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Westfield Jr. High Student, Nate Froelich Wins Rugby MVP
The Indiana U15 returned from the Challenge Cup Regional All-Star Tournament in Pittsburgh as Defending Tournament Champions. Indiana joined teams from North Carolina, New York, Virginia Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Illinois to compete for the Challenge Cup.
Indiana jumped out to an early lead in the first game vs New York West. Nate started at inside center and set the tone early by playing strong defense. Nate was able to break away on long runs in the game and scored twice as Indiana went on to win 53-0. Indiana’s next game was against a very strong North Carolina team. Nate started at inside center and again was key on shutting down North Carolina as Indiana won 27-5 putting them in the championship bracket vs. Virginia.
The Championship game ended regular time at a 5-5 tie. Indiana scored the winning try with no time left on the clock in overtime to take the championship 10-5. Bob Froelich commented on the game, “I am new to Rugby, but a highlight for me was how balanced our team was in every position, and the extreme level of competition I saw in Pittsburgh. Every match was fun to watch.”
Eddie Able, Coach of Indiana Select Side stated, “It was an awesome championship game. The kids played really well all weekend and deserved to take home the first place trophy. Nate was named tournament MVP. He played really well all weekend and set the tone for the backline defensively. He had a couple big hits early in the championship game. He also helped set up both of our scores including the game winner with no time left on the clock.”
John Harley Southeastern Coach said that Nate played great and knew Nate would have an impact on the team as he coached against Nate three times in the season and said Nate was unstoppable.
Nate started playing rugby this year after being approached by High School Coach Kurt Fehr at student impact basketball and asked if he would like to play Rugby. Nate went home and watched videos of rugby and he thought rugby would be fun to play. In his first year Nate was able to set scoring records for Westfield Jr High scoring 13 trys and leading the team in points scored as well as being the top 3 try scorers in the state. Asking Nate about his first year playing rugby, he said, “I think I learned a lot about the game and had a great experience, I met new people and I'm excited to play next year as a freshman in high school. I would recommend rugby if you like being physical and playing a game that is non-stop. You also need to be open to learn about the game, but if you can do that, rugby is very fun and is a new and exciting experience.”
Nate’s strong running and defensive skills have not gone unnoticed by National Selection Committee. Nate has been selected to attend training sessions to prepare for the Boys' High School All-Americans. This team is the best Junior Varsity (U16) male rugby players from across the country, and compete as both 15s and Sevens squads. They recently traveled abroad to England and won the Las Vegas Invitational tournament in February. This summer they will compete in a South American tour.