Brunswick High School rugby team plays for friends killed in crash, heads to championship

BRUNSWICK, Ohio - Pumped for the big game on Saturday, members of the Brunswick High School rugby team say the championship means even more to them than ever before.

The team dedicated their season to fallen friends Kevin Fox, Jeffrey Chaya, Blake Bartchak and Lexi Poerner.
Monday marks the one year since the four teens died in a crash when their car went airborne at a railroad crossing.

Fox was a member of the rugby team.

"Kevin especially, he's the best guy around. I mean, MVP. He's a great guy all around and I mean, when it happened we were all really shocked," said team captain Ryan O'Dell.

"Brunswick's been through some tough losses within the past year, and we all dedicated all the games and we wanted to win for them," Andrew Videgar said.

That's exactly what the team has been doing, even in the semifinal game.

"We're down 13-nothing and the boys came to the sidelines a little bit dejected, very dejected actually. And one of our seniors Austen kind of brought everybody together and said, ‘Hey guys, we got four angels up there looking after us and we're going to get this thing done.' And it was a pretty big moment and the guys, it just clicked," coach Brian Williams said. "We won 19-13 and we rolled through the next game. "

Now seated as No. 1 in the state, Brunswick will play the No. 2 club rugby team in the state in Columbus at 3 p.m.  Even more impressive, it's only the team's second year playing.

"I don't know if that's ever been done before, but I know it would be huge accomplishment for us.  I mean, we're talking about, we've got 45 kids here, and probably 25 of them never picked up a rugby ball before this year, so it's pretty huge to see how far we've come," Williams said.

But the players said they didn't get here alone.

"This year we're definitely playing for a reason.  I mean, it's just a different feel this year from last… Definitely we'll feel it if we lose, but I don't see that happening this year," O'Dell said.

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