As a club team, the Catamounts reach out both to the community and to charities. “One thing we do which is always a lot of fun is inviting local kids to clinics,” said Smerczynski. “It’s great to help them learn the game.”
Smerczynski, who was named Most Improved as a junior at St. John’s Prep and Unsung Hero the following year, intends to go to graduate school and will join a rugby club team. Last summer he did an internship in Geneva, N.Y. and played rugby with some friends from Hobart College. He has also played a few games with the Mystics.
“They’re the real deal,” he said of the Mystics. “My senior year at St. John’s we won the Massachusetts state championship under their colors.
“Rugby is a lifelong sport, and there are good teams everywhere. There is so much camaraderie; one of my best friends on the team is a kid I played against when he was at Xaverian. He transferred from South Carolina and now plays with us. Everywhere you go, you run into people you know.”
Kerri Zerfoss, a freshman soccer and basketball standout at Pingree, left for Costa Rica a few days ago to play with the Region 1 Select team.
The Olympic Development Program 1998 elite team has 18 players from Maine to Virginia with three from Massachusetts. Zerfoss, who just turned 15 this past week, is from Peabody while goalie Brooke Heinsohn (former Celtics great Tommy Heinsohn’s granddaughter) is from Norfolk,and center midfielder Jaileen Gonclaves comes from Ludlow.
“I’m excited,” said Zerfoss, who is a center back. “We’ll play four games with premier teams from Costa Rica. It will be different from the competition we usually play, and there may be some different rules that we’ll have to adjust to.”