Rugby teams prepare for season

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Maddy Hoskins, above, watches head coach Laurence Hornibrook and assistant coaches go through a drill for the Cailinis instruction Thursday.

The Chillicothe Rugby Football Club is underway with practices for the season.

The weather may keep them indoors but the coaches and players are making the best of it.

Assistant coach Bo Cox said practice usually starts in November but the Barbarians and the newly formed girls club, the Cailinis, began in early January.

Both teams are under the instruction of head coach Laurence Hornibrook.

The Barbarians will be led by captains Chris Bryant, Kyle Fouts and Jesse Holden. All are seniors at Illinois Valley Central High School.

“The late start is really rough on us,” Fouts said.

“We need more boys to show up but so far we’ve been having pretty strong practices. Everybody has been working hard.”

The indoor practices at St. Edward Catholic School Tuesdays and Thursdays consist of technique training, conditioning and endurance.

The endurance training is a key to the Barbarians success on the field, Bryant said.

“You do the fundamentals, and our endurance is better than any other team and that’s how we do so well,” Bryant said. “When other teams are doggin’ in that second half, we’re just starting to warm up. That’s when we put the hurt on them.”

One prospect for the year will be to have the players running 12-13 miles before Tuesday practices.

The coaches are side-by-side with the players as they run.

“So, when we go on those 8-mile runs coach is helping us out. He may not be leading the pack but he’s in the pack,” Bryant said. “The respect for the coaches go up way more.”

In the 2013 season, the Barbarians earned third in State in Tier 2 after a win over the Renegades of the Downers Grove area, 19-14. They finished the season with a 5-2-1 record.

In 2010 and 2011 the Barbarians won the state title. They went undefeated in 2010, 12-0.

This will be the first year for the Cailinis to hit the field.

The Cailinis pulled votes together to elect their captains Thursday. IVC High School freshman Molly Prewitt and junior Brittnie Dike were chosen.

“I’ve done sports but nothing like this at all,” Prewitt said.

Prewitt was introduced to rugby when her brother, Ethan, was on the Barbarians.

Dike followed the Barbarians in previous years. It will be her first high school level sport to participate in.

“It wasn’t so much, just, the sport I was into but the atmosphere and the team really got me into it,” Dike said.

The boys and girls have co-ed practices, and Prewitt and Dike said the boys do help with the technique of the game.

“They’re so helpful. They tell us exactly what we need to do because we’re still kind of new,” Prewitt said.

“It’s like a brother-sister dynamic,” said Dike.

The Barbarians and Cailinis practice outdoors normally and play games at the Chillicothe Elementary Center.

Cox said one of the other aspects of the game is to build a sense of respect for the other teams.

“When you’re in the field you’re enemies, but you don’t want to injure or hurt another player but then afterwards we’ll feed the other team and we’ll encourage the boys to go sit with the other team, get to know them and find out a little bit about them because they may be playing with them in college or with a men’s club,” Cox said.

“The social aspect is really big and that’s the type of thing that builds those friendships that last forever.”

The Barbarians’ first game will be March 15 against St. Charles at home.

The Cailinis’ first game will be March 22 against the Palatine Juggernauts.

Both teams are still accepting players into the program and may contact Hornibrook at 573-7298 or by email at laurence.hornibrook@gmail.com.