Nice Try, Mikell!

For America’s rugby fans, the Collegiate Championship tournament is as big as basketball’s March Madness, or football’s BCS series.

Today, all of those fans are talking about Mikell Washington.

The 2012 Staples grad scored the winning try — in extra time – to give Penn State a big win in pool play, against St. Joseph’s. The match — televised lived on NBC Sports — was played at PPL Park in Philadelphia.

An exuberant Mikell Washington.

An exuberant Mikell Washington, after winning a pool game in the national championship tournament.

Mikell is one of 4 siblings who attended Westport schools throughout his career, as Open Choice students from Bridgeport.

He threw himself into Staples activities — including rugby, wrestling, football, choir and band — while working 2 jobs during the school year and 3 in the summer.

He is triple majoring at Penn State, with a goal of attending law school.

As the rugby world found out yesterday, Mikell Washington is a young man who stops at nothing to reach the goal line — or his goals.

(For the final 1:47 of the pool game — including Mikell’s winning try — click here. Hat tip: Joanne Heller.)

Mikell Washington (center) in Staples High School's 2011 Candlelight Concert. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Mikell Washington (center) in Staples High School’s 2011 Candlelight Concert. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)


5 responses to “Nice Try, Mikell!

  1. Joanne Heller

    For anyone interested in watching the rest of the games, tune into the NBC Sports channel today from 2-6PM. If Penn State wins their game this morning they will be on TV this afternoon. It helps to have announcers when watching rugby.

  2. Grant Heller

    I was at the game and it was amazing to watch. Mikey was the game changer for Penn State in a very exciting come-from-behind victory over St. Joe’s. He made a try saving sideline tackle against St. Joe’s fastest player, in addition to scoring the game winner in the final play of the game. By the way, the caption is a little off, as it was a pool game rather than the national championship game, but tremendous none the less. Staples alum George Birch was also playing at the tournament for UCLA. In total, there were 10 players out of about 200 who played HS rugby in Fairfield County. We are in the midst of a rugby surge as the sport re-enters the Olympics in 2016. Come out to PJ Romano field Monday at 3:30pm to watch the Wreckers vs Ridgefield in the quarterfinals of the 2015 CT Rugby State Championship.

    • Emma Birch

      Big congrats to Mikey and thank you Grant for mentioning George. I know he saw Mikey at PPl park My whole family spent a fantastic weekend in Philly and so proud to see George score an amazing try for UCLA in the plate final and to be on NBC- like you say so exciting to see a rugby surge in this country. Best of luck to the Wreckers this season. Emma Birch

  3. Lynn Miller

    Congrats Mikey!!!
    So exciting! We are as always, so very proud of you.
    Lynn, Jason and Andrew Miller

  4. Tom Kashetta

    Mike is such a great kid. My daughter Madison loves him and he was a little buddy to my son Matthew. His family are just very nice down to earth people. It’s no suprise that he is doing so well. Keep it up Mike and stop by and see us this summer…… TK