Seniors O’Meara and Leddy: Dominating the Breakdown


Eamon Mohrbacher, Staff Writer

Which sport has nearly 10 million players and countless fans worldwide, but doesn’t have a team at Prep? Seniors Kieran O’Meara and Luke Leddy will join the band of brothers at the college level as they play this sport next year. Still unsure? They might find themselves on the bottom of a ruck. If you guessed rugby, you’re right on the mark.

Prep doesn’t feature rugby, yet these two still managed to develop exceptional talent. O’Meara started playing rugby when he was only four years old. As fourth graders, both O’Meara and Leddy joined the West Seattle Wildcats–a team coached by O’Meara’s father—and continued as teammates throughout high school, representing the Eastside Lions. Cross- training as football players has helped both O’Meara and Leddy to enhance physical capabilities. O’Meara explained, “It has helped me get used to physical contact and has helped to put me in an environment where I constantly need to improve. Also, my position in football being running back, though very different from rugby has helped me become a strong offensive player and ball carrier.”

Leddy agreed that Prep football has given him significant gains in his rugby ability. “I have played football all four years of high school. This has definitely been beneficial to my game. Not only have I gotten stronger with morning lifting but waking up at five in the morning three days a week for years helps develop extremely strong work ethic and discipline.”

Rugby players are known to be tough, and the same is true for these two athletes. They possess many attributes that have helped propel them to this high level.

O’Meara shared, “I would say that my greatest strengths in rugby are my ability to read the field, setting up people so that they can make plays or taking it myself, as I am really good at running through people.” Leddy added, “I would say my greatest strength is my ability to work through the inevitable pain and discomfort that you experience during rugby. There is no other sport that pushes you physically and mentally as hard as rugby does, because of the lack of breaks and the continuous running and tackling and getting hit. Being able to get up quickly and stay strong through the entire game is my greatest strength.”

As much as someone might love a sport, collegiate athletics require careful  discernment. Leddy justified his choice, “Cal Berkeley has the best rugby team in the country. The Golden Bears have won 33 championships since the national collegiate championships for rugby began in 1980. Cal has sent more players to the USA national team the next three teams combined. Pairing this with Cal’s ranking as the number one public school in the world, it was an easy choice for me.”

O’Meara expanded, “I decided my freshman year that I wanted to play rugby at the next level. I had always been told I was good at rugby so I wanted to see how far I could take my talents. I am now going to attend Loughborough University which is the #1 university for rugby in England.” O’Meara, who has dual citizenship, continued, “My ultimate goal is to play on England’s national team proving to myself that I can be one of the best to ever play the game. And so that my dad can watch me play on TV and tell people that I am his son.”

Both O’Meara and Leddy have displayed grit, passion, and hard work to achieve their goals, and the whole Prep community is excited to see them dominate the breakdown for years to come.