Friday, May 19, 2017

CARPS Create New Coaching Staff Ahead of Summer Qualifiers

The Cleveland Crusaders plan to take the 2017 summer sevens circuit by storm with the addition of a new coaching staff. The new members at the helm will provide new ideas and direction for the players while enabling them to focus on competing on the field. The hope is that eliminating the player-coach from the equation will go a long way towards allowing the team to get over its sevens stumbling blocks and secure a berth on the national stage.

The Cleveland Area Rugby Premier Side (CARPS) has never been short on talent. The CARPS is the sevens contingency of the Cleveland Crusaders. Speed merchants and ankle breakers from the 15s side have been constant threats on the sevens scene. This pool of talent has been joined by some of the finest college players in the nation to form a formidable team. This potent combination of youth and experience has made the CARPS a menace on the field – on good days. When the team has played at top form it has been known to push powerhouses like the Youngbloodz and Chicago Lions to the limit and even upset the likes of 1823. Unfortunately, inconsistency has trapped the CARPS in the middle of the table and kept a berth at nationals out of reach.

Part of this inconsistency was likely due to the skeleton crew that comprised the CARPS. The side often started with a small pool of players. On top of playing, one or two of that players were often handling coaching and logistic duties as well. Summer attrition and glass hamstrings depleted the side further and made escaping the region impossible. This year, the CARPS plan to remedy that problem with the addition of two new coaches to the sevens staff.

Patrick Rahill will be the new head coach of the CARPS  this summer. Rahill is a Cleveland native and an accomplished member in his own right. After graduating from Hudson High School, he went on to play for Miami of Ohio and become a Collegiate Midwest All Star. In his career beyond college, he has spent time with 1823, the Crusaders and CARPS. Recently, Rahill has been studying law.

Rahill's assistants are familiar names on the rugby scene and established in their own rights. Each has extensive experience playing and coaching and have been to the upper echelons of rugby in the Midwest and beyond.

First, Luke Markovich will be added to the fold to bring a new set of eyes, and probably ideas, to the CARPS’ sevens approach. Markovich began his career at Saint Edward High School as a player. Like Rahill, he spent his college days at Miami of Ohio. During his time there, he was selected as an All-Midwest player and a Collegiate All-American. Most recently, he played for and captained 1823 before coming to Notre Dame College and coaching the women’s team there. Markovich also has experience playing in the National Sevens Tournament, so he knows what it takes to make it to the big matches.

The last man on the coaching staff is long-time CARPS sevens staple Nick Viviani. Viviani is a product of Mentor High School and Bowling Green State University. His accolades include being named a Collegiate All-American, playing for the Midwest Men’s All-Star team in 2011 as well as being named to the All-Midwest sides for sevens and 15s. He is also the current captain for the Crusaders.

With this beefed up coaching crew, the CARPS are taking aim at the higher levels of the sevens scene. The qualifier roster will feature 12 players, chosen every week, and will travel to Madison, Wisc. before hosting its own tournament in Mentor, Ohio. After that, the CARPS will travel to Brighton, Mich. for the last qualifier of the season and end the summer in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Midwest Championships.

The CARPS plan to provide additional playing opportunities for those not interested in the qualifier tournaments as well. With June just around the corner, the new-look CARPS will be on display in no time, and time will tell if this new coaching staff can lead this team in a new, better direction.


  1. Didn't Rahill also play for the Cleveland Rovers for several years? Why no mention of that?

  2. Cool changes! I'm so excited for this.

    Now, if only I can be this exited about chaning my self for the better, then my coach in livecoach will be happy. Haha.