Howell Force Rugby Expects Strong Season


Credit to Savannah Wandzel

Howell Force rugby team prepares for play against CBC

By Elizabeth Wagner

After kicking off their competitive season, Howell Force Rugby plans to learn from mistakes and make the rest of the year count. Gaining insight after their first game and loss against Eureka on March 7, the boys look to work on fundamentals to find success in their season.

“Our first game was a loss, but it really came down to experience. Our team had a lot more new players, and Eureka is known for being very good and we managed to perform better than last time we went against them,” said Senior offensive player J Pae. “I think our first game went fairly well for a lot of newcomers and a young team. For what we had, we did really well.“

More than experience on the field, Pae says the team’s real strength lie in their chemistry. On and off the field, the boys mesh well together.

“Our team chemistry is definitely better than any other year. We became brothers, friends really fast. Everyone is so friendly, we’re all family here,” said Pae.

Howell Force is unique in that all members from the team are not students of Francis Howell North, but a number of schools throughout the area. Many people would see this as a disadvantage, however the boys see as opportunity and keep chemistry on the field even through it.

“I think it’s great to have a variety of schools coming together, especially when they’re not even in the district,” said Pae. “We have people from Troy, Liberty, St. Charles High, and even hours away just coming here to play rugby, which is awesome.”

Being a senior out of Francis Howell North, the team’s practice location, Pae has taken on a unique leadership role, and embraces it.

“This responsibility and taking leadership has been a wake-up call for me. I have to give everything I can to every game, every practice, and everything we do,” said Pae. He, along with the other seniors set high expectations for the boys and lead by example.

“The underclass would most definitely try and follow the footsteps of seniors, including myself to more experienced players, especially when it comes to everything,” said Pae.