Pelham Rugby Beats Rival Rye 22-17


Pelham Rugby rallies together to mount a second half comeback against Rye.

Gabby Ahitow, Co-Managing Editor, Freshman

Pelham Memorial High School’s Boys Rugby team beat rival Rye High School in a 22-17 victory on May 9 at Glover Field.

Early on in the game, Pelham fell behind but was able to mount a comeback as they outscored Rye 17-7 in the second half. Head Coach Matt Persanis was very impressed with his team’s bounce back after not playing for two years. 

“This year has been tough since no one has played in two years. The last time our seniors played they were sophomores!”, Persanis said. 

As for the future, Persanis says the team is improving every week and expects them to get better every game. He is very proud of the tradition of PMHS rugby players getting recruited to play D1 rugby, and many of this year’s seniors are continuing that tradition by going on to play in college with some players on scholarships. 

“In general, the team has some good seniors on the team, Ash Mallach (our Captain), Caleb Persanis, Juan Matos, Aiden Kiernan, Sanjay Seecharren, Luke Sgobbo, and Omar Royer.  Most encouraging is the group of younger players who are already making an impact: Tim Lyons, Will Otondi, Erik Rocksvold, Liam Bruckner, Sebastian Fisher, Erik Fontanella, Michael Sample, Brendan Collins, and Bates Bland. These guys are going to be good!” said Persanis. 

Due to COVID-19, the rugby team did not have a fall season. In the fall, they would have played by the version of the Olympic rules of rugby called 7s. Each team has seven players on the pitch and only three subs are given in the match. The two halves are seven minutes each, making it a fourteen-minute game. 

“I think we are leaving this team in very good hands. I’m currently impressed with how lots of them have been playing on varsity. Being a 15 or 16-year-old playing against 17 and 18-year-olds can be scary,” team captain Ash Mallach said. 

On May 16  Glover, the team played at home again against St. Anthony’s resulting in a 45-7 win. They followed this victory with another home game on May 23 where they beat Harvey School, 86-7. Their final game is on June 4 at Glover field where they will face off against New Rochelle. Currently, the team is undefeated in their section and in first place for the region.