Moon schools to offer rugby

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In addition to becoming Moon Area’s superintendent, Curt Baker will also be founder and coach for the district’s new varsity club sport Tigers Rugby.

Mr. Baker said he feels it is very important for a superintendent to be a member of the community in which he serves. Although still awaiting the arrival of his family and barely settled in the area himself, he’s already adding to his workload by volunteering to create a program for Crescent and Moon students.

In 2003, he founded Unionville-Chadds Ford’s high school rugby program. Mr. Baker has served as head coach for the varsity club sport at Unionville High School since its inception.

Each year, participation in the Unionville-Rugby program is more than 100 high school boys, high school girls and middle school boys, making it one of the largest youth rugby programs in the nation. The varsity team is the reigning 2013 Pennsylvania state champion.

Mr. Baker played college rugby for the University of Southern California, Tufts University and the London School of Economics, as well as playing men’s club rugby several years afterward. He is USA Rugby trained and certified.

Moon Area games will generally be played on Friday nights, with practices conducted on Saturdays and Sundays. The season will run March through May, with practices and conditioning commencing in late January.

Cost per player is $175 for the season, which includes league fees, player registration with Rugby Pennsylvania, referee costs and post-match socials. Game jerseys will be provided by the team on game day. Players must provide shorts, socks, rugby cleats and mouth guards.

All costs of the Tigers Rugby program are borne by the club’s members. The team will not anticipate nor ask for school funding according to Mr. Baker.

The sport is not a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association sport. The boys high school team will compete against programs at Fox Chapel, Burrell, Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh Central Catholic and South Hills.

An informational and sign-up meeting is scheduled for boys in grades 9-12 at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the high school LGI room. For more information, email rugby@moonarea.net.

Sonja Reis, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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