Saint Xavier High School Rugby Team
Scott Saylor – Head Rugby Coach
Coach Scott Saylor is entering his seventh season as the Tigers Head Rugby Coach. He is a 1971 graduate of Saint Xavier where he played on the Tigers’ 1969 undefeated state championship football team. After high school, Coach Saylor attended the University of Kentucky and began his rugby career. He played for the University of Kentucky Rugby Club from 1972 to 1974 and the Louisville Rugby Club from 1974 to 1987. In 1987 he was the captain of the Louisville Rugby Club, England Tour. Coach Saylor and Assistant Coach Jack Klausing were integral in the formation of the Saint Xavier Rugby Club. In Coach Saylor’s four seasons at the helm, the Tigers have won the Kentucky State Club Championship three times: 2010, 2012, and 2013.
Coach Saylor and his staff believe in a physical style of play with an emphasis on strong “rucking,” ball possession, ball handling, and tackling. Fitness is also a strong emphasis, so the Tigers work to be the best-conditioned and fittest club to take the “pitch” each week.
Rugby Through the Years
- The Saint Xavier Rugby Club was founded in the spring of 2010 when a group of students approached Athletic Director Alan Donhoff about starting a club in a newly formed league. The team's early success created a response to the sport that has helped it grow into one of the biggest clubs Saint Xavier offers. Under the leadership of coaches Scott Taylor and Jack Klausing, the team has captured four of the five state championships in the league's early history.
- Experienced players captain Nick Herberger ’10, Sam Newman ’10 and Kyle Freeman ’10 led the 2010 team. Will Lawson ’10, Michael Montano ’10 and Drew Strobl ’11 quickly learned the game, and together they led the Tigers to the state championship in the inaugural season of the Kentucky Youth Rugby League.
- Captain Drew Strobl led the squad in 2011 as it encountered a heavy influx of freshmen and sophomores. Although inexperienced, the club completed league play undefeated and faced a senior-laden Middletown Warrior Club in the state finals. The Tigers controlled the ball for the most of the match, but they fell five points short of their second title.
- Another successful season included the emergence of captain Jamie Thomas ’13, Christian Hardy ’13, Wes Parker ’14, Kevin Riggs ’14 and Keaton Byrd ’15 in 2012. The Tigers swept through the league and handily defeated Trinity for the state championship.
- In 2013, the Rugby Club faced a much tougher schedule. The Tigers opened the season with a victory over Cincinnati St. Xavier and then traveled to Nashville where they defeated the Sycamore Rugby Club. A match with Ohio's state runner-up, Archbishop Moeller, provided the next challenge for the squad. After a hard-fought match, the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season. Cleveland St. Edward - the nationally ranked Ohio State Champions - traveled to Louisville for a spirited match at Brother Thomas More Stadium. Injuries to key players Wes Parker and David Brewer ’14 were too much to overcome as the Eagles pulled away in the second half. The Tigers were undefeated in league play and defeated Trinity for back-to-back state championships.
- The 2014 Rugby Club capped off another impressive season by winning its third-straight Kentucky Club State Championship by defeating Trinity 48-0. The team was led by senior captain Kevin Riggs and senior All-American Wes Parker.
- In 2015 the Tigers were led by junior captain Logan Butler ’16 to their fourth-straight Kentucky Club State Championship and their fifth in the six-year history of rugby competition in the state.
- In 2016, the Rugby program finished the season ranked 34th in the country among high school programs. Led by captain Tucker Donlon ’16, the Tigers compiled an 11-2 record and won the Kentucky Rugby Championship for the fifth year in a row. In the words of Coach Scott Taylor, "this has been the best team we have ever had."
- In 2017 the Tigers became members of the Indiana Super League to improve the level of competition. This move was a key factor in the seventh Kentucky Rugby Club state title in a row for the Tigers and their eighth overall. The 2017 team was led by seniors Brewer Cahalan, Matthew Schadt, Matthew Stoudt, Graham Summersand Thomas Zoeller.
- In 2018 the Tigers remained undefeated in Kentucky and finished first in their division in the Rugby Indiana D1 play. The year’s side was led by captain Conner Schaeffer ’18, Ben Shugart ’18, Alex Feller ’18, Max Pfeiffer ’18, Trevor Amback ’18, Jacob Schoen ’18, Alan Mateja ’18, Douglas Shaffner ’18 and Isaac Marrett ’18.