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Strake Jesuit Wins But Lake Travis Signals Rebound

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Strake Jesuit Wins But Lake Travis Signals Rebound

Strake Jesuit is now 2-0.

Is Lake Travis back as a contender in Texas? The answer is probably yes and perhaps more so with a loss this past weekend than an opening win the week before.

Strake Jesuit defeated Lake Travis 40-24 in Texas league play and that was a good win for Strake, but it was also a bit of notice that Lake Travis is right there.

"Lake Travis did a good job of scouting us and they are extremely well coached," said Strake Head Coach Jason Kimball.

Lake Travis ran out to a 12-0 lead, executing their game plan well, and it took a long time for Strake to get on the scoreboard. Finally, with halftime looming sophomore flyhalf Fran Moretti scrambled in to make it 12-7.

"We made adjustments at the break and brought on two impact reserves—senior lock Dylan Bentsen and junior center Charlie Mohr," added Kimball.

Strake scored 19 straight points and took a 26-12 lead. It was then that the lightning came in and everyone had to leave the field for a time. When they came back Lake Travis had found their feet a little bit and both teams scored two tries to end it 40-26.

For Strake, senior flankers Elijah Uyenco and Dimi Bernitsas were very good while senior wing Charlie Nedwed had an overall solid outing and scored a crucial try—chasing a kick and, when the ball was kept in play, gathered and raced in.

Moretti has been in excellent form the last two games.

For Lake Travis, this was a good lesson in what they can do, and what they need to do. High school rugby in Austin was hit hard during COVID—you've read in these pages how there were distinct regional differences in how rugby was affected by COVID response policies. The longer shutdown for rugby in Austin made it tough for Lake Travis to bounce back.

"That hurt the club a little bit," said Head Coach Weston Mollo. "Obviously high school rugby can go in cycles. But we have been working on rebuilding and good results help."

Last week's win over an admittedly understrength St. Pius X was helpful.

"That was a great win," said Mollo. "We don't want to put too much into that win. But we are building numbers. Numbers are decent and we're looking to rebuild back to a 60-player program. I always tell the boys, the easiest recruitment tool is winning a state championship."

With players such as fullback Ethan Montgomery (new to rugby but showing well) and No. 8 Steven Covey, along with their solid center pairing, Lake Travis still has more to give.

With more players coming out of winter sports, Strake Jesuit also has more to give.