Two recent Highland graduates just finished a very successful post-high school rugby season. Jake Kubicki and Brandon Yu tried out and made the Celtic Elite Ohio Rugby Team. This team is a regional select rugby team for boys from Northeast Ohio.
They traveled to Elkhart, Ind., where they played in the Midwest All Star Challenge, beating teams representing Indiana (41-15) and Illinois (40-5). The Celtic Team also traveled and took second place in the Midwest Regional Cup Tournament, going undefeated until the final game of the tournament. They won against teams from Minnesota (38-5), Wisconsin (37-0) and Houston (32-5). In the final game of the competition, the Celtic Team was bested by the Wisconsin Badgers, losing 17-22.
The Highland Buzzards’ MVP Award winner, Kubicki played fly half for the Celtic Team as he had for the Highland Rugby Team the past four years. This was his second year on the Celtic Team; last year he played full back.
“The Celtic Team experience really gives you a taste for what high level rugby competition feels like. Participating in the tournaments made me even more excited to play Division I collegiate rugby next year,” Kubicki said.
He is planning to attend Bowling Green State University in the fall, where he will continue his rugby career.
Yu played fullback for the team and scored multiple tries and had several assists. He just finished his third year with the Highland Buzzards Rugby Club, where he had broken the club record for number of tries scored in a season. He will be attending Baldwin Wallace University and plans to play rugby for the Yellow Jackets.
“Playing on a team with such high caliber players was very exciting. I learned so many things and enjoyed playing with the very guys I considered to be my biggest adversaries during the regular season,” said Yu.