminade were the first times the Flyers have won those games in team history.

“It was a great season, great team. (There was) a lot of sportsmanship on the team which helps us a lot and gets us known by other coaches,” Kuehler said. “Rugby is just a great community, one of the best communities in all of sports.”

Three Flyers were offered scholarship 

opportunities to play college rugby, something Laszewski said is due to the large number of nearby programs. Lindenwood University, McKendree University in Illinois, St. Louis College of Health Careers and Drury University in Springfield all field varsity teams.

Rugby is a growing sport in St. Louis, with club teams of all ages available as well as the addition of the St. Louis Bombers to the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame May 2. The U.S. was recently named as the host of the 2031 Rugby World Cup, meaning during the two-month-long tournament a match could be played in or near St. Louis. 

Anyone interested in more information or joining the Flyers can contact coach Adam Pyke at flyersrugby@gmail.com.