Practice schedule through April 14

With the unexpected warm weather, the Narwhals will be moving outside for training for the remainder of the season. Here’s the lowdown:

High school

Mandatory practices:
Tuesdays from 4-6 at Taft High School with Taft Rugby.
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 at Plunkett Park in Elmhurst

Optional practices:
Monday’ in Elmhurst from 6:30-8:00
Thursday at Taft from 4:00-6:00

Coach Dylan is happy to give rides to practice for players who need it.

Middle school

Middle schoolers will practice on Mondays and Thursdays at Caldwell Woods, located at the northeast corner of Devon and Milwaukee. Practices will run from 4:30pm-6:00pm

All players at all levels should wear boots and have both a mouthpiece and water bottle. In case of inclement weather, Coach Dylan will notify parents via e-mail, Remind, and Facebook.

First scrimmage for the high schoolers is March 19 vs. the Chicago Wapiti and West Suburban Bulls at Montini High School. Middle schoolers will scrimmage the Wapiti on March 26, also at Altgeld Park.

Indoor practice schedule

Narwhals U12 team during the 2016 season.

Practice begins this week for all three Narwhals squads. Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday night, 6:00pm-8:00pm: Frosh/soph (U17) team at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 5650 N. Canfield Road, Chicago.

Thursday night, 7:00pm-9:00pm: Middle school (U12 and U14) teams at Brooks Park Field House, 7100 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago.

Saturday morning, 10:00am-11:00am: All players at Flahive Training, 6283 W. Howard St.. Niles. There’s a $7 fee for each practice, and the first session at Flahive will be on Saturday, February 4.

Remember—keep recruiting, as it’s never too late to register.

It’s rugby sevens time

Rugby sevens practice will be on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00pm at Brooks Park. There are currently three tournaments scheduled: The first tournament will be the Palatine Midsummer Sevens at the Ron Gbur Sports Fields at the Tom T. Hamilton Reservoir in, you guessed it, Palatine. The Chicago Wapiti are hosting a tournament on June 18, and the state tournament will take place on July 9.

Don’t forget about the end-of-season banquet at Nonno Pino’s in Edison Park on June 26. We’ll start at 4:30pm and cost will be $20 per person.

If your player is playing with the select side, practices will be at Newton Park in Glen Ellyn from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on the following dates:

  • June 6
  • June 15
  • June 20
  • June 22

The select side teams will play Indiana’s select side on June 25 or 26 in Rockford.

Congratulations to both the U12 and U14 clubs for an amazing first season of Narwhal rugby. The U14s tied Elgin 15-15 to finish the season tied for 5th place in U14 Division 1. The U12s defeated Crystal Lake 35-0 in the semifinals only to lose in the championship game to Glen Ellyn 26-0. Will Stansic was the man of the match for the U14s while Ryan Leyden and Mason Stern were MOTM for the two U12 games.

Don’t forget about Narwhals rugby camp: June 27-July 1!

Thanks to all of the players, coaches, and parents who made our first season possible!

Narwhals rugby camp: June 27-July 1

nawhals-brooks-parkThe Northwest Side Narwhals will be holding a rugby camp at Brooks Park from June 27 through July 1. Sessions will run from 3:30pm to 5:00pm.

Open to children who will be entering 5th grade through 8th grade, the camps will introduce the kids to the sport of rugby. Campers will learn the basics of rugby, with a focus on passing and moving with and without the ball. They’ll play “sharks and minnows” and tag rugby while under the supervision of USA Rugby-certified coaches.

The registration fee is $15 for residents of Chicago and $30 for non-residents.

Register online with the Chicago Park District.

Narwhals sweep at first middle school festival

Connor Hulne kicks off on Sunday against the Elgin/Lake Forest/Rockford combined team.

Connor Hulne kicks off on Sunday against the Elgin/Lake Forest/Rockford combined team. Photo by Amy S.

The Narwhals started off the regular season with a pair of victories in Rolling Meadows. After a delay caused by a last-minute location change, the U12s rolled over the Naperville Crusaders, scoring seven tries as they ran out to a 35-0 victory. Jack Dougherty was named man of the match.

The U14s had a tougher fight, but prevailed over a combined Elgin/Rockford/Lake Forest side, 10-7.

Next up for the U12s are the Fox Valley Chiefs, who tied the Crystal Lake Lions 20-20. The U14s take on the Glen Ellyn Stingers A side. U12s kickoff at 9:00am and the U14s at 11:10.

Rugby Illinois Middle School standings



Next Sunday

Sunday’s festival will be held at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake. Address is 851 Hwy 176. Please have your players there one hour prior to kickoff (and yes, that means dragging the U12s out of bed very early).

Go Narwhals!

Narwhals rugby: Week of April 11-17

U12 men of the match from Sunday's action: Jack Dougherty (vs. Arlington) and Vaughn Rebholz (vs. Friars)

U12 men of the match from Sunday’s action: Jack Dougherty (vs. Arlington) and Vaughn Rebholz (vs. Friars)

On Sunday, the Narwhals travelled to Glen Ellyn for the first middle school festival. Both the U14s and U12s played a pair of 30-minute scrimmages against other Rugby Illinois middle school squads, giving them a chance to test themselves against new opposition. The U14 dropped their first match by a 10-5 score to the Arlington Stallions with center Danny Jacobs named man of the match. Patrick Carr was man of the match for the second match, a 14-7 loss to the West Suburban Barbarians. Jacob Via was also in the running for MOTM with a strong performance in both matches.

The U12s defeated the Arlington Stallions 17-0, with outside center Jack Dougherty scoring a try and earning man of the match honors. The second match was a 29-0 victory over the Junior Friars, with openside flanker Vaughn Rebholz named man of the match for his strong running and defense.


This is the final week at Caldwell Woods, where will be practicing from 4:30pm to 6:00pm on Monday and Wednesday. Starting April 18 through the rest of the season, practice will be at Brooks Park on the field next to the tennis courts from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Please do what you can to ensure your players are at practice. Games are fun, but as we saw during all four matches Sunday, we have a lot to work on. Have a full complement of players helps us prepare for our matches.

Next games: April 17

The next middle school festival will be held at Kimball Middle School in Elgin. Both the U12s and U14s will play three 20-minute matches which will be used to seed the teams and organize them into divisions based on skill.

U12s: arrive at 11:00am

  • 11:55 vs. Glen Ellyn Stingers, field 1B
  • 12:45 vs. South Suburban Cobras, field 1A
  • 1:10 vs. West Suburban Barbarians, field 2A

U14s: arrive at 12:30pm

  • 1:35 vs. Glen Ellyn Stingers B/Friars Juniors combined side
  • 2:25 vs. KIPP Ascend Mountain Lions
  • 2:50 vs. Glen Ellyn Stingers B/Friars Juniors combined side

Be sure to sign up for text message notifications by texting @narwhalsr to 81010. Join our Google Group e-mail distribution list at!forum/northwestnarwhals

This week in Narwhal Rugby: April 3-10 (Updated with match times)


Spring break is over and rugby is back! We will practice twice this week. Monday and Wednesday practice is at Caldwell Woods from 4:30pm-6:00pm.

The first Middle School rugby festival is Sunday, April 10. Games will take place at Newton Park just northwest of Roosevelt Road and Route 53 in Glen Ellyn.

U14s should arrive by 8:45am for a 9:45am kickoff against the Arlington Stallions and West Suburban Barbarians.

U12s should arrive by 10:00am for a 11:00am kickoff against the Arlington Stallions and Friars Juniors.

Players should come dressed for rugby, with rugby shorts (hopefully our uniforms will be in by then), boots, and mouth guards.

All Blacks vs. Ireland

Test rugby is returning to Chicago on November 5 when the All Blacks will take on Ireland at Solider Field. The Narwhals will be doing a group ticket buy and will tailgate before the match along with the Chicago Blue (a club most of the Narwhals coaches play with). If you’re interested in getting tickets, priced between $40 and $60, from the Narwhals, please fill out the online form.

Be sure to sign up for text message notifications by texting @narwhalsr to 81010. Join our Google Group e-mail distribution list at!forum/northwestnarwhals

This week in Narwhal rugby: March 20-26

The Northwest Side Narwhals and Chicago Wapiti after Saturday's scrimmage at Riber Park

The Northwest Side Narwhals and Chicago Wapiti after Saturday’s scrimmage at River Park

Saturday was a fantastic day of rugby on the northwest side of Chicago. The Narwhals hosted the Chicago Wapiti for a pair of scrimmages on Saturday. The players made us proud with their hard work, passing, tackling, and communication. It was great to see the kids executing on the things we have been working on in practice since the end of January. Every parent should feel proud about the effort put in by their boys and girls throughout the games.

Thank you also to the Chicago Wapiti, who played hard and fair, and to the parents who helped out by preparing the meal for the post-match social. For those of you who are new to rugby, the social is one of the most important parts of the sport. It’s a chance to hang out and get to know your opponents after a match and to talk about the great time you just had playing. As I told the players before the U12 game, the guys they’re playing again are the opponents during the game, but afterwards, they’re your brothers.

Man of the match

There were a number of outstanding performances in both of the matches Saturday. Connor Hulne and Mason Stern did a good job captaining the U14 and U12 sides, respectively. As coaches, we had a tough time figuring out who should be man of the match, but we decided on Matt Hazzard and Sean Hayes. Matt played lock for the U12 side and had some excellent carries, great tackles, a tremendous work rate, and he scored a try. Sean shone for the U14s, running hard and dotting down for a score.

Practice schedule

We have two practices next week, both at Caldwell Woods on the northeast corner of Milwaukee and Devon. We will practice from 4:00-5:30 on Monday and Wednesday. Coach Bangeman will be able to shuttle four players from Park Ridge, so if anyone needs a ride, please let him know.

With most schools around here taking spring break the week after Easter, we will have no official practices the week of March 27-April 2. If there is interest, we may have a fun and informal session or two just to work on some skills. We will send out an e-mail about that, should it come to pass.

Make sure you players spend some time conditioning during spring break. Cardio fitness is very important in rugby, but so is core strength. Have them do some planks, sit-ups, and bicycles if they needs some ideas.

Match schedule

Our next bit of game action will come on April 9 at Olympic Park in Schaumburg. We will send details out about timing and exact location once they are known. After that, we will participate in the first weekend of Rugby Illinois Middle School action in Glen Ellyn on April 17, followed by Paul Douglas Woods in Hoffman Estates on April 24. Again, we will send out info on times and exact locations once it is made known to us.

Thanks again to everyone for a great day of rugby. Speaking for the coaches, we enjoy working with all of the kids and the positive attitudes they all have. We still have a lot to work on, but we are making good progress.

—Coach Eric Bangeman