The County Will Shamrocks Men's Rugby team heads into the playoffs following an undefeated regular season. They qualified as the No. 1 seed for the USA Rugby Midwest Playoffs.
The Shamrocks completed its season with five wins, no losses and one draw.
Members of the Shamrocks hail from all over Will County, including Shorewood, Channahon, Plainfield, New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Orland, Homewood and Joliet. Some players are from as far away Kankakee and Morris.
The Shamrocks will host their first-ever playoff match at home Saturday. The match kicks off at 1 p.m. at Manhattan's Central Park, according to Coley O'Connell, media coordinator.
In an impressive match October 13, the club defeated the Northwest Indiana Exiles by a score of 26-16. Each player toughed it out to the last whistle, leaving everything they had on the pitch, O'Connell said.
"This was the best rugby game that I have ever been a part of as either a player or a coach," said Head Coach Ryan Stoddard. "Both teams played hard the entire match."
Kyle Grossheider, a former Lincoln-Way football and rugby star, returned to play for the Shamrocks alongside his brother, Derek. Kyle had been named a USA Rugby Collegiate All-American two times while at Life University in Atlanta.
Another player and Lincoln-Way grad, Pat Sullivan, was also named an All-American this past spring while playing for Arkansas Sate University.
"Rugby has opened so many doors for me in my life," Grossheider said. "It allowed me to go to college and to travel the world. Also, it's great to be able to come back to the Shamrocks and play alongside my brother and try and win a championship."
Shamrocks Rugby is sponsored by the Irish American Society of County Will.