Patrick “PJ” O’Reilly began to play rugby his freshman year of high school for the Cardinal O’Hara Lions. He credits the sport to teaching him how to work with others in chaotic situations, maintain his composure in high pressure moments, and lead others to success. He cherishes the opportunity the game presents to travel and meet new people from different states and backgrounds. Although his career has just began, the impact of the game has been influential to his success both on and off the field.
At Cardinal O’Hara, PJ was the staring flyhalf and helped lead his team to back to back state championships in 2018 and 2019. He was selected to the Pennsylvania State Team in 2019 and appeared in tournaments in Jersey City, New Jersey and Springfield, Massachusetts. He was also named to the Mount St. Mary’s HPA and the Atlantis U18 7s teams.
“If I had to pick one word to describe PJ, it would be coachable. This is a characteristic not found in too many players today, but PJ is just that. Always wanting to learn more and soak in the advice of his coaches, he is the type of player every coach wants,” said Larry McManus, Cardinal O’Hara High School Head Coach.
O’Reilly was a graduate of Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pennsylvania and standout in the classroom finishing with a 3.8 cumulative grade point average. He was a multisport athlete, competing for four years for both the Cardinal O’Hara rugby and football teams. He actively participated in the Community Service Core organization on his campus and volunteered his time to prepare meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House or shoveled snow for elderly neighbors each winter.
He will work toward achieving his rugby and career goals at the next level at Kutztown University. He would like to one day become a physical therapist for a professional sports team, ideally a Major League Rugby team. It is his goal to promote and help grow the game of rugby to become mainstream in America. He dreams of being able to advance his career to the professional level after his collegiate tenure.
“He is always positive and a joy to coach. He is very well liked by his teammates and excels in the classroom. It is my opinion that he will have a very successful collegiate rugby career at Kutztown and beyond. Most importantly he gives you the solid impression that he will be successful in his life endeavors beyond college,” said Dr. Gregg Jones, Head Coach of Kutztown Rugby.