Varsity rugby looks to have a successful season driven by youth


Coming off of an 0-5 season last year, junior Brandon Weiskopf is excited to lead the varsity rugby team into success.

“I’m excited for this season,” Brandon said. “Last year, we had a rough season, but this year we should win some games. We’ve added more young players, so our team is fresh and ready to go.”

The Rangers have an impressive roster this year. They have added many new players to the team; however, they lost a key player in 2018 graduate Seth Udell. Seth was the captain last year and was the leader on both offense and defense.

Brandon will take over for Seth. Brandon joined the rugby team last year and was one of the best defenders. This year, he will be leading the team on defense and will help the younger players learn the ropes.

“Brandon is going to be key this season,” junior Jacob Wolfgang said. “He’s going to be our backbone this season. He is probably our best defender this year.”

As for the offensive side, junior Wyatt Engler and FHN senior Ben Fabiano will lead the team. Wyatt and Ben are both forwards that push the opponent off of them and pick the ball, ultimately creating space for them to score. Both Ben and Wyatt create space very well and are able to get the ball moving, leading to a tri.

“Wyatt and Ben will be huge for offense,” Brandon said. “They get the ball moving and are our leading scorers; overall, they are our offense.”

The Rangers’ hardest competition is Grand Haven. Grand Haven has a stellar program that has been running for years, while FH just started the rugby program. Grand Haven also has the advantage of size and experience; the majority of the team is bigger and has been on the team for more than two years. This will challenge FH because the majority of the team is brand new to the sport.

“Our first home game is against Grand Haven, which is a tough team,” head coach Ken Smith said. “We will be playing an all-around physical team, but with some extra training, the team is willing to put in work over Spring Break. I believe it will help pay off.”

In a game earlier this week, the rugby team faced off against Rockford. FH was able to defeat the Rams 51-0. Ben and Wyatt scored 6 out of the 9 tri’s scored. Brandon was able to score 2 tri’s, and junior Brent Hosford scored 1 as well. With this win, FH’s conference record is 1-0.

“It felt awesome to win against the Rams especially because we didn’t win a single game last year,” Brandon said. “This wins proves that we can have a successful season.”