Skip to content

MSSD and D.C.’s Hyde school collaborate for rugby glory

December 17, 2009
Arrow Buff


Two die-hard rugby fans, Tal Bayerand and Mark Burke, got together last year with an idea. Burke, the athletic director at the Clerc Center, wanted to start a rugby team at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) and Bayerand, rugby coach at the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School, had an established team. What if the two teams worked together, they thought, with the Hyde players sharing with the MSSD players what they had learned about the game. The two groups of students used different modes of communication, and no precedent for an all-deaf rugby team existed, but the coaches believed the partnership could work.

The collaboration launched in spring 2009, and this fall the two teams met again for practice and training at Hyde. Together, they prepared for a match in the 13th Annual Ambassador’s Shield event on November 14, in which both league and amateur teams competed. The two played a close game, with MSSD emerging as the winner, 22-17.

The story of the two teams caught the attention of Fox Media, and on the day of the practice, Fox sent a camera crew to make a documentary about the two schools for its “Real American Stories” series. The story, entitled “Giving Back … An Inner-City School Teaches Rugby to a School for the Deaf,” highlights how the two teams from very different backgrounds found a way to learn and share with each other as both friends and competitors.

The documentary first aired on “Fox Inside News” on December 7. View the story, with captions, on the Real American Stories website or below. 

17 December 2009


Recent Posts

Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...

Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...

James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...

About the Author

Gallaudet University

Published Articles: 849

Recent Posts
Deaf hotelier Roberto Wirth passes away
Alumnus Timel Benton to play professional football
Alumni, faculty featured in The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate