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Canisius High elevates rugby, squash, sailing to full-fledged varsity status

Canisius High School announced Thursday it has elevated three club sports to varsity status effective this year: rugby, squash and sailing.

“All three programs have shown sustainability and growth over the past number of years at Canisius,” Crusaders Athletic Director Jim Mauro said. “We anticipate the trend will continue and the elevation to varsity status will promote it even further. We are proud that the programs have already offered collegiate opportunities for some of our athletes, but more importantly, these three sports have enhanced the overall student-athlete experience.”

Sailing and squash have been participating in leagues that had varsity and club teams coexisting – a trend that will continue. Canisius was the first area school, albeit as a club sport, to field a competitive sailing team in 2009 leading to others to take the plunge into that sport, too.

Canisius won a national title two years ago in squash, while its top player from last year, Matt Dukarm, earned Buffalo News Prep Talk Athlete of the Year for the sport. He currently attends Franklin & Marshall.

Last year's Prep Talk Athlete of the Year in rugby, Jack Wiles, also came from Canisius. He earned a scholarship to St. Bonaventure.

High school programs teach young sailors the ropes

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