ICEF Boy’s rugby team placed third in the 2024 Urban Rugby Championships (Courtesy Photo)

The View Park (ICEF) boy’s and girl’s rugby teams culminated their season with a trip to the Urban Rugby Championship and Japan.

The Urban Rugby Championship took place in Washington D.C.; the Knights competed with high school rugby teams from different parts of the nation. The ICEF boy’s rugby team came in third while the girl’s rugby team came in fourth at the Championship.

A highlight for the ICEF boy’s rugby team was their victory over Withrow High School of Cincinnati; Withrow won the Ohio State Rugby Championship in 2023.

“We kept trying to lift each other up,” said senior scrum half Dominic Jackson about the boy’s rugby team. “We all had a great time there, great performance at the whole entire little events and great game, great community.”

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ICEF girl’s rugby team captain Kloey Bacchus (left) poses with ICEF boy’s rugby player Dominic Jackson (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Along with competing, the teams got a chance to visit several historic places including Howard University, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial.

Girl’s rugby team captain Kloey Bacchus used the Championships as an opportunity to learn and adapt new rugby tactics to improve her game. ICEF girl’s battled the likes of Play Rugby USA of New York and Alexandria City High School of Virginia. Being a captain also means being a sounding board for the team.

“I had to be open and available physically, emotionally, mentally and just all around,” Bacchus said. “Being that support that they needed really showed me that I grew mentally and emotionally.”

During their “Cherry Blossom Tour” in Japan, the teams battled the teams at Kanto Gakuin Mutsuura High School of Yokohama. Their girl’s team is one of the best in Japan, according to ICEF rugby coach Stuart Krohn.

ICEF Rugby visited Howard University and the White House (Courtesy Photo)

“It was a really experienced team against a very inexperienced team,” Krohn said. “After we played them one game, we mixed teams for the second game so they all played against each other.”

Bacchus was in awe of their playing style; she noted how watching the girl’s rugby team in Japan was like “watching ballet.”

“They’re so strategic in everything they do, like their lineouts, how they run up on defense,” Bacchus said. “I’m just so blessed to have been a part of their team and to play with them.”

After the matches, the rugby teams would have parties and cook meals together to get to know one another. For Jackson, the trip gave him a broader perspective on life. It also helped him improve his leadership skills.

ICEF Rugby competed against and alongside the Kanto Gakuin Mutsuura High School rugby teams (Courtesy Photo)

“That’s the hardest competition I’ve ever gone against my entire life,” Jackson said. “It was all fun, we were tackling big guys.”

Each ICEF Rugby student had to do a project that expressed their perspective on the trip. Students created videos, PowerPoint projects, and poetry. Senior Mekhi Abdul-Shaheed enjoyed scoring tries during the Urban Rugby Championship and in Japan.

“D.C., it was a lot more competition-based, energies rising because that’s when we had our championships, so we where still technically in league,” Abdul-Shaheed said. “As for Japan, everybody was just friends, we’re just having a good game … nobody thought nothing of it win, lose, or draw.”