SFDCI’s rugby trio tackles club-level competition with try-umph!

SFDCI Rugby Players
Jeremy Adams, Nate Phillips and Nathan Drummond are part of the Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute’s varsity rugby team. They also play elite rugby with other Ontario teams. Adams will be heading to England for 10 days in March as part of a 10-game tour with the Waterloo County U18. Phillips and Drummond play in the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union with the Lanark Highlands RFC. Photo credit: Laurie Weir.
Posted on: March 8, 2024

Ask a trio of rugby players from Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute (SFDCI) what they love about the sport and they’ll all tell you the same thing – it’s ‘try’-ing at times, but it tests their physical tenacity and endurance levels. 

Despite being a fairly new sport at SFDCI for the boys, three of the team members are already being noticed by other clubs across the province. 

Jeremy Adams, 16, Nate Phillips, 17, and Nathan Drummond, 17, have been playing elite rugby with other Ontario teams. 

Adams, who plays eight-man, left for England on March 7 for a 10 day stretch as part of the Waterloo county U18 team. It’s a 10 day tour.

“I’m pretty excited,” Adams said. “They play way more technical than we do. They’ve grown up in the sport.” 

Adams has been playing half his life on club teams and at SFDCI for the past couple years.

Phillips, who plays scrum half or fly half, has played on some high-level teams as well, and alongside Drummond, who plays 15 (or either centre) played in the New York Sevens rugby tournament in New York City. 

“My team played in the highest division and we ended up second in the tournament,” Phillips said. “Most recently, we’ve been playing with the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union – like an academy for all the best players in eastern Ontario.”

They were in Aurora on Feb. 19 and placed seventh out of eight teams. Although they didn’t place as high as they would have liked, Drummond said it is the highest level they can be playing right now. 

“We always learn a lot,” Drummond said. “It was a really great day.”

Drummond will play in the International Rugby Sevens in Tampa, Fl, on Easter Weekend, March 29/30.

For all three players, they’d like to continue playing after high school, possibly in England. 


As for the high school rugby team, COVID did a number on it – as it did with all high school sports. Many students flipped to at-home learning and sports became an afterthought.  

It was last year when this trio approached Coach Joe Adams — Jeremy’s dad — about getting the team going again at the school.

“Their passion is rugby,” the coach said, “which is not the most popular sport in this area … we’d like to change that.”

Coach Joe said the problem with starting a new league last year was that they had no one else to play, except Ottawa. 

“Now we’ve got Thousand Islands Secondary School, and we’ve also got Arnprior,” and he said he hopes to get interest from Perth and District Collegiate Institute and St. John Catholic High School.

They’ll have a small league this year but will play an exhibition game against Ashbury College (Ottawa) April 18, a team they’ve never played before. “So that will be fun,” the coach said. “The boys have done really well, right from the start. Other than those three, we didn’t really have any boys who played, and now they have a season and a half under them and they seem to like it. They keep coming back.”

Joe said they’re looking to play at least nine league games with their sights set on EOSSAA. 

“We’re trying to get some exposure out there – there is lots of interest from the boys.”

With no football in Lanark County, it’s a great opportunity for a contact sport. 

“We want the boys to still have that outlet,” the coach said. “It’s a safe sport and definitely more affordable than football and the boys seem to thrive.”

Joe said there is a safety element to the game, “and these practises are really important because we have to get them tackling properly and safely, otherwise we’re not allowed to let them on the field.”

Keep up to date on what the team is doing – follow their Instagram @sfboysrugby.

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News