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Rivalry heading High School Rugby weekend clashes

The Bontlys celebrate Halloween together in their traditionally understated manner.
The Bontlys celebrate Halloween together in their traditionally understated manner.
Jenna Pitcher Photography

Of all the great rivalries in rugby, one clearly stands above them all.

Scotland vs England at Murryfield? Nah!

Australia vs New Zealand? Leinster vs Munster? Never!

If you are looking for a real rivalry, you need only one game --- The Bontly Bowl

Friday night sees husband and wife Aaron and Simone Bontly face off for the second year coaching from opposite sides of the field.

Aaron "Stumpy" Bontly coaches the Brookland-Cayce side, while his true love is an Irmo coach.

The pair have been a big part of South Carolina High School Rugby since its inception and have worked together. However, Friday night is all about bragging rights within the Bontly household and a battle to see who their two boys love the most!

"I love the rivalry we have between BC and Irmo," Simone said. "Aaron left Irmo last year to head up BC and that's when I was asked to step in as forwards coach for Irmo."

However, the rivalry between coaches goes beyond family court matters -- they impact on other rugby teams.

In the week leading up to the Irmo vs Brookland-Cayce game there has been a constant back-and-forth between players online. However, this has paled next to the rivalry between not just husband and wife, but also two other coaches.

Simone coaches Irmo, while her friend and Columbia Bombshell's teammate Wendy Hill coaching the B-C team. The pair play together on and off the field, but this week has seen much good natured banter lighting up Facebook pages.

"I love Simone, between the lines I trust her and afford her," Hill said. "Outside of the lines - it's on! Go Beagles!"

Not only have they been recruiting other members of the women's rugby team but they are getting people invested in the high school programs.

"This year is even more special because I've gotten closer with Wendy since she started playing for the Bombshells -- and now she's recruited Kaitlin B as an Assistant."

Kaitlin Bedekovich, Nicole Merchant and Samantha Moorhead are all involved in coaching at the two schools.

"We're getting more women involved coaching as well as having a rivalry between teammates as to whose pulling for who!' Simone said. "We have several girls who went to these schools, so they feel it's important to root for the alma mater."

Friday Night Games

Brookland-Cayce Hiogh School

6p.m. -- Bontly Bowl - BC vs Irmo

730p.m. - Lugoff- Elgin vs Greer

Aiken, S.C. - Schofield Middle School

6p.m. Lexington vs Gilbert

730p.m. Aiken vs Spring Valley

Saturday 2/20

Sumter, S.C. - Shaw Park

Chapin vs Easley

Sumter vs Greenville


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