Zionsville Rugby Club’s numbers keep growing


The Zionsville Rugby Club made the decision that rather than being Zionsville Community High School’s program, it would allow players from other schools to participate.

Although it can no longer use school facilities or buses, Zionsville Rugby Club President Paul McCoy said the benefits of inviting players from other schools has helped grow the program.

CIZ COM 0409 Zionsville rugby McCoy head shot

“We recruit from any school that doesn’t have a program,” McCoy said. “In Indiana, there are very few schools that are affiliated with the high school itself. It affords us a lot more flexibility as a team.”

ZCHS senior Jack Chisholm, a team captain, agreed with that assessment.

“The year before I started playing rugby, Zionsville didn’t even have enough players to field a full starting 15s side,” said Chisholm, whose team opens the season April 10 at Brownsburg. “That year, we switched from a school team to a club team, allowing us to recruit players from other schools in and around the Boone County area. The following year, we had around 25 players rostered. I remember teammates that year wishing to have 30 players so we could play full scrimmages in practice. The program has blown up in the past two years. Last year, we had around 35 players, and this year we are expecting 45-plus and were able to register two teams.

“We have also been able to create a team for the 7s rugby season, in which we fielded over 40 players and placed second in the state our first year competing.”

CIZ COM 0409 Zionsville rugby Chisholm head shot

Although most of the players are still from ZCHS, Chisholm said recruiting from other schools and programs has brought the club to the level it is today.

“We have multiple players that attend Lebanon, Traders Point, Brebeuf Jesuit and Boone Prairie School,” Chisholm said. “These players have spread our team’s influence to their schools and have further increased the size of our program. We have enough Zionsville players to have a strictly Zionsville team, but the opportunities these players bring to the club outweigh the benefits of being a school team rather than club.”

Chisholm said most of the players have athletic backgrounds.

“We have large groups of former soccer or football players,” he said. “Having spring and fall seasons, most guys have loved the sport enough to transition into full-year rugby players. We still have several players that play other sports, mainly baseball, football and wrestling, and we encourage them to compete in their respective season. Though, there are many players that have no athletic experience and join the rugby family as their first sport,”

The team plays its home games and practices at Mulberry Fields.

“The Town of Zionsville has been fantastic,” said McCoy, who also credited Jarod Logsdon, Zionsville’s superintendent of parks and recreation, for his assistance.

The club also has benefited from the middle school program, which is in its third year.

For more, visit zionsvillerugby.com.