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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton rugby’s climbs to the top

May 29, 2022 12:53PM ● By Jerry Christensen

By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]

The sport first documented in 1845 by school boys from Rugby, England has made its mark at Brighton High. The football field becomes a rugby pitch, the goal line becomes a try line. Between rucks and scrums the oblong ball moves forward and backward. In mid-May, Brighton brought home the state championship. 

“It is a sport gaining momentum throughout Utah and particularly at Brighton,” said Christine Yee, an English teacher at Brighton and a powerful driver behind the rugby movement. “Many students are drawn to rugby because of the camaraderie and the sense of family that the club sport creates. But the club also attracts multi-sport athletes who dedicate their spring season to the pitch.”  

Mana Nonu, a junior and three-sport athlete (football player, state wrestler and now champion rugby player) helped lead the team to its first-ever state championship.

“It was a thrilling victory to take this program that is only eight years old at Brighton to a state championship,” Nonu said. “We faced teams with more depth and history, but somehow our team chemistry and our great coaching pulled us through.”