Originating from a deep passion and an enthusiastic spirit for the game of rugby, the Arlington Stallions Rugby Club was born in 2004. The following is a partial timeline including the names of instrumental athletes that helped shape the Arlington Stallions Rugby Club from it’s beginnings through where it stands today.
For the first time in club history, the HS side went on a week-end road trip to Louisville to jump-start the season. The trip was deemed a rousing success as the sides played well, won two, lost two and all the players that got on the bus on Friday got off the bus on Sunday in Arlington Heights. Despite posting a 4-2 league record with defeats over Morton (2015 state champion) and New Trier (eventual 2016 state champion), the HS side could not get past Mt. Carmel at their home field in the play-offs' opening round. Five Stallions; Luke Reinhardt, Alex Gountanis (both of Prospect HS), Joe Fasolo, Matt Moroniak (both of Hersey HS) and Assistant Coach Kevin Lydon (Conant HS) were selected to the Tornados tour to South Africa. Both MS and HS Olympic squads placed second in the Rugby Illinois State Championship Tournament, hosted by the Stallions at melas Park in Mt. Prospect.
Despite a disappointing 2-4 record in league play, the HS side went into the play-offs as the #7 seed against #2 seed, powerful Neuqua Valley Wildcats. In probably the best game our HS side has ever played, they rallied from a 21-5 halftime deficit to score three tries in the last 15 minutes of play for a stunning upset 33-26. Ultimately, the side would take third in the state championship playoffs with a 31-15 defeat of former state champion Brother Rice. The HS Olympic squad, led by Zack Kaminski, Aiden Willimas (both of Prospect HS) and Ben Hirschman (Stevenson HS) win their second consecutive state championship, defeating the South Side Irish Academy 24-12 after an amazing 4 minute defensive stand in front of their own goal line.
HS side wins Rugby Illinois Tier One East Conference, defeats Morton in the first round of the playoffs and narrowly loses to eventual State champions Waubonsie Chiefs in semi-final match. MS side defeats Naperville for Third Place in State Championship Tournament. HS players Tony Lapiana, Spencer Krueger and Zack Lingen are selected to the Rugby Illinois All-State side (aka the Tornados) for their semi-annual overseas tour to Great Britain. Behind outstanding play from senior Jack Tuttle (Prospect) and freshman Alex Gountanis (Prospect), the HS Olympic (Sevens) side wins the 2014 Rugby Illinois State Championship, defeating Mt. Carmel 44-0 in the championship match. Alumni Jack Carso takes his rugby talents to national collegiate powerhouse St. Mary's College (CA).
For the second year in a row, the high school side qualified for the Rugby Illinois Tier One Championship play-offs by defeating Lake Forest and Naperville in the regular season. Stallions Alum Kevin Lydon returned during the summer to coach the Stallions Sevens (Olympic Rugby) in the club's first endeavor into this style of play. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the season was the Middle School's Senior side's defeat of Naperville to win the Rugby Ilinois State Championship. the majority of these players are still with the Stallions, playing in the high school program. High School Alumni Kevin Lydon (Davenport), John Maevski (Loras), Bobby Hable (Loras), Josh Cunningham (Xavier) and Josh Bojes (Western Illinois) all moved on to continue their rugby in college.
The Stallions and Davenport University of Grand Rapids, Michigan announce Kevin Lydon as the first Stallions player to be awarded an athletic scholarship to play rugby.
Competing in their first Tier 1 season in the most competitive division in the state of Illinois, the high school side posts impressive wins against perennial powerhouse clubs St. Charles and Waubonsie Valley.
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