*PLEASE see Part I of this 2-part piece.
New York, NY – As mentioned in Part 1, Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering in their inaugural year playing rugby have won the NYC’s Public School Athletic League Rugby 7’s Championship in both the Boys A division and the Girls B division. The staff of RWU, who have played for New York Rugby Club at one time or another were happy to hear that the head coach of C.S.S is a New York Rugby Club member and it highlights the potential that rugby has in the US, we wanted to share it with our readers. So let us continue our interview with head coach Harold Delucia.
RWU: Lets talk about the accomplishments of C.S.S. this year, what teams in the PSAL were the toughest to compete against?
DeLucia: This being our first year, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I was well aware that Carnarsie High School has won the Boys title in each of the 3 seasons rugby has been offered in the PSAL. Looking into my players eyes prior to playing them the first time this season in a preseason tournament, I knew the boys were ready and they came out and shocked the entire tournament by upsetting Carnarsie easily. When other coaches came up to me and said in disbelief that my kids only just started playing rugby, I knew they were a special team.
RWU: You said you took time off from coaching NYRC for your masters but here you are teaching, going for your masters and coaching the boys and girls rugby teams, how do you do it?
DeLucia: Well the first thing I had to give up was playing, at first it was hard but I enjoy coaching too much to give that up. Having not had a good nights sleep in the last 4 years with two torn labrums, two plates holding my face together and a variety of other ailments, taking some time off playing wasn’t too difficult of a decision. The girls team are coached by a NY Manhattan Great- Phil Hubbard who also teaches here at C.S.S. To be honest, I’m sure his association with rugby and our introduction on my interview day didn’t hurt my hiring here as we both shared a vision of getting a CSS team off the ground.
RWU: Is it true you had a US Eagle guest coach this year?
DeLucia: Yes, Adam Siddall, helped out a ton. If you don’t know his name, you will. He just earned his first cap at fullback vs Canada last week but all of us here at C.S.S. can’t wait to have him earn the nod at flyhalf. The kid is brilliant on his feet, amazing passer and very tactical coach. Having the kids see such talent only pushed them to improve their game by seeing the best.
RWU: Any CSS standout players we may see follow Adam to the Eagles one day?
DeLucia: A little too early since they’ve only been playing for a few months. I have no Carlin Isles that’s for sure, but, there are players on both the boys and girls team that if they stay committed to improving their game day in and day out, will have the opportunity to earn rugby scholarships to play collegiately and possibly represent their country one day.
RWU: Thanks for chatting, last question, any plans for summer rugby?
DeLucia: Last year I coached the NYRC Premier Men’s 7’s side, unfortunately NYRC 7’s program is still developing into a contender and is not at the top level yet. This year, I decided that I am going to unwind, maybe help out at a few NYRC U-19 summer 7’s trainings.
RWU: Well that is just about all the time we have, thanks Mr. Delucia for sitting down and taking time to talk with us.
Delucia: Call me and Harold and thank you for having me and keep giving us all the rugby news and columns each week! Also, bring back that Bruce Bogan guy, you know the Australian bloke you had ‘live from Brisbane’ a couple years ago doing broadcasts. I hope his health is doing better, I remember his last broadcast, he looked like he was getting a bit thin.
That is it for now, feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @Mathew Drew Turner and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.