Both her mom and dad played rugby collegiately, and now Emily Henrich is following in the family footsteps, quickly becoming a rising star in the high school rugby ranks.
"I want to play rugby in college and represent the USA at the top level, either at the Olympics or at the World Cup Tournaments," she said.
The Orchard Park sophomore is well on her way. A high school All-American, Emily is currently an alternate on Team USA, which will compete in the Rugby Europe Women's Under-18 Sevens Championship in Vichy, France, in September.
"We would joke when she was young about how successful she would be, but she really has surpassed any expectation," her mom and coach, Lisa Henrich said.
"Last year I thought winning states was a big deal," Emily added. "It's just excelled to this it's so exciting."
"People selected for the team are on their way to college, going to DI programs or are already scholarships athletes," Lisa said. "She's only 16. To even be considered is amazing."
Emily has helped power Orchard Park to back-to-back state titles. As a freshman she scored all 33-points in the Quakers championship victory in 2015, and once again provided the offensive firepower in the title game this year, scoring and converting both tries in a 14-10 win.
"It's such a physical game and I have to put so much into it that it so almost relaxing in a way," she said. "It's a way of getting out all of the other frustrations and it's like I'm in my own little world."
***SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN***
#1 – Emily Henrich, Orchard Park Rugby
Helped power Orchard Park to back-to-back state titles and is currently an alternate on Team USA to compete at the European Rugby tournament in September.
#2 – Mike Steffan, Williamsville East Baseball
Hit a 2-run triple to give the Flames a 4-2 lead in the Far West Regionals against Section V’s Aquinas. He finished with three RBI in their 11-4 win.
“In my opinion he is one of the top players in Western New York. There’s not a guy I’d rather have at the plate in a clutch situation. He’s a gamer. He always produces when the pressure is on.” – Jerry Gasz, Williamsville East Head Coach
#3 – Nia Stevens, Tapestry Charter School
Won the 100, 200 and anchored 4x100 and 4x400 to victory at the Section VI Championship State Qualifying Meet.
“Amazing talent and is only a freshman.” – Dan Tryon, Tapestry Head Coach
#4 – Jarod Burmaster, Fredonia Baseball
Threw a complete game shutout for the Hillbillies in their 1-0 win over Livonia in the Far West Regionals. He struck out 10 in the victory.
“He’s been our workhorse. His pitch count has been low. The effort, attitude and focus has been incredible. We’re really proud of what he’s been doing and we hope he has another one in his on Saturday.” – Vinny Gallo, Fredonia Head Coach
#5 – Karsen Cotton, Depew Softball
Struck out 10 in the Wildcats 11-0 win over Haverling-Bath in the Far West Regionals.
“Karsen had one of her top pitching performances on the biggest game of the year. She only allowed 3 hits. No Bath runner even made it to second base. She continues making it extremely difficult for opposing batters to get any solid contact on her pitches. She takes a lot of pressure off the defense and creates a lot of easy outs for our defense.” – Dan Seeling, Depew Head Coach
#6 – Zach Jones, Holland Track & Field
Won the 110 hurdles in the Section VI Championship State Qualifying Meet in 14.96 seconds.
# 7 – Aubrey Rockoff, Amherst Track & Field
Won the pole vault at the Section VI Championship State Qualifying Meet, clearing 11’ 6”, nearly two feet higher than the next finisher
"Aubrey has been one of the hardest working student athletes that I have ever coached in my tenure at Amherst High School. She is a wonderful person and I am so very proud of her accomplishments over the past four years. Vaulting 11'6 has been a goal of hers and now we hope we can go higher at the State meet." - Jason Cyrek, Head Track and Field Coach