1-3-1 (Barbarians), 2-3 (Cailíní), 2-9 (Maulers seniors), 6-2-1 (Maulers juniors)
Middle school rugby took Chillicothe by storm in 2017! For years, younger siblings have aspired to play rugby, but only one or two each year showed interest, and the only middle school rugby in the state was played in the Chicago area. In the fall of 2016, however, the club was ready to give it a shot, and nearly 30 boys and girls in grades 5-8 signed up to play. In the end, there were 19 players on the "seniors" (7th/8th grade) team and 4 on the "juniors" (5th/6th grade) team. Players came not only from Chillicothe and neighboring towns but throughout the area from as far as Canton, Pekin, Elmwood and Washington. All but one of the matches were played in the Chicago area at middle school rugby festivals.
The Maulers seniors team had enough players to compete as a standalone team, while the juniors players combined with the Arlington Stallions and Elgin River Rats to form a team at the festivals. Also, the five girls on the Maulers joined a combined Rugby Illinois Eagles girls team that played at most of the festivals against a girls team from Chicago, the first time there were enough to play girls-only middle school matches in Illinois. Without these pioneers, girls middle school rugby would have not gotten off the ground. Three of the Maulers were named to the Rugby Illinois Hurricanes all state team and played in regional tournaments in June.
The Barbarians played their 10th season of rugby, something the founders of the club may have never expected. The boys had a lot of fun and played well in all their matches. While graduating five seniors, the fourteen underclassmen form a foundation to combine with the eight grade boys from the Maulers moving up in 2018.
The fourth season for the Cailíní was the senior year for the girls that were freshmen when the Cailíní first played. Those girls had been through growing pains and success, and most of the returning players were set to graduate. However, an enthusiastic and talented class of 11 freshman girls joined the team, so the team was a mix of several seasoned veterans and a host of newbies. The girls played a shortened season, including nearly coming back to beat Plainfield for the first time.
2017 Barbarian Season Results
2017 Maulers Seniors Season Results
2017 Cailíní Season Results
2017 Stallions/Maulers/Rats Juniors Results
2-4 (Barbarians), 3-2 (Cailíní), 2-4 (Maulers seniors), 8-2 (Maulers juniors), 6-0 (Maulers girls)
The Barbarians entered their 11th season with a strong core of seniors paired with a lot of youth and inexperience. Hampered by injuries and lack of depth, the Barbarians missed the playoffs, but they played rugby with confidence and a never-give-up attitude even against stronger competition, earning the respect of their opponents.
In the first year for the Cailini with no original members playing, the ladies finished second in the western conference at 3-1, with the only loss to the powerhouse West Suburban Bulls team. The season ended with a loss at home to the ladies from Taft High School (Chicago) in the playoffs.
In 2018, the Maulers entered their second season with several experienced players and more familiarity with the way the middle school division works. The U14 Seniors (7th/8th grade) formed a combined side with the North Shore Rhinos, taking third place in Seniors Division 2. The U14 Girls combined with the Fox Valley Chiefs girls and once again were dominant against a much improved Rowe Middle School girls side, including a 52-10 victory at the championships. The U12 Juniors (5th/6th grade) players combined with the Fox Valley Chiefs second side to compete in the Juniors Division 2, taking third place.
The annual Rugby for Research event was a big success, having good weather for the first time in three years, helping to raise $2500 to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The festival was the largest yet, featuring 5 matches, including both U14 and U12 matches for the first time, with teams coming from as far as Palatine and Chicago.
At the end of the season, after 11 years as head coach, Laurence Hornibrook retired from coaching, the last member of the original Barbarians coaching staff to hang up his whistle. Bryan Blanch assumed the mantle of high school coach and director of player development.
2018 Barbarian Season Results
Middle School Rugby!
2018 Maulers/Rhinos Seniors Season Results
2018 Middle School Girls
Rowe Rockets and Maulers/Chiefs/Lions Eagles
2018 Cailíní Season Results
2018 Chiefs/Maulers Juniors Results