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VND high school notebook: Rugby club eyes trip to Ireland

| Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, 9:51 p.m.
Erica Dietz | Trib Total Media
Freeport's Logan Thimons blocks during practice Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, at Freeport High School.

Kiski Valley Rugby Club is feeling lucky.

The team is in the early stages of planning a trip to Ireland in 2016 and thinks it can raise enough money to make it happen.

Just a second-year program, Kiski Valley made the state playoffs last season and with participation growing, plans are to add a girls team next season. A road trip of this magnitude, to a rugby-savvy place, is meant to inspire Titans players.

“It's always been a bucket-list item to go to Ireland and watch rugby,” Kiski Valley coach Seth Erwin said.

“What a better way to knock it off the list than to take the team and gear up for a state-title run?”

The plan is to take a seven-day trip, sight-see, and train with top Irish coaches.

The team is planning several fund-raisers in the form of car washes, clothing sales and other events.

“Our goal is to raise $55,000 to have every player go for free,” Erwin said.

A key fundraiser is scheduled for next week: the “Slip ‘N Slide Rugby 7s,” a pick-up flag event scheduled for Aug. 17 at Leechburg's Veterans Memorial Stadium.

In 7s, teams of seven players compete over two 7-minute halves.

The event is open to the public as organizers try to grow the game in the area — “No rugby experience required” is underlined on a flier.

Registration is $20, and participants can keep cool by using Slip ‘N Slides installed on the sidelines.

Meabon steps down

Meghan Meabon has resigned as girls basketball coach at Fox Chapel after five seasons. Meabon stepped down for personal reasons.

She posted a 71-48 record with four WPIAL Class AAAA playoff appearances, including a semifinal trip last season, and two trips to the PIAA playoffs.

Fox Chapel had three seasons with 18 or more wins under Meabon, including 20-6 last year.

Sorry, coach

Plum senior golfer Andrew Reynolds knew many of his fellow competitors at the Willowbrook Country Club championship, but one name stood out: Ron Richards.

The boys basketball coach, Richards also is the golf coach at Plum.

And while he didn't play in Reynolds' group, he finished three shots behind his No. 1 player.

Reynolds finished sixth after rounds of 78 and 79. Richards shot 79-81 to secure seventh place.

Kann artist

Incoming Shady Side Academy junior Cooper Kann, a Fox Chapel resident, won the Boys' 18 singles title at the Fox Chapel USTA Junior Open.

Kann also teamed with Monroeville's Natoli Farber to take the doubles title.

Kann came in unseeded but knocked off top-seeded Noah Cenkner of Latrobe, 6-1, 6-1, in the singles final.

Fox Chapel junior Laurel Shymansky made it back-to-back titles in the Girls' 18 doubles, teaming with Lucy Gloninger of Hampton.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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