BY Robbie Finizio
Sacred Heart Rugby flanker Anthony Cimino (sophomore) was just recently selected to compete for the brand-new Connecticut Selects program this upcoming spring.
According to the Sacred Heart Club Sports website, the purpose of the Connecticut Selects is to promote Connecticut Rugby and its talent pool by playing other select teams in front of Major League Rugby scouts and organizations.
This will give Cimino the opportunity to play in front of Major League Rugby scouts and compete with other Mid-Atlantic talent.
The Connecticut Selects is a recruiting team that is part of a brand-new development league established by Old Glory DC, the Major League Rugby team that represents our nation’s capital. This league is a way of allowing for a more direct and fair way for collegiate and semi-professional rugby athletes to be recruited by Major League clubs.
Cimino is just one of three collegiate athletes to be selected to the Selects for the spring season, where the majority of his teammates and competitors will be older and more experienced than him.
Anthony is not threatened by playing the role of the young rookie.
“I feel like I can gain a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience with new guys. A lot of the guys are between 27 and their 30s….it is going to bring a new aspect to the game.” said Cimino.
One of the most influential people in Cimino’s rugby career has been his head coach David Lyme. Lyme played a big role in introducing Anthony to rugby, and the idea of trying out for the Selects this year.
“He was a huge part in getting me to Sacred Heart,” said Cimino. “He’s keeps trying to grow this program and we’re all very grateful for all of the work.”
Lyme views Cimino as a key part of the team since his arrival on the team.
“A great asset to the team, more so than anything, and his off the field abilities outweigh his on-field attributes,” said Lyme. “He is a great guy, terrific leader, he’s respectful, and he leads from the front.”
Anthony will have to balance his workload this spring as he will be both a full-time Division 1 Sacred Heart X-Men and a Connecticut Select.
“It’s going to be a little tough, the X-Men have practice every morning of the week, and the Selects have practice on the weekends, as well as games in DC, Massachusetts and New York,” said Cimino. “It’ll be difficult, but I’m not too worried with all of the support I have from the X-men, they’ve got my back.”
Cimino will not be alone in representing Sacred Heart on a larger scale, as an alumnus Jonathan Gryzescyk will also be playing alongside him. According to the Sacred Heart Club Sports website, Gryzescyk is also a member of the Fairfield Yankees Rugby club in Connecticut.
According to the Sacred Heart Club Sports website, the Connecticut Selects will have four matches this spring against other select teams throughout the Eastern side of North America. The Connecticut Selects first match will be against the Old Glory DC Selects on March 8th in Washington, D.C.